Belfast, 1985. Amid the Troubles, Detective Sean Duffy, a Catholic cop in the Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary, struggles with burnout 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, which 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.
Fans of Ned Kelly Award winner McKinty's Troubles trilogy (The Cold Cold Ground, etc.) will welcome this fourth outing for Sean Duffy, a Catholic detective for the Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary, in 1985 Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. Fighting internal forces on the one side and dealing with pressure from MI5 on the other, Duffy looks into the double murder of 22-year-old Michael Kelly's parents. Michael apparently jumped off a cliff to his death after shooting them in the family living room. True to police procedural form, Duffy keeps up the world-weary demeanor even when his investigation calls the initial causes of the murders and suicide into doubt. Though the precarious Northern Irish context adds color and McKinty has a flair for detail (Duffy has to check under his car for bombs every time he drives), Duffy's humdrum love affairs, with his one-dimensional romantic interests and McKinty's stock dialogue, only reinforce old clich s.
Well done Mr McKinty. Read it one night. Best compliment I can give a book