Rain Dogs

Detective Sean Duffy, Book 5
Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
Series: Detective Sean Duffy Series, Book 5
Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,431 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Edgar Award winner, Best Paperback Original, 2017.

Rain Dogs, a stunning installment in the Sean Duffy thriller series, following the Edgar Award-nominated Gun Street Girl, is "another standout in a superior series" (Booklist).  

It's just the same things over and again for Sean Duffy: riot duty, heartbreak, cases he can solve but never get to court. But what detective gets two locked-room mysteries in one career? 

When journalist Lily Bigelow is found dead in the courtyard of Carrickfergus castle, it looks like a suicide. Yet there are a few things that bother Duffy just enough to keep the case file open, which is how he finds out that Bigelow was working on a devastating investigation of corruption and abuse at the highest levels of power in the UK and beyond. And so Duffy has two impossible problems on his desk: Who killed Lily Bigelow? And what were they trying to hide? 

©2016 Adrian McKinty (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"McKinty expertly balances Duffy's tense and suspenseful investigation with the political tensions of the region." ( Publishers Review)
"McKinty manages a second locked-room success...another standout in a superior series, combining terrific plotting with evocative historical detail." ( Booklist)
"The tension between McKinty's competing love of tight, formal puzzles and loose, riffing dialogue is what makes the Duffy novels such a tremendous joy." ( The Guardian)

What listeners say about Rain Dogs

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The Narrator IS the Story

Detective Sean Duffy novels are good cop stuff set in an excellent backdrop ("The Troubles" in Ireland). Rain Dogs delivers all the gritty and humorous material we have come to expect from Adrian McKinty's erudite, but seemingly feckless (he's not…it's a ruse), Detective Inspector Duffy. However, if you are this far along in the series you don't need a lecture on that…

What I want my fellow listeners to grock is that Gerard Doyle, our reader, is one of the top five narrators in the world…unbelievably enjoyable to hear in your earbuds and totally believable as he shifts characters (male or female). HIs Irish brogue, thick or thin, is classic BBC teletheater.

This series is great, although when you begin your search click on the narrator's name first to see what he has to offer. Amazing stuff!

52 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

With McKinty it's about the story!

Adrian McKinty is one of the best story tellers of our time. In Rain Dogs he is at his very best. Gerard iDoyle is one of the best narrators. In Rain Dogs he is at his very best.

This Detective Sean Duffy police procedural, Book 5 in the series, is set in 1987 during turbulent times in Northern Ireland. Among other things the story is about the apparent death by suicide of a journalist at a castle. If it is murder then there appears to be only on possible culprit. Duffy sets out to solve the mystery.

This novel is as much about Sean Duffy's personal life as about the murder case. In telling this compelling story McKinty almost magically weaves the case and the personal together to where they are one.

I believed that this series would end with five books. A twist at the end casts doubt on my assumption.

Rain Dogs has mystery but little action or suspense. It is a great story well told.

I VERY HIGHLY RECOMMEND Rain Dogs not just to mystery/thriller enthusiasts but to all who like a good story.

43 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Lester Carthan's Review

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, because it everything I look for when listening to an audiobook.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Doyle. He used to be a character I loved but did not like. This time out I like and love him, he has matured nicely over the past seven years in novel time.

What does Gerard Doyle bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

When I read a book I give each character a voice that used to sound a lot like mine. Now it sounds like a combination of many audio actors I've heard. Doyle beats them all.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I did not weep in this one but laughed throughout. There is a lot more to the book than laughing but there are a lot of chuckles in this one.

Any additional comments?

I loved this book. Not being a writer I want to end the review there but I suppose those reading this want more. I know I would.

First of all this book is a deviation from previous books in the series. Those other books were police procedures that take place during the Troubles but our hero while trying to solve a case our hero was one player among many each with their own conflicting interests in how Duffy’s case turned out with global consequences. Duffy had to deal with America, England, his supervisors, paramilitaries, being a minority cop in a secretarial low level civil war, a messy love life, torn between doing the right thing for the victim and the right thing for his career ah he solve the case.

This novel by contrast is a much more intimate experience. It’s Duffy, Lawson, Crabby against the big mystery. As readers we are given every clue up front, there is no 11th hour shenanigans where we get new information that was never disclosed. If you are up to the challenge you can figure out why and how before Duffy. I couldn’t but if you are into that kind of thing I’m sure it adds an extra layer of enjoyment to an already enjoyable experience.

This is a mystery that takes place in the real world with real characters. Duffy isn’t omniscient or always right you see him go down blind allies, make wrong accusations, miss stuff. Leads and breaks are to come from other characters as much as they are from Duffy himself and mystery concludes the way it would in real life. No cliché shortcuts everything is earned and original this isn’t the same novel in a series that written over and over dispensed and consume like junk food.

