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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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three-half-stars

Book review: Bloody January by Alan Parks

Friday, January 19, 2018 Permalink

It’s only in recent years I’ve discovered books set during the years of my childhood… years in which I was pretty ignorant of the events taking place on the other side of the world. As a result then, I’ve been very much enjoying books like Adrian McKinty’s Sean Duffy series, set in 1980s Belfast during the thick of the ‘Troubles’.

Bloody January by Alan Parks takes readers back to 1973 Glasgow, where bribery and corruption is practically expected and morality and ethics only just entering the culture of the police force. 

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three-half-stars

Book review: Girl in Snow by Danya Kukafka

Saturday, September 2, 2017 Permalink

This will sound weird (and I know that’s never stopped me before) but there was something about: the title of this book, its cover and name of the author which made me think I was about to embark on Nordic Noir. And I was a little worried as not all books I’ve read which have been popular in their country of origin have translated as I’d hoped. (And I guess the same can be said when a great TV show is remade in English and into something a little more mainstream.)

However… all of those weird prejudices aside, this book was very very different to whatever it was I’d imagined and was – most certainly – an excellent read.

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four-half-stars

Book review: Good Friday by Lynda La Plante

Monday, August 28, 2017 Permalink

Lynda La Plante’s Tennison was one of my favourite books when released in 2015. It’s basically the backstory of Jane Tennison – the ‘take no shit’ senior detective / chief inspector whatzit from her popular Prime Suspect books and the (equally popular) TV series based on those books (starring Helen Mirren).

Set in the early 1970s, Tennison, Hidden Killers, and now Good Friday, focus around the early years of Jane… after she first joins the police force. Obviously the sexist attitudes and prejudice she experiences in the Prime Suspect series (kicking off in the early 1990s) is nothing compared to the attitudes of many two decades earlier… but the resilient and resourceful young Jane doesn’t let that stand in her way.

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four-stars