This is the second book in this author’s three part series called The Troubles Trilogy. I can’t wait for book three and I’m looking now for the first book. This is just dynamite. Strong, evocative writing that just won’t let go of you. What’s more, it is first person often present tense which is difficult and far from my favorite style.
Author Adrian McKinty has the chops to write about Detective Sean Duffy as he goes about his daily struggle as a police detective in Northern Ireland where he not only has to deal with his own RUC administration, but with the British army, the IRA, the “neutral” business community, and even American law enforcement.
A mysterious body turns up in a trunk, minus many body parts which makes identification difficult and any links to other odd crimes even harder. Yet Duffy and his principal colleague persist, even against administrative incompetence and reluctance. In these bitter, violence wracked pages, the author takes readers firmly by the arm and shows us what life was like in 1982 Belfast when the Falkland Island War began and drugs, unemployment and random violence was common. It is not a pretty picture, but the author is skillful, passionate and a fine story-teller in injecting bits of humanity along the way.
Sean Duffy’s life is fast descending into total ruin but he struggles on to find the truth of the death of the man with no arms. Painful as the path becomes, we cannot look away. A wonderful, dark, reading experience.
Reviewed by Carl Brookins, July 2013.
Author of Red Sky, Devils Island, Hard Cheese, Reunion.