by Adrian McKinty
Kirkus During the Irish Troubles, a discouraged detective tackles a murder oddly similar to a past crime. The excitement of meeting Muhammad Ali on his Belfast visit quickly fades for DI Sean Duffy. He'd thought he and his girlfriend were doing fine, but she's determined to walk out on him, and he's depressed to be left behind. He's pushing 40, his career with the Royal Ulster Constabulary is stalled, and he has nothing to look forward to but checking for bombs under his car on his way to the Carrick station and pursuing a case of a missing wallet. But Duffy's superiors want him to take the case seriously because the victim is a visiting Finnish businessman who can bring money and jobs to Northern Ireland. After privately writing off the robbery as a prank, Duffy meets Lily Bigelow, a young reporter from the Financial Times, who's hoping for a few words about the case. Duffy's hoping for a date with her, and his disappointment that she doesn't take him up on it turns to shock when he sees her dead body in the courtyard of Carrickfergus Castle the next day. Lily had come for a tour and stayed behind when the caretaker locked up the castle for the night, and the only logical conclusions are that she jumped or the caretaker pushed her. Even though it seems impossible for anyone else to have entered the locked castle, neither Duffy nor his two junior colleagues are content to go with the obvious answers. And there's still the matter of Lily's missing journalist's notepad. When a violent murder turns the station upside down, Duffy can't shake the feeling that it's connected to Lily's death, and he won't give up the case, no matter how far it takes him or what the danger. Duffy (Gun Street Girl, 2015, etc.) is taking no better care of himself than he ever did. But his copper's instincts are as sharp as ever in this fifth installment. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Publishers Weekly Det. Insp. Sean Duffy must solve the equivalent of a locked-room mystery in McKinty's scorching fifth installment in his Troubles-set Northern Irish crime series (after 2015's Gun Street Girl). It's 1987 in Carrickfergus, and Duffy, a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, is constantly on the lookout for mercury tilt switch bombs planted underneath his car, the calling card of the IRA. Meanwhile, the body of Financial Times journalist Lily Bigelow is found in the courtyard of Carrickfergus Castle. The only way in or out of the centuries-old structure, now a tourist attraction, is through a heavy gate, and CCTV footage proves that no one entered or exited the castle at the time of Bigelow's death, making Duffy think that she likely threw herself off one of the high walls inside. But the forensics experts conclude someone murdered Bigelow, whom Duffy soon connects to a delegation of Finnish businessmen visiting Northern Ireland to perhaps bring new jobs. McKinty expertly balances Duffy's tense and suspenseful investigation with the political tensions of the region. Agent: Bob Mecoy, Creative Book Services. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly McKinty's new addition to his police procedural series featuring Sean Duffy, a detective in 1980s Belfast, kicks off when a young female journalist is found dead in the locked courtyard of Carrickfergus Castle. While the likable Duffy takes listeners through the twists and turns of the plot, the author paints a vivid, dimensional portrait of the man, the town, and the time. As the voice of nearly all of McKinty's novels, including the four previous in this series, native Irishman Doyle is no stranger to his well-plotted, darkly funny, socially conscious prose as well as the beaten-but-never-bowed Duffy. He delivers the detective's narration in a breezy, high-energy voice that magically retains its lyrical quality even when Duffy is down in the dumps. He also employs a bouquet of brogues in defining other coppers, including Duffy's loyal assistant, a caretaker of the castle, and various townsfolk. For a visiting delegation of businessmen from Finland, Doyle adds a chilly Nordic touch to their conversation about creating a local factory for manufacturing mobile phones. Though the project is beneficial to the area, when Duffy discusses it, his voice is rich with sarcasm, indicating his suspicion it will somehow involve and derail his investigation. A Prometheus Books/Seventh Street hardcover. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Book list *Starred Review* The chronicles of Carrickfergus detective Sean Duffy open a sardonic portal to 1980s Belfast; every detail rings true, from the persistent threat of mercury-tilt car bombs to the complex criminal motivations that breed in a climate of unrest. Financial Times reporter Lily Bigelow is covering a Finnish technology giant's highly publicized visit. The morning before the Finns' scheduled departure, Lily's body is found in Carrickfergus Castle, an apparent suicide from the castle walls. Duffy isn't convinced, but the only other explanation is a locked-room murder, and it's unlikely that he'd see another of those after solving the killing of Lizzie Fitzpatrick in a locked pub (In the Morning I'll Be Gone, 2014). Duffy traces Lily's movements in Belfast, telling his boss that he's tying up loose ends for the inquest. His investigation reveals a strong motive for murder; Lily was secretly investigating an anonymous tip implicating iconic celebrity Jimmy Savile, the visiting Finns, and powerful political players in a sex-abuse ring. Duffy is warned off the case by his superiors and dangerous representatives of the aforementioned suspects, so it's no easy feat to figure who murdered Lily Bigelow, not to mention how they managed to do it in a locked castle. McKinty manages a second locked-room success and folds in the recent headline-snatching Jimmy Savile scandal to boot; another standout in a superior series, combining terrific plotting with evocative historical detail.--Tran, Christine Copyright 2016 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Library Journal It's 1987 in Northern Ireland in the midst of the Troubles, and Sean Duffy, a 13-year veteran of the Ulster police but still a detective inspector, is confronted with a locked-room mystery. Lily Bigelow, a vibrant English journalist, has died in a fall from the heights of Carrickfergus castle; her death is ruled a suicide because the doors were locked and no one could have left. Bigelow had been accompanying a Finnish delegation looking at investment sites, but Duffy discovers that she secretly had been pursuing a tip about a pedophile ring. There are few clues, but more murders, and Duffy also has to deal with obstruction from higher levels. Verdict The violence of the Troubles is more in the background here than in McKinty's four award-winning previous series titles, and there are more details of Duffy's personal life. Still, it is a pleasure to be in the company of a master storyteller and stylist. McKinty uses some historical events as a basis for a strong moral point of view while still delivering a fine tale that should appeal to many levels of mystery fans.-Roland Person, formerly with Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.