Book review: The Chain by Adrian McKinty

Sunday, July 7, 2019 Permalink

There is currently a LOT of hype around The Chain by Adrian McKinty. I keep seeing articles on social media about the film rights of a book written by an Uber driver sold for a seven figure sum.

There’s actually an interesting note in the back of this book from McKinty about life as a writer. He’s got his successful Sean Duffy series under his belt but it’s a reminder that many seemingly-successful creatives (authors and the like) don’t actually earn much from their craft. Most have other jobs and alternative sources of income. Which makes me feel a bit grumpy about some idiotic athletes who earn gazillions.

But enough of my ranting. Let’s get down to it cos this standalone by McKinty is (#spoileralert) certainly worth all of the praise it’s getting. I wasn’t sure I was going to be enamoured but I was gobsmacked at how ‘real’ it all felt from the opening lines.

four-half-stars

Book review: Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty

Saturday, January 2, 2016 Permalink

I was a latecomer to the work of Adrian McKinty, only reading his early 2015 novel Gun Street Girl a few months ago. It was a book I very much enjoyed and in that book review I mentioned the series featuring Detective Sean Duffy—a Catholic cop in the Protestant RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) and set in Belfast in the 1980s—was a reminder of a time in history I’m embarrassed to say I’d almost forgotten.

Religious and ethnic wars have moved on since then but McKinty’s series brings back a lot of memories for me (as a teenager in the 80s), and he’s continuing Duffy’s escapades in his latest novel (the fifth in the series), Rain Dogs.

four-stars

Book review: Gun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty

Saturday, August 22, 2015 Permalink

It may not surprise you to know that there appears to be no end to my ignorance. Though a self-professed lover of crime fiction (mysteries, thrillers, suspense novels, police procedurals etc) I continue to stumble across local authors with established repertoires and international reputations.

I blame my pre-2014 antipathy towards Aussie books for this and am trying to look on the bright side…. I have a wealth of already-published reading fodder on which to feast! When I get time.

Book review: Kill A Stranger by Simon Kernick

Sunday, December 20, 2020 Permalink

When I read the blurb for Kill A Stranger by Simon Kernick I was slightly worried it would be similar to The Chain by Adrian McKinty, which required a series of people to kidnap a child, so they can get their own child returned – a pay-it-forward concept if you like. However… that wasn’t the case which was a relief.

It reminded me a little of Louise Candlish’s popular The Other Passenger because parts of the novel are told in second person – which we discover – are actually our characters sharing their experiences with the police. So the events of the book are predominantly unfolding via police interviews.

four-stars

Book review: Snow by John Banville

Sunday, November 1, 2020 Permalink

I saw Irish author John Banville interviewed on television just over a decade ago. I’m not sure if he spoke about a book in particular or his creative process but I was sufficiently intrigued to borrow his recent release, The Infinities, on my next library visit.

Now I’m fairly obtuse so usually shy away from anything metaphorical and I’m not quite sure I knew what I was getting myself into. But I do recall being enchanted by the book… which is ostensibly about a dying man and his family. Not to mention some meddlesome immortals or gods. In my blissful haze I borrowed his better-known Booker Prize winning The Sea. I wasn’t using Goodreads at the time so my reaction isn’t there but I’m fairly sure (from memory) I barely made it a chapter or two when I put it aside. Its…. weighty slang-ridden prose far too erudite for moi.

three-half-stars

The second six months: my favourite books of 2019. Part two

Monday, December 9, 2019 Permalink

For several years now I’ve done an annual wrap-up post of the (new release) novels I’ve enjoyed most that year.

For the past couple of years I’ve actually done a ‘first half of the year’ post though usually skip over the ‘second half of the year’ post and go straight to the grand final… bypassing the semi finals completely.

Well not this year. Not only did I write my ‘fave novels released in the first half of 2019‘ post, but I’m following it up with those I’ve enjoyed most in the second half of the year.

Book review: Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay

Tuesday, July 16, 2019 Permalink

I’m posting this review earlier than planned as I accidentally read some of my TBR pile in the wrong order. As I only had this one electronically I didn’t have the usual media release and mistakenly thought it was out before some of the others on my list. So, oops.

Also, I’m a fan of Linwood Barclay and have read and reviewed many of his other books (and series) here, so happy to have read it slightly earlier than intended.

four-stars

Book review: Shadow Man by Alan Drew

Friday, January 26, 2018 Permalink

I’ve commented before on the number of books set in the not-too-distant past. Obviously for some – like Bloody January which I read recently, Adrian McKinty’s Sean Duffy series and Lynda LaPlante’s young Jane Tennison books – the time is almost another character in itself – the setting pivotal to the plot; but others just remind us of when things were different. A couple of my favourite series, the Robert B Parker Spenser series; and (the late) Sue Grafton’s alphabet series area (were, in the case of the latter) set just a couple few several decades ago. (Seems like yesterday but time flies, I mean… weren’t we worried about the Y2K bug just a couple of years ago?!)

Anyhoo, it’s a time before technology (as we now know it) was rife, before we had facts and information at our fingertips and, in some ways (given what we’re often exposed to), the opportunity for innocence was lost. 

three-half-stars