Finally what make this novel so good are the characters. Through the characters we experience humor, action, suspense, drama, intrigue, love, loss, betrayal, heartbreak a roller coaster of emotions peppered throughout the book against the backdrop of characters try to solve and prevent a mystery from being solved. Without the characters it would be a very boring police procedure but with characters it’s a larger than life adventure that we get to go along inside Duffy’s head experiencing everything as he experiences it.

On to the narrator Doyle. If you close your eyes you can pretend you have half dozen A list actors from both sexes doing a passion project. He’s able to bring every accent for male and female to life and have it be dead on. Early on, I mean in the first five minutes he does a Muhammad Ali impersonation that I thought was awful, but went on YouTube to see how the champ sounded in 1987 and it was really good indeed. This coming from a voice actor that descended from white English and Irish parents.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Always a good story

I'm never disappointed with Sean Duffy. He's an ordinary cop, just trying to be diligent in his job, always seemingly to lose at love and even when his cases are solved, they seem to have a twist adding to the realism of the story. Duffy's life is lackluster, plodding away day to day, but he's dedicated to the marrow. The narration is perfect for the character putting you in the heart of Ireland.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another good Sean Duffy book

The entire series has been a good one and this one does not disappoint. It starts a little slow but the story is another interesting and ingenious mystery with witty dialogue along the way.

Narration from Doyle is terrific as usual. Recommended along with the series.



8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

DCI Sean with another great mystery

Would you listen to Rain Dogs again? Why?

Yes, it has all the check marks of a great story

What was one of the most memorable moments of Rain Dogs?

I loved the opening chapter in Belfast with the greatest man on earth

Which character – as performed by Gerard Doyle – was your favorite?

Sean is his best but Mr Doyle does a great job on all the characters in the story Keep up the good work

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, two times both with pride the beginning and at the end

Any additional comments?

Adrian McKinty is a masterful story teller who makes you feel the pain and pride of his characters, Look forward to his next works Soon I hope

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Locked Castle Mystery

I'm a big fan of the Sean Duffy novels. Adrian McKinty's novels set in Ireland during the 80's is a wonderful feast of police procedurals and cultural milestones.

This case opens with Muhammad Ali visiting Ireland and Duffy on riot duty to protect him from potential attack. Northern Ireland was a very violent place. Impossible to forget as Duffy is constantly looking under his car for mercury tilt bombs. Duffy is also a great fan of music. Duffy also has a rough time of it, which is pretty much a standard for Duffy.

Why only three stars for the story, then? It's a locked castle mystery involving a group of Finnish business men who have arrived to see if Northern Ireland is a good place to set up a mobile phone factory, a young female reporter, and an unexpected dead-- or was it suicide? My problem with the story is that I guessed how it was done right off. And McKinty wouldn't let it go. Too much time detailing how impossible it was. However I continued along because I love Duffy and McKinty's darkly humorous take on the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

I also love Gerard Doyle's reading of this book. He definitely deserves five stars.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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McKinty triumphs again

Would you listen to Rain Dogs again? Why?

In case I missed something which I doubt I did

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sean Duffy of course. Why? Because he sounds like someone I'd want to be friends with

What does Gerard Doyle bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The Irish accent plus other character nuances make the people come alive

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

As always I can't stop listening when I should

Any additional comments?

Pure escapism. I live the situations

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderful performance, story has some weaknesses

Gerard Doyle's reading captures all the emotions of the narrator and protagonist, Sean Duffy. The juxtaposition of the ugly political situation, the riots, uglier human weaknesses of the antagonists, and the lyrical language is stunning. The real hero here is the narration, images, and metaphors. The prose has a rhythm that is poetic and the delivery honors that rhythm, and makes the prose sing in a heart-breaking cadence.
A complex and all-too-human Duffy is the perfect narrator who can analyze, deduce and grasp the deceits and violence all around him. The dialog is superb, with the slangs, jokes and black Irish humor, perfect for the dismal large and small violence that permeated Northern Ireland in the 80s, the many levels of anger, danger and frustration. And yet there is also kindness and beauty, taming Duffy's deep cynicism.
The weakness comes from loose plot lines, where the fate of a few central characters vanishes from the story. What happens to one of the Finns? The importance he earlier carries in the story becomes irrelevant by the end, and that for me was unsatisfying. Other than that I give it 5 stars, for masterful blending historical truth and fiction. Worth a listen!

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Justice?

“Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done”.

Not a sentiment McKinty seems to subscribe to.

Ultimately, the book annoyed me. Not only did the detectives not ask obvious questions at the beginning, but (SPOILER) the main criminal (once tracked down) gets away with it. I’m normally OK with slow development, but not so much when it’s because the detective is being thick and the reader is being fobbed off with supposed wit instead of plot development.

