I’m three books into Adrian McKinty’s Sean Duffy series, eating up the pages, stuffing myself, hungry for more… but fighting this gluttony, fretful of running out, anxious to prolong the pleasure of Duffy’s company, of Mckinty’s superb writing. A new-to-me ‘moody sleuth’ such as Duffy is a treat too precious to squander.
Another from my ‘neglected list’… the first of McKinty’s Duffy series, The Cold, Cold Ground, I listened to via our local library’s Hoopla digital audio access, then promptly bought the ebooks… I knew immediately I’d want to read and re-read them… writing this delicious warrants repeats.
Briefly then, Sean Duffy is a Catholic cop in the predominantly Protestant police force in 1980’s Belfast during the height of Northern Ireland’s ‘Troubles’. A conflicted cop in conflicted times.
Much more than that, of course, but I’ll get to Duffy soon…
For now, though, I just want to share these two excerpts, the beginning lines from books one and two of Adrian McKinty’s Sean Duffy series:
Book One: The Cold, Cold Ground
Chapter 1: THE THIN BLUE LINE
The riot had taken on a beauty of its own now. Arcs of gasoline fire under the crescent moon. Crimson tracer in mystical parabolas. Phosphorescence from the barrels of plastic bullet guns. A distant yelling like that of men below decks in a torpedoed prison ship. The scarlet whoosh of Molotovs intersecting with exacting surfaces. Helicopters everywhere: their spotlights finding one another like lovers in the Afterlife.
And all this through a lens of oleaginous Belfast rain.
I watched with the others by the Land Rover on Knockagh Mountain. No one spoke. Words were inadequate. You needed a Picasso for this scene, not a poet.
Book Two: I Hear the Sirens in the Street
Chapter 1: A TOWN CALLED MALICE
The abandoned factory was a movie trailer from an entropic future when all the world would look like this. From a time without the means to repair corrugation or combustion engines or vacuum tubes. From a planet of rust and candle power. Guano coated the walls. Mildewed garbage lay in heaps. Strange machinery littered a floor which, with its layer of leaves, oil and broken glass was reminiscent of the dark understory of a rainforest. The melody in my head was a descending ten-on-one ostinato, a pastiche of the second of Chopin’s études; I couldn’t place it but I knew that it was famous and that once the shooting stopped it would come to me in an instant.
Even the titles (from Tom Waits songs), even the chapter headings are entertaining… how can you not be tempted?
Duffy himself is next on my agenda.