Friday, January 13, 2017

My Sixth Starred Booklist Review In A Row

No, this is not a reblog. Last month I had a post with the headline: my sixth starred Kirkus Review in a row. Starred reviews in Booklist are also rare. This is my sixth in a row:

Issue: February 1, 2017 Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly. McKinty, Adrian (Author) Mar 2017. 320 p. Prometheus/Seventh Street, paperback, $15.95. (9781633882591). e-book, $11.99. (9781633882607).


The chronicles of Sean Duffy could not be contained in Adrian McKinty’s Troubles trilogy, and this is the sixth novel in this excellent series (after Rain Dogs, 2016). For readers who have not shared in the rapture, there is no time like the present to join. In Royal Ulster Constabulary Detective Duffy, McKinty has created a Chandleresque character who goes down the mean streets of Belfast, “a man of honor—by instinct, by inevitability.” He is a conflicted man in a very conflicted 1980s Belfast, where warring factions both demand protection money from drug dealers and execute them under the auspices of DAADD (Direct Action against Drug Dealers).

Duffy’s investigation into the death of a pusher takes him down some dangerous roads, always checking under his Beemer for a mercury tilt switch bomb before he careens off in it. Like his literary hero, Jules Maigret, Duffy considers himself “thoroughly existentially jaded.” But he is also very much like his TV idol, Sonny Crockett, from Miami Vice. [Brenda: How do you go from this tranquility to that violence? Crockett: I usually take the Ferrari.] They each operate effectively in their own demimonde and are supported by high-caliber bromance. Driving it all is McKinty’s compelling literary style: Duffy’s first-person narrative and internalized musing are lyrical and lengthy at first, then reduced intermittently to terse one sentence statements that move the story along at an astonishing pace. A must read for fans of Stuart Neville and Celtic noir.

— Jane Murphy