Narrator has a pleasant voice and I like the accent, and he does some differentiation of voices between characters, but not a lot.

Tried this one because it was in a two for one sale. Probably won’t try another

2 people found this helpful

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  • andrew
  • 08-02-18

enjoyable read

enjoyable read, interesting interweave with recent news stories, would look for more in the series

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Doylers
  • 02-07-18

McKinty delivers again.

Excellent story with lots of twists and turns. Interesting use of Jimmy Saville and other scandals intertwined with Sean Duffy to give an added edge and suspension of disbelief underlaid with gallows humour .

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • mr
  • 11-26-19

Smart crackling thrillers

McKinty is a sharp and smart wrietr. Captures the period and place exceptionally well. And its an great background for the stories. Its probably fair to say he writes the males better than the females, but overall a really rewarding series.

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  • JLBinPE
  • 08-29-19

Another good one

Enjoyed this new installment in the Duffy series. Great performance again and interesting plot twists.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • EVA
  • 06-24-19

Duffy, Duffy, Duffy

What a clever story. Loved it and did guess part of the story but not what the Norwegian did.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • L.J.M.
  • 01-24-19

Compelling, well-researched thriller

The Sean Duffy series is one of the best detective thriller series I have read in recent years. I find the prevalence of bad language disturbing but these books are so very well narrated that this criticism becomes a minor one.

To anyone who remembers the years of the Troubles and the nightly news coverage of the same, McKinty's Ulster gives a potent and unflinching view of life for the police in Northern Island at the time.

The characters are memorable and the plots extremely well-constructed with frequent referrals to, and inclusion of, real events. Even the minor characters, ( eg. Sean Duffy's crazy neighbours) stand out as individuals in a dramatic and extraordinary time of tragedy and upheaval.

I wholeheartedly recommend these novels to anyone who enjoys well-written, complex, intelligent, edgy crime fiction.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • GORDON
  • 10-03-16

This series just gets better and better

Inspector Sean Duffy is a relentless investigator, who's right into his music and quite fond of the drink and the cigarettes.

He's ably backed by The Crabman and Young Lawson in a captivating tale of intrigue which unfolds at a gentle but persistent pace.

There are none of the daft chase / fight scenes which blight other detective stories, and McKinty's turn of phrase is beguiling.

Gerard Doyle's narration is sublime. Terrific stuff.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dr Andrew M Long
  • 07-17-16

Another good story

Very contemporaneous despite the setting. Gripping and lively. Good read and well delivered (some accents apart!)

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Whillow
  • 03-27-16

Work on the accents!

I really enjoy the Sean Duffy books and am half way through this one, but the narrators attempts at regional accents are dreadful. The Liverpudlian and the Geordie one are so awful, to the point where I was detracted from listening to the content. A real shame.

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  • Dennis
  • 09-02-18

Another fine Sean Duffy novel

Top read ... another excellent McKinty novel and a fine addition to the series. Well worth the time 👍🏽

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  • Gerry
  • 04-23-16

Great further Sean Duffy novel

Would you listen to Rain Dogs again? Why?

Have already listened to it twice. Will listen again later.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sean,Lawson, the Crab man....how can you chose??

Have you listened to any of Gerard Doyle’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Brilliant as usual. He is so good and adds soooo much to the enjoyment of listening to this novel.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Is so many dry, funny moments. Sean is so funny and the Crab man is such a compliment to him.

Any additional comments?

Im sure there will be more Duffy novels..... I hope so at least.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Brad
  • 04-07-16

Loved it!

Great, as usual, as expected. I Love the characters and the wit. I wish he would write more Duffy novels.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Claire
  • 04-02-16

Gritty compelling storytelling

Would you listen to Rain Dogs again? Why?

I'm not sure. It's a mystery, so once you know how it ends, you can't unknow it and listen in mystery again. But it's a good story about a fascinating time in history, so maybe.

What did you like best about this story?

There's a realism that just fascinates me. Set in the time of "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland in the 80s, I was too young to really understand what was happening a the time, and I think that unless you lived there and through it, you couldn't really know. This book felt so gritty. I loved it

Have you listened to any of Gerard Doyle’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I've listened to all the other books in this series, and it felt very consistent

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

there are always the one-liners that make me bark out a laugh.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • bec
  • 12-29-16

Sean Duffy is a Star

Well, you know, just another wonderful tale from the pen of Adrian McKinty.
This one is slightly different, is Sean mellowing and maturing?
I must add that I think it is best to read this series from the beginning or you will miss out on so much.

Narrator Gerard Doyle pulls off another spectacular job. He is a craftsman. I have praised him so many times that I have run out of wonderful things to say