Best Adrian McKinty books

Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel

Adrian McKinty

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Shortlisted for the Anthony, Ned Kelly, and Edgar® Awards!

Belfast 1988: A man is found dead, killed with a bolt from a crossbow in front of his house. This is no hunting accident. But uncovering who is responsible for the murder will take Detective Sean Duffy down his most dangerous road yet, a road that leads to a lonely clearing on a high bog where three masked gunmen will force Duffy to dig his own grave.

Hunted by forces unknown, threatened by Internal Affairs, and with his relationship on the rocks, Duffy will need all his wits to get out of this investigation in one piece.

The Cold Cold Ground: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel

Adrian McKinty

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Spring 1981. Northern Ireland. Belfast on the verge of outright civil war. The Thatcher government has flooded the area with soldiers, but nightly there are riots, bombings, and sectarian attacks.

In the midst of the chaos, Sean Duffy, a young, witty, Catholic detective in the almost entirely Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary, is trying to track down a serial killer who is targeting gay men. As a Catholic policeman, Duffy is suspected by both sides and there are layers of complications. For one thing, homosexuality is illegal in Northern Ireland in 1981. Then he discovers that one of the victims was involved in the IRA, but was last seen discussing business with someone from the Protestant UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force). Fast-paced, evocative, and brutal, this book is a brilliant depiction of Belfast at the height of the Troubles and a cop caught in the cross fire.
  
From the British and Irish reviews:
   
"If Raymond Chandler had grown up in Northern Ireland, The Cold Cold Ground is what he would have written." 
--Peter Millar, The Times 
  
"Adrian McKinty is fast gaining a reputation as the finest of the new generation of Irish crime writers, and it's easy to see why on the evidence of this novel, the first in a projected trilogy of police procedurals." 
--Doug Johnstone, The Glasgow Herald
  
"Written in a terse style, the novel is a literary thriller that is as concerned with exploring the poisonously claustrophobic demi-monde of Northern Ireland during the Troubles, and the self-sabotaging contradictions of its place and time, as it is with providing the genre's conventional thrills and spills. The result is a masterpiece of Troubles crime fiction: had David Peace, Eoin McNamee and Brian Moore sat down to brew up the great Troubles novel, they would have been very pleased indeed to have written The Cold Cold Ground."
 --Declan Burke, The Irish Times
  
"He manages to catch the brooding atmosphere of the 1980s and to tell a ripping yarn at the same time. There will be many readers waiting for the next adventure of the dashing, funny and intrepid Sergeant Duffy." 
--Maurice Hays, The Irish Independent
  
"What makes McKinty a cut above the rest is the quality of his prose. His driven, spat-out sentences are more accessible than James Ellroy's edge-of-reason staccato, and he can be lyric. The sound of a riot is "the distant yelling like that of men below decks in a torpedoed prison ship". The names of David Peace and Ellroy are evoked too often in relation to young crime writers, but McKinty shares their method of using the past as a template for the present. The stories and textures may belong to a different period, but the power of technique and intent makes of them the here and now. There's food for thought in McKinty's writing, but he is careful not to lose the force of his narrative in introspection. The Cold Cold Ground is a terrific crime novel, fast-paced, intricate and genre to the core." 
--Eoin McNamee, The Guardian.
  
"Tropes are tropes for good reason. The important crime-fiction ones are present and accounted for here -- a serial killer who purposely leaves clues, a cop who's on to him, procedural and forensic nitty-gritty. Yet McKinty can startle with bouts of lyrical scene-setting that could only come from the fingertips of someone who grew up in the environment. He tells us of "arcs of gasoline fire under the crescent moon... The scarlet whoosh of Molotovs intersecting with exacting surfaces. Helicopters everywhere: their spotlights finding one another like lovers in the Afterlife."
-- The Irish Sunday Independent

Rain Dogs: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel

Adrian McKinty

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"2017 Edgar Award Winner" (best paperback original)"

It’s just the same things over and again for Sean Duffy: riot duty, heartbreak, cases he can solve but never get to court. But what detective gets two locked-room mysteries in one career?
 
