Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Guardian Reviews In The Morning I'll Be Gone

The perspicacious, well read and generally brilliant John O'Connell reviews In The Morning I'll Be Gone in last Friday's Guardian thusly: 

It's a sad day for fans of Adrian McKinty's smart 1980s-set procedurals featuring mordantly charismatic Belfast cop Sean Duffy. Not because his latest, In the Morning I'll Be Gone (Serpent's Tail, £12.99), is any sort of let-down, but because it concludes what has been a hugely enjoyable trilogy. In some ways, Duffy resembles Iain Banks's young male heroes – crass and impetuous, but also wickedly funny and capable of an intense, redeeming empathy. At first he is on his uppers, having been kicked out of the police force on a trumped-up charge, but he rises to the occasion when MI5 seek his help tracking down an old acquaintance who has become an IRA explosives mastermind. Having solved, in return for information, the "locked room" mystery of a barmaid who apparently fell to her death while changing a lightbulb, Duffy has a ringside seat at one of the 80s biggest terrorist atrocities. Farewell, Duffy – and I share your feelings about Robert Plant's 1983 album The Principle of Moments.

34 comments:

Alan said...

Adrian,Wonderful review from a very credible source.I hope even though you have said otherwise that A Bientot is perhaps in order rather than farewell.Indeed if Michael can comeback for an encore so can Sean.It appears that two books with your stamp will be coming my way in 2014 "Belfast Noir" and "In The Morning..."Brilliant" start to a New Year.Best Alan

adrian mckinty said...

Alan

A Bientot peut etre.

SPOILER ALERT

I did write a few chapters of a possible Duffy #4 but they didn't end up using them as a possible teaser. Perhaps Duffy will go on hiatus or perhaps he'll be suspended in limbo between life and death like ANOTHER SPOILER ALERT Killian in Falling Glass

seana graham said...

Well, it's the end of the trilogy for sure. Sean Duffy, on the other hand, may have some sort of afterlife.

adrian mckinty said...

Seana

In a bit of breaking news my editor at ST just gave the OK this morning to a standalone I've just finished which will be a bit of a departure for me. Only me, my editor and of course Dec Burke and John McFetridge have seen that one...

I dont know how much I should or indeed am allowed to say about that one except that its set in 1906 and takes place in a German Colonial possession in the Pacific. Oh and its sort of a true story.

seana graham said...

Thanks for the exclusive. Oh, wait...

I was watching the usual MSNBC suspects last night and was actually getting kind of excited about the prospect of 2014 being a Progressive sort of year. But unfortunately, some other program reminded me that 2014 was the centennial of 1914, and I think my heart slowed down for a moment.

Hopefully you have the power to rewrite history. 1906 is a good running start.

adrian mckinty said...

Seana

There's a good editorial on 2014 and the parallels with 1914 in the Economist Christmas issue if you can find one lying around.

In fact now that I come to think of it, there's half a dozen brilliant articles in the Economist Christmas issue so it's really worth looking out.

seana graham said...

It's a shame that I don't work at the bookstore anymore, at least on the periodical level. But I'll see what I can do.

seana graham said...

I forgot to mention that I found the link to the article on line, which is HERE for anyone else interested. Don't know about the other articles though.

I got interested in The Sleepwalkers by Christopher Clark from some list or other. It's the build up to WWI.

Anne said...


Adrian, you might want to warn those of a nervous disposition to give that Economist Christmas issue a miss if they wish to sleep easy at night.! I hate to introduce a note of gloom this early in the new year, but my husband read that editorial and as an amateur historian interested in the causes of war, he is now convinced about the likelihood of a Third World War scenario this year, involving not just the usual Middle East suspects, but with the added threat of a looming Sino/Japanese conflict. Mind you, being of Northern Ireland extraction, he is a terrible pessimist at heart.

adrian mckinty said...

Anne, Seana

Yup its pretty darn terrifying that piece. And chillingly convincing.

However the issue is still worth reading for the wonderful articles on: the motorway service station in the middle of England, teaching the Irish language in Belfast, French melancholia, mothers in law in India etc.

Liam Hassan said...

Adrian - I read that piece in the guardian last week. Great review - bodes well for the book release. From your last couple of blogs I saw some comments about the difficulties of a novel set in Norn Iron getting sales overseas in the Uk and the US. Maybe people are now ready for novels that don t follow the usual "Devil's Own" troubles-trash genre.

Also watched Sightseers over Xmas. Brilliant. I would recommend Berberian Sound System as well - watched it last night, very unsettling.

swooperman said...

Tis a worrying article that! Good review though mate, can't ask for much more than that

swooperman said...

Tis a worrying article that! Good review though mate, can't ask for much more than that

John McFetridge said...

Great news about the standalone, it's a terrific book.

And as I am a pessimist at heart, too, I also liked Economist article. It's really hard to imagine America's huge military not being used more this century. It's become such a dominant part of America's economy.

Every once in a while I take another look at Eisenhower's, "military industrial complex" speech....

adrian mckinty said...

Liam

Yeah Sightseers. How can you not love it? The Brummie accents alone are worth the price of admission.

I hope its true about Norn Irn but I still think there's that gasp of horror when the subject comes up for a lot of people...

adrian mckinty said...

Swooper

Yeah but the stuff on Indian Mothers in Law scared me more.

adrian mckinty said...

