Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty
Our Review:For lovers of gritty crime fiction, go no further than Adrian McKinty. Adrian McKinty is an Irish crime novelist who has won the Ned Kelly Award and has been shortlisted for the Edgar Award, Dagger Award and the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. He began writing crime fiction in the US, but now resides in Melbourne with his family.
Meet Sean Duffy, a Catholic Detective Inspector in the overwhelmingly Protestant RUC- the Royal Ulster Constabulary or the police force, as it was then known in Northern Ireland. Set in the time of what is now universally known as a low-level civil war or as “The Troubles”, this is period where any member of the RUC was a legitimate target of the IRA. Our hero Sean, who is partial to a pint of Guinness and more recreational drugs, needs to have a lucid head each morning as he scans the underbelly of his car for mercury tilt-switch bombs. As a Catholic member of the RUC and the only Catholic living in a Protestant housing estate, he is loathed by both his Protestant peers and those of his own religion who view him as being a traitor to the cause …part of Sean Duffy’s back-story in the five book series in which he was rejected in his approach to join the IRA. Highly intelligent, insubordinate, with dubious links to everyone from M15 to rogue mafia members, he gets the job done. Rain Dogs is set in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1987. Detective Inspector Sean Duffy has to investigate a case involving an attractive female journalist, Lily Bigelow who has been found dead at Carrickfergus Castle. Looking like suicide, it feels uncomfortably like murder to Duffy. The castle is locked securely up every night so how could a killer get in or out – leading to the inevitable suicide verdict.
However there are enough red lights on the case for Duffy to keep the file open, especially when he discovers the news story she was working on, which could blow the lid on corruption and abuse at the highest levels of power in the UK and abroad.
Rain Dogs is a tough, gritty and witty novel with enough twists and turns to keep even the most discerning reader turning the pages. Adrian McKinty is a clever writer able to weave factual history with fiction, all the while capturing the atmosphere of Belfast and creating intensely believable characters. A great crime novel, read Rain Dogs as a stand alone book or part of the Sean Duffy series.Review by Nicole @ Great Escape Books
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