When journalist Lily Bigelow is found dead in the courtyard of Carrickfergus castle, it looks like a suicide. Yet there are just a few things that bother Duffy enough to keep the case file open. Which is how he finds out that she was working on a devastating investigation of corruption and abuse at the highest levels of power in the UK and beyond.
 
And so Duffy has two impossible problems on his desk: Who killed Lily Bigelow? And what were they trying to hide?

I Hear the Sirens in the Street: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel (The Troubles Trilogy)

Adrian McKinty

Best price for this book: $ 9.95

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A Barry Award winner and shortlisted for the Ned Kelly Award!

A torso in a suitcase looks like an impossible case. But Sean Duffy isn't easily deterred, especially when his floundering love life leaves him in need of distraction. So, with Detective Constables McCrabban and McBride, he goes to work identifying the victim. The torso turns out to be all that's left of an American tourist who once served in the US military. What was he doing in Northern Ireland in the midst of the 1982 Troubles?

The trail leads to the doorstep of a beautiful, flame-haired, twenty-something widow, whose husband died at the hands of an IRA assassination team just a few months before. Suddenly, Duffy is caught between his romantic instincts, gross professional misconduct, and powerful men he should know better than to mess with. These include British intelligence, the FBI, and local paramilitary death squads, enough to keep even the savviest detective busy.

Duffy's growing sense of self-doubt isn't helping. But, being a legendarily stubborn man, he doesn't let that stop him pursuing the case to its explosive conclusion.

Gun Street Girl: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel

Adrian McKinty

Best price for this book: $ 10.47

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Shortlisted for the Anthony, Ned Kelly, and Edgar® Awards! 

Belfast, 1985, amidst the “Troubles”:  Detective Sean Duffy, a Catholic cop in the Protestant RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary), struggles with burn-out as he investigates a brutal double murder and suicide. Did Michael Kelly really shoot his parents at point blank and then jump off a nearby cliff? A suicide note points to this conclusion, but Duffy suspects even more sinister circumstances. He soon discovers that Kelly was present at a decadent Oxford party where a cabinet minister’s daughter died of a heroin overdose.  This may or may not have something to do with Kelly’s subsequent death. 

New evidence leads elsewhere: gun runners, arms dealers, the British government, and a rogue American agent with a fake identity. Duffy thinks he’s getting somewhere when agents from MI5 show up at his doorstep and try to recruit him, thus taking him off the investigation.

Duffy is in it up to his neck, doggedly pursuing a case that may finally prove his undoing.

In the Morning I'll Be Gone: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel (The Troubles Trilogy)

Adrian McKinty

Best price for this book: $ 9.92

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A Ned Kelly Award winner!

Detective Sean Duffy works to crack a locked room mystery while tracking an escaped IRA master bomber.


The early 1980s. Belfast. Sean Duffy, a conflicted Catholic cop in the Protestant RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary), is recruited by MI5 to hunt down Dermot McCann, an IRA master bomber who has made a daring escape from the notorious Maze Prison. In the course of his investigations Sean discovers a woman who may hold the key to Dermot’s whereabouts; she herself wants justice for her daughter who died in mysterious circumstances in a pub locked from the inside. Sean knows that if he can crack the "locked room mystery," the bigger mystery of Dermot’s whereabouts might be revealed to him as a reward. Meanwhile the clock is ticking down to the Conservative Party Conference in Brighton in 1984, where Mrs. Thatcher is due to give a keynote speech....

Dead I Well May Be: A Novel

Adrian McKinty

Best price for this book: $ 14.99

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This Irish bad-boy thriller -- set in the hardest streets of New York City -- brims with violence, greed, and sexual betrayal.

"I didn't want to go to America, I didn't want to work for Darkey White. I had my reasons. But I went."

