Adrian McKinty was born in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. He studied politics and philosophy at Oxford before moving to America in the early 1990s. Living first in Harlem, he found employment as a construction worker, barman, and bookstore clerk. In 2000 he moved to Denver to become a high school English teacher and it was there that he began writing fiction.
In 2009 he moved to Melbourne, Australia, with his wife and two children. His first full-length novel, Dead I Well May Be, was short-listed for the 2004 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award and its sequel, The Dead Yard, was selected as one of the twelve best novels of the year by Publishers Weekly.
In 2008 his debut young adult novel, The Lighthouse Land, was short-listed for the 2008 Young Hoosier Award and the 2008 Beehive Award. The final novel in the Dead trilogy, The Bloomsday Dead, was long-listed for the 2009 World Book Day Award.
In 2011 Falling Glass was an Audible.com Best Thriller.
©2012 Adrian McKinty (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“McKinty is a streetwise, energetic gunslinger of a writer, firing off volleys of sassy dialogue and explosive action that always delivers what it has promised.” (Irish Times)
“What makes McKinty a cut above the rest is the quality of his prose. His driven, spat-out sentences are more accessible than James Ellroy's edge-of-reason staccato, and he can be lyric.” (The Guardian)
“If Raymond Chandler had grown up in Northern Ireland, The Cold Cold Ground is what he would have written.” (The Times, London)
The author of last year's Audible.com's Best Mystery or Thriller strikes again, only this book is even better. There is an enormous degree of sublety and sophistication in this book, both in the plot and the vivid atmosphere created of 1980s Northern Ireland. McKinty always treats the reader as intelligent in his unwillingness to paint a black and white picture of the 'troubles'. He also builds a drum-tight plot which weaves fictional and true characters together. There's a lot of tounge in cheek humor at the expense of some of these character's bloated egos, too.All of these features make this a brilliant book, but the superb narration by Doyle works to make something sublime.
Stuart Neville's The Ghosts of Belfast. Detail, sophistication and grittiness
Just finished The Cold Cold Ground. I've been a big fan of Adrian McKinty for the last few years and I've listened to all of his books. This new one does not disappoint. In fact I think it's his best since Dead I Well May Be. The plot is both intricate and thought provoking. We are given a glimpse of a different time and place (Belfast in the 1980's during the Troubles), and a different culture. One not on an especially healthy path.
We're used to hearing about 3rd world countries at war with themselves. Tribes going at each other for no good reason other than their irrational hatreds, blood feuds, and power grabs. But when it's a country that most of us would consider civilized we often don't think of what life would be like if such horrors occurred in our own countries. The Cold Cold Ground gives us a glimpse of that world along with a great story.
Gerard Doyle , the narrator, is terrific. At first, I considered reading The Cold Cold Ground the old fashioned way, something I haven't done with any of McKinty's other books, but I'm so hooked on having these stories read to me in a think Irish accent (actually multiple accents, not only Irish, but English, American, as well as different variations of Irish) that I decided against it. Doyle's reading brings the novel to life and makes some of the Irish slang more readily understandable.
Don't miss McKinty's earlier novels, especially the Dead Trilogy and Falling Glass (voted Best Mystery or Thriller of 2011 here on Audible). All great stuff.
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
This is cynical stuff. There's not much of anybody to really like in the story, and extreme violence makes it not for the faint of heart or stomach.
BUT, this is a really effective view of what it must be like to live in a war zone such as Northern Ireland was at the time of this action (and many places in the world, alas, remain today). McKinty is chillingly good at description, and the constant fear, guardedness, emotional numbness and lack of hope seem very real. There could be no more suitable narrator for this than Gerard Doyle.
If you like gritty, realistic mysteries about the worst of characters and situations you may appreciate this one. It's a lot of bleak, but I can say that it took all the "romance" out of the fabled "troubles" of Ireland for me - an outcome very much intended by the author, I think!
Detective Sean Duffy of the Royal Ulster Constabulary has to walk a very fine line. It’s 1981 and Northern Ireland is ablaze in sectarian violence after IRA commander and hunger-striking prisoner Bobby Sands dies. As a Catholic, Duffy is mistrusted by the Protestant population, and even by some of his police colleagues. As a policeman (or peeler, as the slang name has it) he is mistrusted and often hated by the Catholic population. In the midst of riots and random violence, Duffy is assigned to investigate the killings of two gay men. As he investigates, it begins to look as though a serial killer is at work. As he digs deeper, he runs afoul of both the IRA and his own superiors, neither of whom seem to want him to find the killer.
McKinty paints a tense and convincing picture of the suspicion, danger and continuous threat of catastrophic violence that hung over Northern Ireland during “The Troubles.” He has also created a believable and sympathetic character in Sean Duffy. Duffy is a man who leads a difficult life with dignity, integrity and a fair amount of dark humor.
I have liked McKinty’s work for several years now, and have admired his ability to plot a very tight mystery. He has managed to keep the ideas that propel his mysteries fresh so we have not had to suffer through the reverse-engineered plots that mar the careers of so many great mystery writers. It is gratifying to see that there are plans for more Duffy novels.
I discovered McKinty’s novels through my love of the work of the actor who has narrated all the audio editions of his novels so far, an Irish actor named Gerard Doyle. Some years ago I tried to listen to the book Eragon. I didn’t care for it and gave up quickly, but I loved the voice talent, so I sought out other books that he had narrated. My local library had the audio edition of McKinty’s Hidden River. It was easily the best mystery I read/listened to in 2004. I’ve been a real fan of Doyle’s interpretation of McKinty’s books ever since.
