Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Sunday Times Reviews In The Morning I'll Be Gone

The great John Dugdale of The Sunday Times reviews Duffy#3, In The Morning I'll Be Gone, in today's paper thusly: 

 Adrian McKinty’s In the Morning I’ll Be Gone (Serpent’s Tail £12.99, ST Bookshop price £10.99), sees his smart, irreverent Northern Irish detective Sean Duffy carrying out a secret mission in 1984. Duffy’s former schoolmate Dermot McCann has escaped from prison, and MI5 wants the IRA bomber traced. Duffy’s inquiries get nowhere until he meets McCann’s mother-in-law, Mary, whose younger daughter supposedly died in an accident in a pub. Mary believes she was murdered, and promises to reveal the terrorist’s whereabouts if he identifies the killer.

The novel hence becomes a locked room mystery within a manhunt killer, a clever and gripping set-up that helps makes Duffy's third outing easily his best so far. Like its predecessors it weaves a fictional narrative into real events. In this case with its climax at the [deleted because of spoilers] McKinty's reworking of history has wider resonance...

I'm afraid that's as far as I got in the story before the paywall kicked in, but it sounded like he liked it. Of course there could be a huge kick in the pants in the next paragraph. If you're a Times subscriber you can read the whole thing, here. (Do be careful of that spoiler alert though). 
...
And while its not my place to tell you how to spend your Amazon voucher, Christmas bonus or Book token (do such things still exist?) I will say that Duffy#1 won the Spinetingler Award for best crime novel, Duffy#2 was shortlisted for the Ned Kelly Award for best crime novel and now we have the knowledgeable Mr Dugdale saying this is in fact the best of the three. . .

25 comments:

seana graham said...

I thought you did a very good job with the locked room mystery,and that's a difficult thing to accomplish, but I think the series is very even in its strengths. People should just read them all. In order.

adrian mckinty said...

Seana

Thats very nice of you to say so!

I think book 1 is strongest on atmosphere and language, book 2 has the tightest and most economical story and book 3 was certainly the most fun to write in terms of the puzzle and idea of a nesting a locked room inside a noir and possibly its the most fun to read too. Book 3 has I think got the best jokes too.

seana graham said...

For me, it's very hard to beat the first one, because that's the one that introduces you to that world and to Sean Duffy and his complications. For funny, the banter between Sean and his colleagues is hard to beat as well. But as far as I can tell, there isn't an energy dip when you get to the sequels, which can happen. And the locked room aspect brings in a new angle in case there was too much similar to the others.

Maybe the next jokes, but there is a sad thing in this story too. Which of course I will say no more of.

adrian mckinty said...

Seana

And a couple of cameos that people might like in bk 3.

Gerard Brennan said...

I thought it was the funniest of the three as well. And the most fun. I'm going to have to read the trilogy again to figure out which one is my true-blue favourite, though. I'm doing that vicariously through Mrs B at the minute. She's just started reading Cold Cold Ground.

gb

Gerard Brennan said...

Oh, and congrats on the review, of course!

gb

HARDBARNED said...

Just waiting impatiently for Mr. Duffy's 3rd adventure to arrive in America. They tell me it will be March, which isn't soon enough, of course. Maybe next up, a sequel to Falling Glass? That's a favorite of mine too, and Killian deserves a couple more adventures, but I realize you might want to leave that book's ending as-is!

John McFetridge said...

In addition to mixing a locked room with a thriller (which should be accomplishment enough for one book), the way the historical events are woven into this series is incredible.

The ending to book #3 is something we'll want to talk about at great length, you know, once we don't have to worry about spoilers.

Alan said...

Adrian,Splendid review which I hope translates into sales.I found the dialogue and juxtaposition of Catholic -Protestant cultures fun and fascinating.You are on a role.Well done .Best Alan

lil Gluckstern said...

So happy for you, and I can't wait to read the book.

KIKAREN said...

There's a fantastic article in the Observer today, Adrian - 'Meet the debut authors of 2014'. Right up your street.

seana graham said...

John, I think we are going to have to train ourselves in that hidden text style of writing, because how will we know when we haven't spoiled it for some latecomer?

Brendan O'Leary said...

I do subscribe to The Times (for the Crosswords! Seriously).

Thanks for the heads up on the spoiler, because I'd normally be reading the book reviews too.

I left a lonely comment on their round-up of last year's crime and thrillers, but I suspect it was an unheard tree falling in the forest. You can read it here: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/arts/books/fiction/article3942301.ece

I'm pretty sure it added exactly zero to your readership but now the big UK guns are firing in your favour, 2014 has to be a good year for McKinty.

adrian mckinty said...

Ger

Thanks man, I really do appreciate it. And if I may plug congrats yourself on an amazing story in Belfast Noir...

adrian mckinty said...

HB

Who knows what'll be next?

Well actually I do.

Its called The Sun Is God, that's about all I can say at the moment.

adrian mckinty said...

John

What IS the limit for Spoilers? I remember telling someone what happened at the end of the Mousetrap and got heavily chastised - this for a play which is 60 years old.

adrian mckinty said...

Alan

It probably wont translate into any sales at all but hey you never know...

adrian mckinty said...

Kikaren

I do like me a bunch of first time novelists. Its like a packet of Revels - you never know if you're going to get the Malteser or the stinky orange one.

adrian mckinty said...

Seana

Yeah exactly. Is it ok to say Hamlet dies at the end?

adrian mckinty said...

Brendan

Darn it, I was going to ask you to cut and paste me the full review but that would mean reading the spoiler so forget it...

seana graham said...

Well, you wouldn't tell what happens to Hamlet, or for that matter Romeo and Juliet to a bunch of grade schoolers.

And don't spring the Mousetrap on me, either. I don't think I've ever been anywhere where the Mousetrap was performed. I could read it, but reading plays is not my favorite way of experiencing them.

adrian mckinty said...

Seana

Ok I'll keep mum about the Mousetrap. Its playing in London. And will be playing in London for the forseable future.

seana graham said...

The closest I'm going to get to London right now is to read The Golden Notebook at the behest of my reading group.

I shouldn't say at the behest of my reading group because some percentage of them are rebelling.

I read it a long time ago and it didn't really stick. I liked Lessing's Africa stuff more. But that's okay, I think I might enjoy the London environs whatever I think of the didactics.

adrian mckinty said...

Seana

I dont remember anything about the Golden Notebook except for very small print which is hardly Doris Lessing's fault but still...

seana graham said...

I'm game to reread it except for the fact that my co-readers seem to be jumping ship right and left.