The Troubles Trilogy

The Troubles Trilogy by Adrian McKinty is a series of detective novels set in the author’s hometown during the same time period as his childhood – the early 1980s in Northern Ireland.  They follow the career and cases of Sean Duffy, a Catholic police detective working for the Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) in Carrickfergus (near Belfast), who is torn between the two warring factions.  Each novel tells the story of a specific detective case, but the backdrop of the violence in Northern Ireland adds historical interest, complications, and increasing danger for Duffy.  Well-written and fast paced, these books are the best of the police detective genre and I find myself extremely disappointed that the author decided to end this series as a trilogy!

cold cold groundIn The Cold Cold Ground, Duffy is investigating a case in which two gay men have been murdered, their right hands severed and switched.  The severing of the right hand is a classic sign of a killed informant, but Duffy suspects it’s the diversionary tactic of a serial killer until no other gay men turn up dead.  Were they informants?  Was one murder committed to cover up the other?  Is the IRA involved somehow?  Even when the case is reassigned, Duffy persists, facing corruption on all levels in his efforts to get to the truth and find his own brand of justice.  The background stories of the Hunger Strikes, the royal wedding, and the shooting of the Pope and context and interest, reminding me of headlines news stories when I was a kid, but showing me the reality of their impacts for those living and surviving in Northern Ireland.

Title: The Cold Cold Ground
Author: Adrian McKinty
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 320
Publication: Seventh Street Books, November 2012
sirens in the streetIn I Hear the Sirens in the Street, a headless torso found in a suitcase is the latest case puzzling Detective Inspector Sean Duffy.  When the body is identified as an American veteran, poisoned by a rare plant, Duffy ends up on the doorstep of a beautiful widow whose husband owned the suitcase before he was murdered, apparently by an IRA assassination team.  But things get more interesting when the detective who investigated the husband’s death is suddenly murdered.    Suddenly, unable to let it go, Duffy finds himself caught in the middle of a political nightmare between the IRA, the FBI, and M15.  Who’s doing the killing?  Why?  And can Duffy survive solving the case?  In the background, things in Northern Ireland are heating up as the British pull back troops that are supporting the police force to support invade the Falkland Islands.

Title: I Hear the Sirens in the Street
Author: Adrian McKinty
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 320
Publication: Seventh Street Books, May 2013

12book "In the Morning I'll be Gone" by Adrian McKinty.

In In the Morning I’ll Be Gone, Sean Duffy, demoted and ready to be run out of the force completely, gets a break.  When his childhood friend, Dermot McCann, an IRA leader and an explosives expert, breaks out of prison M15 recruits Duffy to find him.  If he can, they will clear things with the RUC, getting him his old job back.  When he finds Dermot’s mother-in-law she promises Duffy a lead – but only if he can solve the mystery of her daughter’s death first.  She’s convinced that what appears to be an accidental death is actually a locked-room murder, and she wants to know who killed her daughter.  It seems like even Sean Duffy won’t be able to figure it out.  And if he does will she lead him to Dermot?  And will it be in time?  And in the end what will it all mean?  And of course, Margaret Thatcher is due in Brighton to give a speech at the Conservative Party Conference…

Title: In the Morning I’ll Be Gone
Author: Adrian McKinty
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 315
Publication: Seventh Street Books, March 2014

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Tuesday Top Ten

spring tbr

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

So this week’s challenge was to list the top ten books on our TBR list for this spring.  I stuck to books that are being released this spring.  What are you looking forward to reading this spring?

  1. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin – A novel about bookstores – how can I resist?!  And it sounds like an interesting story, too.
  2. Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy – One last book from a master storyteller…
  3. One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern –Ahern’s books always have a unique perspective on life.
  4. The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt – The next book in my Indiespensables subscription which rarely disappoints!
  5. The Ninja Librarians by Jen Swann Downey – Sorry, I can’t help it!  When I told my husband I wanted this book, he told me I already have too many books.  My argument?  None of them are about Ninja Librarians!

And a bunch of books in series that I read are coming out this spring!

  1. Field of Prey by John Sandford – I didn’t love his last book, but I have always liked the Lucas Davenport books in the past, so I’m giving him another chance!
  2. Robert B. Parker’s Cheap Shot by Ace Atkins – Ahh… the chance to hang with Spencer and Hawk again!
  3. By Its Cover by Donna Leone – I’m looking forward to the opportunity to travel the streets of Venice again with Commissario Guido Brunetti
  4. In the Morning I’ll Be Gone by Adrian McKinty – The last book in The Trouble Trilogy, it will be interesting to see where Sean Duffy, a Catholic cop in the Protestant police force in Northern Ireland in the early 1980s, will end up.
  5. The Hollow Girl by Reed Farrel Coleman – I am so excited to read this book, but so sad to see the end of the Moe Prager series, one of the best detective series ever written.