After you listen to Cold Cold Ground and you find yourself impatiently waiting for the next Duffy book, give Hidden River a listen—you won’t be disappointed.
Adrian McKinty understands the world he sees and is extremely talented at describing it. This story takes place in Ireland during the "troubles" and peels back many layers of politics, religion and community while telling the story of a young police officer tracking down what he believes is a serial killer. The story moves fast and the intersection of events in dealing with the I.R.A. police agencies, neighbors and thugs is well built and has a feel of realism that McKinty is talented at bringing to the page. The story is tight with the tension built and outcome uncertain until the very ending, which is constructed well from the facts as they are brought before the reader. This is an exciting and well told story with an accompanying narration that is as good as it gets.
I started listening to this on my own, and liked it so much I started it over, sharing it with my husband...so I have already listened to some of it twice. It is definitely a book that would stand up to rereading, both for the information it imparts and for the complexity of the characters McKinty has created. The second time I could listen more carefully, since I wouldn't be driven crazy by not knowing what would happen next!
Sean, since every step he takes seems to disillusion him more, and I can well appreciate that. I like the way he thinks, I like the way he perceives the people around him, I like his music, for the most part, and mostly I like how he does not conform to the role everyone else would restrain him with. Sean's character is changed bbbbbbbbbby the things he experiences, he is not a one dimensional character.
His experieence in the public toilet. McKinty does not underestimate his readers or their own experiences. This scene made me feel such empathy for this character. I guess you might say it made Sean very human to me, a character I would feel protective of.
I can't recommend this book highly enough to people who like really engrossing mysteries, that stay in your mind, long after you have finished reading them. I was completely unfamiliar with this author...I think I had seen some of his novels here on Audible, but when I saw titles like, "Dead I May Well Be," or something like that, I assumed (yeah, you know what that means!) that it was about vampires or zombies!! Can't wait till the next installment in this trilogy, and will be checking out his many other titles here on Audible. Great stuff!
This is a great book. If you haven't listened to an Adrian Mckinty book you are cheating yourself. This guy is in a class by himself. I have listened to all of his books more than once. His last book Falling glass won book of the year on audible 2011. Cold cold ground is as good or better. Enjoy.
If you're into explicit descriptions of violent death, you'll love this book. I'm not and I didn't. It's not the kind of book I'd listen to again and again.
Although Adrian McKinty is truly an accomplished artist, in my opinion his talent is wasted on so much dreary violence. He writes as though there's nothing else for human beings to be interested in.
He creates a lovable character in a gripping plot, but then surrounds him with horrible murders, at which we are also compelled to look, in all their ghastly details. The story seems to promise a psychological mystery involving a homophobic serial killer who leaves clues containing mythological allusions. But it rapidly becomes just another detective story in which we encounter the typical rookie cop (who is right, of course) getting busted, chewed out, and taken off the case by his superiors. Predictably, he goes about solving the case on his own at the risk of losing his job. A note to authors, editors, and agents: WE KNOW HOW THIS PLOT GOES, ALREADY!
The fact that this author is one of Audible's listeners' most favorites is a sad statement about how much fictional evil we call good these days.
I agree totally with every plaudit the previous listeners have given the narrator, Gerard Doyle. He's got many great voices with appropriate accents, perfect timing, and excellent tone. He reads as though he is the character and we're in the character's mind with him.
I've been a fan of Adrian McKinty's books for a couple of years. He's a leading member of a group of writers from Ireland writing crime fiction. The "Dead Trilogy" is highly recommended but The Cold Cold Ground is his best yet.
McKinty's style is reminiscent of Raymond Chandler and other writers of great crime fiction. Sean Duffy, the protagonist in TCCG, is so well-drawn that one might recognize him on the street. Duffy is very human, loves books ("Midnight's Children" in audio!) and music ("Venus in Furs"!) and is generally a good guy. He's a Catholic police detective in Northern Ireland.
The book is set in Northern Ireland in 1981, during the famous hunger strikes. That is in the middle of the The Troubles. That historical backdrop is a fascinating setting for this book. Many readers will learn things about those times that aren't common knowledge. Unlike many popular authors, McKinty will not talk down to his readers, rather, he challenges readers with his thoughtful writing.
The reader, Gerard Doyle, is wonderful. His narration adds greatly to this book.
This is good story, a bit of a whodunit but the book is really about Northern Ireland's civil strife and Sean Duffy. Since this is the first book of a Sean Duffy series, I'm eagerly looking forward to book 2!
I liked the M Forsythe novels, but I believe Cold, Cold Ground is McKinty's best so far. Again, based in Northern Ireland in the '80's, this book weaves an exciting story about a young catholic detective sergeant and the violent world around him. If for no other reason (and there are many others), this book is worth the credit because of the author's insights into a society in which nothing seems to make sense, at least from the perspective of an outsider. It's a great listen not only because of the story, but Gerard Doyle's powerful rendering of the characters. I had a difficult time turning off my Ipod.
"Lord knows the Troubles I've seen"
Enjoyable story, well narrated. Gives a great snapshot of a time and a place. Who'd have been in the RUC? Grim business and an unusual perspective
The primary character: a catholic working in the RUC - an Irishman who isn't the usual drunken caricature (thankfully)...
Difficult to say, really - this is a murder mystery under the shadow of the horrendous Troubles and all of the associated violence and political issues.
Calm, cool, engaging reading
A catholic policeman hunts a serial killer who's stalking the troubled streets of Northern Ireland
all i can say is cant wait for more of his books. read them all they are great, also like gerard doyle.
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