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Publisher's Summary

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.

Critic Reviews

“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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    1,477
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    1,262
  • 3 Stars
    403
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    85
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    62

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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    51
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
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Just Not My Idea of Great

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.



17 of 22 people found this review helpful

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Conservative Readers Beware

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Those who don't have a problem with bad language and subject matter will probably not be bothered at all by this book.

Has The Cold, Cold Ground turned you off from other books in this genre?

Nope, I love murder mysteries.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The performance is great and the historical setting of the book really pulls you in.

Any additional comments?

Very bad language and some subject matter that may make you a little uncomfortable if you're a more conservative reader. Most of you probably won't have a problem with it but if that kind of thing bothers you just be aware.

41 of 56 people found this review helpful

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  • Taryn
  • Suffern, NY, United States
  • 06-11-17

slow start, good finish

It took me about an hour to get into the rhythm of the narrators voice. Once I adjusted I was hooked. I love crime novels and this is an interesting time in history for me. If you want to read more about the "irish troubles" during the 70's onward this is for you.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Debbie
  • Toney, Alabama
  • 10-18-13

Good, but not gripping

The story was a good one, interesting enough. But it didn't keep me awake at night listening like others of this genre do. I always enjoy listening to mysteries and stories of different countries, particularly at war time, and had no trouble listening to the end. Just not a five star . . .

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good,quick read. Great narration. Twisted plot.

Loved listening to the Irish accent and the historical comments were interesting...brought some memories back.. some good, some not so. Liked the little bit of romance thrown in. Gives a break from the seriousness of murder and some gore. The main character was combination of nice guy and really not nice. I was surprised with the ending which is always good in murder mysteries. It ended a little abruptly, though. I knew this was a series, but it still was a different way to bring the story to an end. Don't want to say more to give away anything, except that I definitely do want to read the next book soon.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A warm blanket on a cold night

Do you wish you had a warm and intelligent retired Irish detective as an uncle telling you great stories from the old country while you sit by the fire and sip a good whiskey? This is the next best thing. If you have never had an Irish friend before it might take you a bit to acclimate to the accent, but it is well worth it. If the weather forecast says overcast and cold for the nest week, do yourself a favor and dive in. Note there is one brief but shockingly out of place encounter, but the quality of the book and performance on the hole make this overlook-able.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I have a new favorite author

Adrian McKinty's superior writing entertainment combined with the entrancing voice of Gerard Doyle (I could listen to him all day/all night) - this duo is unbeatable. I'm on my third McKinty book listen, and I now know what a treasure these books are. Readers - don't even worry about what this book is about, it doesn't matter, it is SO well written, and the narrator is the perfect complement. Get ready to be hooked.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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More Belfast noir like Stuart Neville

The Cold Cold Ground is the second "Belfast Noir" series I've started, after listening to Neville Stuart's Jack Lennon series. This book is narrated by the same narrator, Gerard Doyle.

Unlike the Jack Lennon series, this one is set in the early 80s, at the height of the Troubles. It doesn't really feel much different, though - Sean Duffy, a Catholic police inspector, has to deal with the same shady characters, corruption, and collusion between sworn enemies, just in an environment where bombs are still going off and Northern Ireland policemen are fair game for IRA assassins.

Duffy is initially called on to investigate the death of a low-level IRA flunky. At first it looks like a pretty routine bit of dirty business, just another Fenian caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Then they find a note shoved up the victim's rear, and Duffy's investigation uncovers evidence that the victim was fond of taking other things up there as well. Then another "poofter" is found dead, and Duffy is convinced that Northern Ireland has its first bonafide serial killer.

His superiors, of course, are not thrilled by this. No one wants a serial killer. (The assumption is that these types don't exist in Northern Ireland, because anyone with those proclivities could just join one of the many murderous factions that would provide them with plenty of victims.) Hunger strikes are going on, and the IRA doesn't want them being eclipsed in the news by sensational stories about a serial killer targeting homosexuals. Duffy starts getting pressure and threats from all sides to wrap the case up in a tidy and agreeable fashion that leaves out theories about serial killers.

How is this case tied to the apparent suicide of a hunger striker's estranged wife?

The Cold Cold Ground is dark and gritty, and Adrian McKinty's writing was very similar to Neville Stuart's. He seemed to enjoy inserting lots of 80s pop culture references - Inspector Duffy is fond of music, and movies, giving plenty of opportunity for gratuitous namechecking. There's also what appears to be a gratuitous bisexual tangent when Duffy spontaneously makes out with a rentboy, as much to his own surprise as the reader's - not sure where that is supposed to go.

Despite a few of those distracting tangents, though, the storytelling was solid and the atmosphere bloody and violent and Irish, and if you like these sorts of books, it looks like another series worth continuing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Compelling story, moribund narrator

I found the narrator's quiet flat tone rather dull and soporific. However, the time and place of Belfast during the Troubles was fascinating. I got drawn into the story line slowly but surely. The occasional references to meaningless sex stimulated by violence were gratuitous and repulsive. And yet, the main character as a highly educated Catholic in the Protestant police force of Northern Ireland was unlike anything I had read, and it kept my attention.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Interesting...

For the most part, I really enjoyed listening to this book. I have only a rudimentary understanding of the events in Ireland in the late 70s and early 1980s. I found the setting fascinating and educational. The book is action-packed and I found it incredibly interesting, particularly in light of current global conflicts.

The reason I am not giving this book 5 stars is that I felt like there was something important missing. I would've liked to have known the characters much better. This would have added tremendously to the book and made it a much richer reading experience.

The narration is excellent and the narrator does an outstanding job with the material.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful