Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Irish Times Reviews Duffy#3

no I can't explain the Krusty The Clown hair either...
It used to be that when I had a new book out I spent the next couple of weeks doing individual blog posts covering the newspaper reviews I'd gotten for that book. This served 2 functions: it let people know about the novel who happened to miss that particular review and it gave me a little self-pat on the back...I'm not a best selling author and my books arent the sort that get on The Culture Show or Charlie Rose but I do generally get good reviews which I certainly don't mind sharing on the blog. However with this book - In The Morning I'll Be Gone - I'm not going to do that plan because it's a bit of an embarrassment of riches this time around (*blushing*) and it would make the blog extremely bloody tedious over the next fortnight if I posted every single newspaper review in full. I do appreciate all the reviews and the reviewers but I just don't to weary everyone on here with endless stuff about me, me, me. Anyway over the weekend Duffy#3 got reviews in The Daily Mail, The Sun, The Times, The Irish Times, The Irish Independent and there were interviews with me in the Sunday World and The Belfast Telegraph (the Bel Tel interview is accompanied by a really goofy looking photograph of me which a good friend of mine thinks is the worst pic of me online (I'm republishing this (right) to prove him wrong!)) and in the last couple of weeks reviews came in from, among others, The Guardian and The Sunday Times. Instead of posting them all in full I've made a supercut of those reviews (taking out plot spoilers) which you can read, here. But I do want to publish one review for the casual blog reader so the one I've picked is Declan Burke's review in The Irish Times, because it's got a short summary of the previous books, because its to the point and it because it doesn't spoil the end. 

In The Morning I'll Be Gone
Adrian McKinty

Declan Burke

A Catholic officer in the RUC during the 1980s, Sean Duffy is an insider with an outsider’s perspective, that classic staple of the crime novel. Adrian McKinty’s In the Morning I’ll Be Gone (Serpent’s Tail, €18.75) follows on from The Cold, Cold Ground (2012) and I Hear the Sirens in the Street (2013), both of which were set in Northern Ireland and had for their backdrops the 1981 hunger strikes and the scandal surrounding the DeLorean affair, respectively. Margaret Thatcher, the late British prime minister, casts a long shadow over the events of In the Morning I’ll Be Gone, which is set in 1984. 

Never fully trusted by his largely Protestant RUC colleagues, Duffy is further ostracised when an old classmate, an IRA man named Dermot McCann, escapes from the Maze prison and rumours begin to circulate about an impending IRA “spectacular”. Duffy’s pursuit of the elusive McCann provides the narrative spine for this compelling thriller, McKinty’s 10th crime title, with Duffy encountering spooks, killers and civilians sympathetic to “the cause” as he tries to navigate a bewildering hall of mirrors constructed from Northern Ireland’s myriad hidden agendas. Not content with constructing a complex plot, McKinty further wraps his story around a deliciously old-fashioned “locked room” mystery, the solution to which holds the key to Duffy’s entire investigation. Driven by McKinty’s brand of lyrical, hard-boiled prose, leavened by a fatalistic strain of the blackest humour, In the Morning I’ll Be Gone is a hugely satisfying historical thriller.

39 comments:

seana graham said...

I'm about 2/3rd done with my reading of it, and even though it's my second read through--the first being the not wholly corrected text--I have been absorbed in it to the exclusion of other reads that technically have priority.

There's been so much talk of the locked room aspect here and elsewhere lately, of which you should be justly proud, that I'd kind of forgotten how much other good stuff is in it. I don't think the locked room aspect even gets going till a third of the way in. Meanwhile, you've got Skinny Mickey, border patrol, secret roads, to name but a few aspects.

adrian mckinty said...

Seana

Thats right. I forgot about Michael Forsythe. As Ger Brennan informs me this is called an Easter Egg - a gift for the fans.

I suppose I should warn people though that its not like Falling Glass where MF is a character (a minor character but still a character) and has a very important part in concluding the story. In Duffy#3 its only a cameo appearance and he doesnt really forward the story, at least not much.

Alan said...

