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18 January 2016

Adrian McKinty: Rain Dogs (Detective Sean Duffy)

Another locked door mystery during "The Troubles"
Adrian McKinty is a master storyteller of thrillers set in Northern Ireland. This book is #5 of his splendid fictional representations of  "The Troubles" in Northern Island in the 1980's through the eyes of Detective Inspector Sean Duffy, a Catholic policeman in the predominantly Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary.

Duffy is a first class detective whose character is flawed by what is happening around him. One day he will be chasing common criminals and the next day he will be heartbroken when he is co-opted for riot duty and faces mobs throwing bricks and petrol bombs. His car is never safe and he checks for a bomb every time he drives it.

This time, Duffy is faced with a locked-door mystery similar in many ways to one that he faced a couple of years back. A female English journalist reporting on a visit by a team of Scandinavian businessmen is found dead having fallen/jumped/been pushed from the top of Carrickfergus castle. At first sight, it looks like suicide but Duffy isn't satisfied. The puzzle is that the journalist entered the castle the previous evening and it had been locked tight during the night and there appears to be no way that any killer could have got away.

Then a seemingly disconnected disaster happens when a senior policeman is killed by a bomb hidden under his car. Duffy had great respect for him and grapples with trying to work out the reason for the bomb.

McKinty shows off his storytelling skills when he includes a couple of cameo appearances by Killian who in later life stars in a very different but similarly enthralling thriller FALLING GLASS. Killian is not your average Irish thug, he was brought up as a Parvee, the Irish equivalent of a gypsy, and despite his violent background is a thug with a heart.

RAIN DOGS is the latest in this compelling series set against authentic background of "The Troubles". All of this series are highly recommended to discerning readers of police thrillers.

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