A torso in a suitcase looks like an impossible case, but Sean Duffy isn’t easily deterred, especially when his floundering love life leaves him in need of a distraction. So with detective constables McCrabban and McBride, he goes to work identifying the victim.
The torso turns out to be all that’s left of an American tourist who once served in the U.S. military. What was he doing in Northern Ireland in the midst of the 1982 Troubles? The trail leads to the doorstep of a beautiful, flame-haired, twentysomething widow, whose husband died at the hands of an IRA assassination team just a few months before. Suddenly Duffy is caught between his romantic instincts, gross professional misconduct, and powerful men he should know better than to mess with. These include British intelligence, the FBI, and local paramilitary death squads - enough to keep even the savviest detective busy. Duffy’s growing senseof self-doubt isn’t helping. But as a legendarily stubborn man, he doesn’t let that stop him from pursuing the case to its explosive conclusion.
©2013 Adrian McKinty (P)2013 Blackstone Audio
There is no better audiobook experience than an Adrian McKinty novel read by the incomparable Gerard Doyle.
Sean Duffy is a classic, terrific protagonist in the hard-boiled mode -- quick witted, fearless, tough but with a heart of gold, resolute in his desire to see justice done regardless of the personal consequences, etc etc. He seems improbably irresistible to gorgeous women who he seems to encounter with shocking regularity for a town like Belfast -- but that's OK for this type of book.
Noble but bemused Sean faces down the neighborhood IRA thugs defending a lady in distress. The neighborhood hooligans are priceless.
Started a bit slowly, but I could listen to Gerard Doyle read Adrian McKinty all day.
Terrific re-creation of Northern Ireland during the Troubles. Including John DeLorean as a character was a nice touch.
Guitarist with The Prudes
Recent books left me annoyed or bored towards the end, not this. A really great character that doesn't make me depressed ((Jo nesbo) and leaves me wanting more. I love the interplay of news events and the accurate feel.
Another crackling yarn by Adrian McKinty, author of the amazing Michael Forsythe / Dead Trilogy, this is the second book of The Troubles Trilogy, featuring DCI Sean Duffy. Set in the city of Carrickfergus, just to the northeast of Belfast, in 1982, at the height of "The Troubles", the three decades of social unrest and intense violence which began in the late 1960s until the "Good Friday" agreement of 1998. Gritty and believable, this mystery opens with a dismembered body found in a suitcase and gets deeper and bigger throughout. It is an excellent followup to the tremendous opening book, The Cold Cold Ground.
What a great job McKinty does of evoking these terrible times. So great, in fact, I am on a quest for a modern, unbiased retelling of The Troubles, which I am surprised seems to have not yet been written. The BBC has a very informative website, but there doesn't seem to be a consensus pick for a book. It must have been an awful time. Duffy, a Catholic on a mostly Protestant police force (and thus working for the "enemy"), has to check his car for a "mercury tilt bomb" every time before driving it, as the news is quick to remind him.
The dialog sparkles and cracks, with both humor and pathos. That's one big drawback to listening on audiobook - it's impossible to highlight all the wonderful passages. But narrator Gerard Doyle does a grand job at reading it, with an addicting Irish accent, getting all the place names spot on, as well as all the interesting slang (still not sure of the source of the slang for a pair of sneakers!). He has a little trouble pulling off an American accent, as Duffy makes his way over to the Boston area for a holiday investigation that turns out horrible for him. A little niggling fact check though - Sam Adams beer didn't come out until the mid-1980s, and I don't think it was available on tap until the late 80s. So Duffy heading to a Saugus dive bar for a Sam Adams draft is a historical anachronism. Not sure where he could get a good beer back then.
The Troubles,Mystery,Humorous dialogue
Duffy, smart introspective, humorous, good Peeler
This isn't the time for an Irish Vacation!
Adrian McKinty's writing and Gerard Doyle's reading is compelling. I have listened to 3 of McKinty's Books. This is the 4th. There are not many author/reader combos that I have enjoyed as much Oh yeah, maybe James Lee Burke/Will Paten
A newbie to the Mystery and Thrillers genre - maybe.
Andrian McKinty 'I Hear Sirens in the Street"
The author needed to dial down the drama. In an effort to make it action packed and exciting - he overdid it. It was too formulaic. In trying to create a quirky lead character he ended up with the most annoying character in any book - ever.
Half of them, it had too many characters altogether.
The reader had a habit of ending most of his sentences in a questioning tone, very irritaitng.
Yes, because it's intelligent, witty, engaging, and the narration is perfect.
The characters were sympathetic, so I cared what happened to them. Also the writing was so witty and fun that I wanted to keep going -- was sorry when the book ended.
I've listened to Doyle's performances of all Adrian McKinty's books. He has a beautiful voice and accent that make the performance a pleasure to listen to -- he makes each book come alive.
No, because I wanted it to last a long time.
I wish all writers had McKinty's knack for knowing just how much blood-and-gore to include and how to draw characters that the reader cares about. He brings intelligence, wit, humor, and humanity to every book.
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