John

But who is going to fight this war? In January I talked to a guy at Schofield barracks in Hawaii who was on his fourth overseas combat deployment. He was exhausted, twice divorced, broke, utterly worn out by the last 10 years...

John McFetridge said...

Wasn't finding people to fight in 1914 supposed to be an issue, too? Weren't all the workers saying they wouldn't fight the aristocrats war?

Or maybe drones. As long as there's plenty of fear and lots of money being spent.

seana graham said...

John, I think it might be slightly different to have a theoretical strike against the aristocrats and to know someone who has recently fought in Iraq or Afghanistan. Or so I gather from this recent Slate piece, Tell Me Again, Why Did My Friends Die in Iraq?

Although if some other country starts it, that's a whole different story.

adrian mckinty said...

John, Seana

And its not just the people who died or were gravely wounded. The kid I talked to who was about to fly to Afghanistan and presumably is there right now had never been seriously wounded in three tours but was completely worn out. I'm 45 and he was 29 and he had the face of an old old man not me.

And yes what exactly was the point of invading Iraq for all that pain and death? And the men who advocated it, urged it, wanted it are not pariahs but respected members of the community. Tom Friedman and David Brooks still work for The New York Times and they did more than anyone to push the mute button on the liberal case against the war.

John McFetridge said...

Seana, I've been reading a lot of stories about draft dodgers (and deserters) who came to Canada in the late 60s and early 70s and they sound very familiar. Although maybe the question, "Why are we killing all these people," comes up more often then, "Why did my friends die." But there never seems to be a shortage of willing people.

And someone else always starts it, don't they? Sometimes they might even have a reason....

seana graham said...

Well, the case is always MADE that someone else has started it. But I'm hoping that American burnout on long term, no win projects will save us from what happened in 1914.

Or at least I really really hope that we are inoculated for the near future against reflexive action. I don't have any hope that we will learn our lessons or anything like that twenty years down the road or anything. I just hope we can somehow manage to avoid global conflagration for the present.



Anne said...

Adrian, Seana and John
'Who is going to fight this war?' ......
According to pessimist historian husband, under the terms of the treaty signed in 1945 after the Japanese surrender, the USA is obliged to defend Japan against attack from other countries. So, there may not be a lot of choice in the matter. (He who sows the wind ?)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Mutual_Cooperation_and_Security_between_the_United_States_and_Japan

Anne said...

Sorry, got the date of the treaty wrong - it was 1952. Plus, crucially, 'In 2012, the United States clarified in a statement over the dispute over the Senkaku Islands that the US-Japan Security Treaty does cover the islands, and obliges the US to defend them as Japanese territory'.

verymessi said...


John and all,

Have you read "War is a Racket" by Smedley Butler? Not much has changed since he wrote it.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Is_a_Racket

John McFetridge said...

About the only thing that has changed since Smedley wrote that is that it has become even more entrenched.

And yet also separated from America at large. Rachel Maddow's "Drift" covers it pretty well.

It's pretty much all that stuff the sci-fi writers predicted. "Starship Troopers" may have been satire to some, it was a blueprint for others.

seana graham said...

Anne, that sounded familiar when I read what you wrote, but no, I hadn't remembered that.

Don't know why I haven't gotten on to Drift yet, Maddow fan that I am. But yes, entrenched yet separate from daily life is about right.

John McFetridge said...

Seana, I don't really know much about the Affordable Care Act but some people have said that it's insurance companies following the same road as defense contractors. Essentially it's the same thing as student loans or mortgages - any kind of money/loan that's backed by the government is sought after by corporate America.

seana graham said...

Yes, it would have been better to have kept the insurance companies out of it, but apparently that was not realistic politically. I've heard one theory that the big companies, which deal with a lot of stuff besides insurance, will ultimately get out of the insurance racket because it won't be profitable enough for them and the whole thing will be taken over by non-profits in the end anyway. One good thing about the law is that a certain rather large percentage of income has to actually go toward patient care which is why it might not be so appealing to them in the end.

There was a fascinating if horrifying article in the New Yorker awhile ago about how a two person marketing team managed to taint the idea of national health care for several generations, which is online in its entirety I just discovered.

John McFetridge said...

Some things seem a lot easier to taint than others. It's always easier to sell people something they already want.

seana graham said...

According to the article, the idea of a federal health insurance enjoyed widespread support until this marketing duo, hired by the American medical association tarred it with the brush of socialism, which was an even bigger bogeyman with Americans than it is today.

John McFetridge said...

Well, that's kind of what I mean. When there's such a big bogeyman it's fairly easy to tie things to it.

It's almost funny to think that there could be widespread support for universal healthcare but an equally widespread fear of socialism.

seana graham said...

What was odd to me was that there was no widespread resistance to the idea of government run healthcare UNTIL the marketers had had their way. People didn't think of it as socialism, which is probably why its proponents weren't adequately prepared to fight back against the tactic.

verymessi said...

What was odd to me was that there was no widespread resistance to the idea of government run healthcare UNTIL the marketers had had their way. People didn't think of it as socialism, which is probably why its proponents weren't adequately prepared to fight back against the tactic.


This has been the case for years. The general population is basically social democratic on issue after issue. Both political parties stand to the right of the general population with health care being a prime example.

General support of a single payer program has run somewhere around 60+% for over 20 years. But it is not an option in a corporate run society like the USA. Its not "politically practical" is the usual explanation.

The population is in favor but it is not practical!