Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly
A Detective Sean Duffy Novel #6
Seventh Street Books, March 2017
A man is found dead in front of his home killed with a crossbow—not exactly your run-of-the-mill murder weapon. When Sean Duffy arrives at the scene of the crime, it had not been secured. Onlookers were milling around, trampling evidence, including a goat that was trying to eat the victim’s shoelaces. When Duffy asks after his partner, he discovers that the victim’s wife, Mrs. Deauville, a Bulgarian, stabbed Sergeant McCrabben with a fork, and he’s been taken to the hospital. Was the late Mr. Deauville a new drug dealer trying to break into the scene?
Duffy discovers that there had another attempted murder with a crossbow. The popular theory among the police is that the Catholic and Protestant paramilitaries, who divided up Belfast’s drug trade during the 1980s, are having some sort of turf war.
Set in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, there are plenty of mean streets, housing projects, gritty atmosphere, and Catholic/Protestant tensions pulsing through the story. Even Duffy’s home life is tense—his partner Beth is from a well-to-do Protestant family—and now that they have an infant daughter, things aren’t the same. Beth is researching her thesis, and feels pressured.
A great setting, sympathetic characters and a plot with plenty of surprises combine for an entertaining read. Sixth in the series.
Reviewed by Susan Belsky, May 2017.