Adrian.I am reading it slowly and it has wonderful prose with so much Irish history ,poetic lyricism,wit and humor that I am trying not to finish it .The " locked room" is an Irish conundrum in that a whole nation appears to be locked in a room fashioned by history and geography with " Huis clos." I begin to think that the emigration of some of the characters in the book seem to mirror your life.This indeed is a fine book and a riveting tale which I only wish was longer but who knows where the spirit will move your pen(Typewriter) in the future.I did not know that Bass is a big seller in the land of Guinness.Best Alan

adrian mckinty said...

Alan

Thanks for the kind words and the Sartre ref.

Bass is a BIG seller in Ireland. Indeed when I was a kid I only ever drank Bass or Smithwicks and almost never Guinness. Only the real idiots drank Harp. Speaking of...I remember watching Good Will Hunting and thinking "if he's supposed to be such a genius how come he's drinking the worst beer in Ireland/possibly the world"

Steve Cavanagh said...

Can't wait to read Duffy #3. By the way, the Krusty the Clown hair is the least of your worries in that pic. I'm a little more concerned about the vast arsenal of automatic weapons at your disposal. There has to be a damn fine story behind that picture; it looks as though you're killing time whilst waiting for the FBI negotiator to arrive. But don't listen to me, I'm just bitterly and baldly jealous of that hair!

Peter Rozovsky said...

1) Your book is teriffic.

2) Your wife is a fox.

3) Your haircut is shite.

adrian mckinty said...

Steve

The context was my birthday in Plum Island Massachussetts in either 2000 or 2001.

Used to have great birthdays when we'd spend the summer at my wifes mothers up there. Up early to go to the gun range where I'd fire off some AK's, MP5's (as you can see) and assorted pistols. Then to the Village Pancake House in Rowley for breakfast, then to the local driving range where you cd get a basket of balls and a bottle of Sam Adams for five bucks, then to Newburyport for clam chowder then to the White Farms icecream stand in Ipswich MA for the best icecream in New England then maybe a kayak around Plum Island basin then beer and a BBQ...Nice.

adrian mckinty said...

Peter

Thank you for 1 and 2. In my defence, and its a feeble defence I know, it was August so it was bound to be pretty humid...

You should see some of the school photos of me from the 70s and 80s. Julius Irving wd have told me to tone it down a peg or two...

adrian mckinty said...

maybe its Julius Erving with an E? Dr J. You know who I'm taking about.

Peter Rozovsky said...

I once ran into Dr. J. wandering around Old City in Philadelphia. But that picture was taken in 2000 or 2001. There is no excusing a haircut nearly as bad as the one I had for my brother's bar mitzvah in 1974.

speedskater42k said...

I just looked, and it's going to be available on Audible March 4th.

Yay!!

adrian mckinty said...

Peter

Youre not buying that humidity line then?

Peter Rozovsky said...

If I were a lawyer representing humidity, I'd sue you.

adrian mckinty said...

Speedskater


Ah great. I had a funny conversation with Doyle about you pronounced Toyota Celica. Is is Sell ee ka? Or is it Sellica? I had to look up an old British ad for the car on youtube to find out. Those 80s car ads are pretty funny by the way.

Who is driving a Toyota Celica Supra and why? Ahh, you'll have to wait until March to find out.

seana graham said...

Yes, I think that for the fans, MF's cameo was more satisfying than his later one in Falling Glass, small though it is.

adrian mckinty said...

Peter

Ha!

adrian mckinty said...

Seana

Yeah in FG he's very much the villain.

lil Gluckstern said...

I am waiting for my copy from the Book Deository and not happy-yet. I am ready to write a letter to Marilyn DiStasio and demand that she review it. It is the NYT, and they may be playing it safe-no "Troubles " to be mentioned. Any way, I'm thrilled for you!.

seana graham said...

Lil, not that I'm trying to turn you into a milquetoast, but it seems like it might be a legitimate question to just ask her why she hasn't gotten on to reviewing McKinty yet. It is somewhat mystifying.

adrian mckinty said...