So admits Michael Forsythe, an illegal immigrant escaping the Troubles in Belfast. But young Michael is strong and fearless and clever -- just the fellow to be tapped by Darkey, a crime boss, to join a gang of Irish thugs struggling against the rising Dominican powers in Harlem and the Bronx. The time is pre-Giuliani New York, when crack rules the city, squatters live furtively in ruined buildings, and hundreds are murdered each month. Michael and his lads tumble through the streets, shaking down victims, drinking hard, and fighting for turf, block by bloody block.

Dodgy and observant, not to mention handy with a pistol, Michael is soon anointed by Darkey as his rising star. Meanwhile Michael has very inadvisably seduced Darkey's girl, Bridget -- saucy, fickle, and irresistible. Michael worries that he's being followed, that his affair with Bridget will be revealed. He's right to be anxious; when Darkey discovers the affair, he plans a very hard fall for young Michael, a gambit devilish in its guile, murderous in its intent.

But Darkey fails to account for Michael's toughness and ingenuity or the possibility that he might wreak terrible vengeance upon those who would betray him.

A natural storyteller with a gift for dialogue, McKinty introduces to readers a stunning new noir voice, dark and stylish, mythic and violent -- complete with an Irish lilt.

The Dead Yard: A Novel

Adrian McKinty

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In this riveting sequel to Adrian McKinty's acclaimed debut, Dead I Well May Be, mercenary bad boy Michael Forsythe is back - the hero "other writers can only aspire to create" (Ed McBain). While on holiday in Spain, Michael Forsythe is arrested in the chaos of a soccer riot and hauled off to jail. Back on the wrong side of the law, the Belfast native has no hope of release - until a seductive female British Intelligence Agent makes Michael an offer he can't refuse: Avoid jail time in a Mexican hellhole by taking on a special FBI assignment and infiltrating a dangerous Irish terrorist cell back in the States. Within hours Michael is thrust into the nightmarish world of madmen known for their distinctive brands of torture and revenge - all while trying to hide his true identity. Coming face-toface with murder, deceit, and lustful desire in all the wrong places, Michael knows that in order to survive he must kill . . . or be killed.

Falling Glass

Adrian McKinty

Best price for this book: $ 8.99

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"McKinty possesses a talent for pace and plot structure that belies his years."—Publishers Weekly

Killian makes a living enforcing other people's laws, collecting debts, dealing out threats and finding people who do not wish to be found. But when Richard Coulter, an Irishman with political connections, offers him half a million to track down his ex-wife and children, Killian finds himself embroiled in something far bigger than he bargained for.

Adrian McKinty grew up in Northern Ireland and lived in the United States for a number of years. His novel Fifty Grand won the 2010 Spinetingler Award.

Fifty Grand: A Novel of Suspense

Adrian McKinty

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This knockout punch of a thriller from a critically acclaimed author follows a young Cuban detective’s quest for vengeance against her father’s killer in a Colorado mountain town

A man is killed in a hit-and-run on a frozen mountain road in the town of Fairview, Colorado. He is an illegal immigrant in a rich Hollywood resort community not unlike Telluride. No one is prosecuted for his death and his case is quietly forgotten.

Six months later another illegal makes a treacherous run across the border. Barely escaping with her life and sanity intact, she finds work as a maid with one of the employment agencies in Fairview. Secretly, she begins to investigate the shadowy collision that left her father dead.

The maid isn’t a maid. And she’s not Mexican, either. She’s Detective Mercado, a police officer from Havana, and she’s looking for answers: Who killed her father? Was it one of the smooth- talking Hollywood types? Was it a minion of the terrifying county sheriff? And why was her father, a celebrated defector to the United States, hiding in Colorado as the town ratcatcher?

Adrian McKinty’s live-wire prose crackles with intensity as we follow Mercado through the swells of emotion and violence that lead up to a final shocking confrontation.