Monday, February 24, 2014

Adrian McKinty's 'In the Morning I'll Be Gone'

Another brilliant effort from McKinty. This one has a force and clarity that is compelling. The plot, part simple mystery and part political thriller, has a pace and drive that is relentless. 

Detective Inspector Sean Duffy is a tough, smart, rebellious, warm and witty hero. And has courage in spades.

One of McKinty's strengths is his real ear for dialogue - he captures the grit and earthiness that bring these Irish characters so marvelously alive. But most importantly he thrusts the reader into the heart of 'The  Troubles', the violent political Catholic/Protestant upheaval of Northern Ireland in the 70's and 80's, and makes you feel its terror, both at street level and in the higher echelons of power.

He is historically and culturally literate and litters his narrative with insightful allusions to Irish history and myth. Like Ian Rankin he has his protagonist fill his lonely hours with great music, both rock and classical. And like Rebus, Duffy relishes a drink - whatever the hour or occasion. 
They are grounded and human and I like that a lot. 

I understand McKinty envisaged only a trilogy for Sean Duffy, and 'In the Morning I'll Be Gone' is the third (as well as being the best). I hope sincerely that he revisits that intention and gives us plenty more of this intriguing character and setting.

After all, for many of us baby boomers the Troubles were a vibrant  part of the soundtrack of our lives. It's a period rich in meaning and memory and McKinty does it justice. 

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