Lil, Seana

Its very interesting about Marilyn Stasio. When TCCG came out I sent her a book from Australia with a quote sheet with all the amazing British, Irish and Australian reviews. I felt sure that this time...No hint of a review though. Neither sending her the books and not sending her the books has ever worked. Marilyn Stasio hasn't reviewed any of my books except for a passing mention of The Bloomsday Dead.

I guess I'm just not her cup of tea.

Brendan O'Leary said...

Naively, I thought the gun was a SuperSoaker.

Brendan O'Leary said...

Intrigued by the mention of Marilyn di Stasio, I looked her up, then searched 'McKinty'. The two reviews of your books are not just unenthusiastic, but actively hostile. Maybe that's her style, I don't know. Is she influential?

adrian mckinty said...

Brendan

Yes. She's the most influential crime reviewer in America. Unfortunately for me.

seana graham said...

It's interesting that she's so influential, because her pieces tend to be short--a paragraph or so--and not particularly memorable. And I say that after long years of scanning the NYT book review at work. I don't think she ever persuaded me to read anything, though I was mildly interested to see what she'd say about something I'd already read.

adrian mckinty said...

Seana

A lot of the other papers take their lead from what the NYT does dont they though? Thats why I'm so screwed.

seana graham said...

I don't know--Nancy Pearl found you somehow, didn't she?

And quite honestly, it seemed to me that getting on a TV show or radio program sold a lot more books than the NYT in our part of the world. Unless it was the front page or something.

Just saw on the way home that Bookshop's friendly rival, the Capitola Book Café, is closing its doors after 37 years. It's not totally unexpected, but it's still sad news.

Peter Rozovsky said...

Other papers? What other papers?

Alan said...

Adrian,I think you nailed an important reason for lack of US receptivity for your well written novels.When I was growing in the Bronx near Gaelic Park and close to where your Michael pulled his pints We alays heard stories of endless British oppression of Cathoics in Ireland.With the Times reading elite still linking "The Troubles" with African-American emancipation the Times is chary to eviscerate it readership's preconceptions.These preconceptions are aided by a visceral and vituperative Irish -American population abetted by the likes of Peter King et al.This atitude must trickle down to its critics.It will change but a bit slowly e.g.Fordham Universithy report on the IRA campaigns of terror .Best Alan

adrian mckinty said...

Alan

I hope thats not true. Certainly the product that Hollywood used to put out in the 80s and 90s was very much in the genre that we call Troubles Trash with evil moustachioed twirly Brits and lumpen thick evil Prods and daring young long haired IRA rebels... But I havent seen one of those films for a while.

Hopefully nuance is in vogue...

adrian mckinty said...

Alan

I did give a book reading at Fordham once and it was quite well received...

swooperman said...

Received, read and reviews will be up by the weekend. Thoroughly enjoyed it as I expected

adrian mckinty said...

Swooper

Thanks mate!

swooperman said...

Done

adrian mckinty said...

Swooper

Cheers mate. Very much appreciate it.

Tim said...

Read all your work bar The Lighthouse Trilogy.

Bought this yesterday when I was hungover at Liverpool St station travelling to Cambridge. I am halfway through and have been really enjoying it and cant wait to see what follows Mr Duffy.

I loved the cheeky appearance of MF!

adrian mckinty said...

Tim

Loved putting in MF!

trevor said...

Just finished 'In the Morning...' which i enjoyed immensely. I loved the humour throughout, and your lightness of touch in the early part. The locked room is a stroke of genius--picked the perp but didn't solve the 'mystery'. Have you sheughed off Duffy for good? Maybe down the line he could meet Annie's relos 'fornint the clauk' in St Kilda? Perhaps they will have moved on from an Ulster fry and by then will be totally rapt 'in' the pastries of Acland Street?

adrian mckinty said...

Trev

Well lightness of touch except for some of those groaning puns in the chapter titles.

Maybe do another Duffy - who knows - but I'm off to the South Seas next.

I MUST do s'thing in St Kilda. The craic is spectacular. Enough happened on Sunday alone to us at the St Kilda festival to fill a third of a novel. Actually enough happened to me at the sea baths fifteen minutes ago to fill a chapter.

trevor said...

Sounds great. Look forward to it.