Set in 1988 in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, Edgar-finalist McKinty’s riveting sixth Sean Duffy novel (after 2016’s Rain Dogs) pits the detective inspector against some of his toughest foes yet. Francis Deauville, a known heroin dealer, is found shot to death by a crossbow in front of his home, his wife sobbing over his corpse. Duffy and his faithful right-hand man, Det. Sgt. John “Crabbie” McCrabban, wonder whether the murder is tied to a local IRA splinter group known as Direct Action Against Drug Dealers, but no one is claiming responsibility for either Deauville’s murder or a separate crossbow attack on another drug dealer. Back at the station, Duffy also juggles office politics, as it appears the least qualified among the coppers is rising in the ranks, while Duffy remains behind. The IRA, a constant presence in the series, looms large and ugly, notably in a brutal blitz attack, which will leave even seasoned readers shaking. Whether Duffy will live to see another installment remains uncertain to the end. Agent: Bob Mecoy, Creative Book Services. (Mar.)
THE DETECTIVE SEAN DUFFY NOVELS HAVE WON SPINETINGLER, BARRY, AND NED KELLY AWARDS AND HAVE BEEN SHORTLISTED FOR THE EDGAR, ANTHONY, CWA IAN FLEMING, AND THEAKSTON AWARDS.
“McKinty is one of the great storytellers writing crime fiction today.”
– DON WINSLOW, New York Times-bestselling author of The Cartel
"McKinty is one of Britain's great contemporary crime writers and the Sean Duffy books are his masterpiece."
– IAN RANKIN, New York Times-bestselling author of Rather Be the Devil
“This is the sixth novel in the series.... For readers who have not shared in the rapture, there is no time like the present to join…. A must read for fans of Stuart Neville and Celtic noir.”
– Booklist STARRED REVIEW
“McKinty's hero is irreverent, charming, and mordantly, laugh-out-loud funny, and his eclectic personal soundtrack and bitter, pragmatic politics make for vivid period detail.”
– Kirkus Reviews STARRED REVIEW
"McKinty continues to astound .... [His] novels are, in my mind, already elevated to canonical status.... McKinty takes the time-tested conventions of the mystery genre and builds a narrative utterly unique and compelling over them.... In short, McKinty has learned from the masters, and in my opinion, now is one."
"Mixes a mordant wit and casual, unpredictable violence that vividly portrays a turbulent time.... McKinty is in full command of language, plot, and setting in a terrifying period of history that sometimes seems forgotten. Fans of gritty Northern Irish crime writers such as Stuart Neville, Declan Hughes, and Brian McGilloway will enjoy this talented author."
– Library Journal STARRED REVIEW
"Remarkably clever.... Written in a darkly funny, laconic style... riveting. The noir ambiance is irresistible, and the Belfast setting is disturbingly vivid.... Sure to inspire readers to go back and catch up on more of McKinty's superb writing.... An excellent noir thriller."
– Shelf Awareness for Readers
Sean Duffy, a flawed but dogged and streetwise sleuth, is digging his own grave at gunpoint as the latest book in McKinty's (Rain Dogs) series opens. He and his small team of police officers have been stymied since the moment they picked up the case of a Carrickfergus drug dealer killed by a crossbow. The man had paid off paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland. Why would someone kill him? Why did his wife disappear? Who wants to shut down Sean's investigation?VERDICT This gritty mystery that explores violent conflict in Northern Ireland during the 1980s is the sixth book in McKinty's series about the Irish "Troubles"; however, new readers can pick it up as a stand-alone. Perfect for Stuart Neville aficionados and police procedural buffs.--LH
Detective Inspector Sean Duffy of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (Rain Dogs, 2016, etc.) tries to cut back on the smoking and do decent police work despite bombs, riots, and bureaucracy.By 1988, the Troubles have turned any high-minded nationalism, loyalist or republican, into little more than a front for drug runners and sociopaths. Still, no one trusts the likes of Duffy, a Catholic taking the king's shilling. When a penny-ante heroin dealer is found dead, the only surprise is that he was shot with a crossbow. For once, the paramilitaries aren't claiming credit for wiping out the scourge of drug dealers (read: their competition), and the silent, untraceable, and perfectly legal crossbow is a devilishly clever murder weapon. The victim's widow, Elena Deauville, has clearly been smuggling their stock in from Bulgaria, and though she's not talking, Duffy knows she knows something. Meanwhile, Duffy's posh, Protestant girlfriend, Beth, wants to move to a posh, Protestant house. When Duffy hesitates, Beth packs herself and their baby off to her parents'. The brass are pushing Duffy to write off the case—no one cares about a dead criminal—when Elena disappears. While Belfast riots, Duffy uncovers a part of Ulster's bloody history casting its long shadows over his case, as over everything else. McKinty's hero is irreverent, charming, and mordantly, laugh-out-loud funny, and his eclectic personal soundtrack and bitter, pragmatic politics make for vivid period detail.