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I Hear the Sirens in the Street: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 353 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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I feel like I have stumbled upon a treasure trove of immeasurable value and beauty. An unexplored pyramid containing hidden artifacts, carvings, gifts created for the gods, fables, and indelible, almost biblical, characters, all set in bronze and sculpted with the courage and detail of a Rodin. Every character Is three dimensional. I have come to know them well and I care about them deeply. One translates the easily-translatable hieroglyphics, divines the meanings of the pictographs, because these seemingly ancient cave paintings reveal themselves to be ENTIRELY CONTEMPORARY. Entirely "good reads". They just SEEM ancient because they are so definitive. The scrolls, guilded, indigo-bright are actually chapters. The jeweled mummy case is actually a 1970's deep freezer hidden on bog land, that once contained a "mummy". Eventually you take in the entirety of your surroundings. Not an ancient pyramid, at all, but Belfast during "The Troubles". The treasure you sit among includes bunkers, fallen churches, overwhelmed hospitals, smoke substituting for air, cries in the night, helicopter blades, daily death, a WAR ZONE. This zone surrounds the treasure, but is also PART of the treasure (you'll see what I mean).
Anyway, I will sit here, surrounded by destruction, as well as this bounty of jewel-toned literary and human treasures, until I have examined every gorgeous, every destroyed, seemingly effortless, seemingly for the ages, but newly created artifact. Each is a passionately rendered, beautifully achieved, question. And, you get the ANSWERS! (the author ALWAYS provides the answers!). Then, leaving this treasure where I found it (Okay, on Kindle, it was recommended, I took the chance), to be found by future explorers, future stumble-uponers, and future Kindlers (WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?), like myself.
Prepare yourself for a series of actual BOOKS, that will both better you (without preachiness), engage you (without the unnecessary), fascinate you (with the purity of it's story-telling), and, all the way along your journey, amuse the heck out of you! READ. THESE. BOOKS. You'll thank you. Keith
The partial tattoo was the first clue – there were others, but they were a problem to follow up on. Recovering from his previous case; his girlfriend quietly leaving town – Duffy was into the booze and cigarettes, his confidence at an all time low. Could he and his not-so-good team of officers discover the killer’s identity before more bodies turned up? Or was he in trouble once again?
I Hear the Sirens in the Street is the 2nd in the Detective Sean Duffy series by Aussie author Adrian McKinty, and is set in Belfast and the parish of Islandmagee, Northern Island in the 1980s at the time of the Troubles. And boy, is there trouble! Duffy seems to be the typical boozy, morose cop who eventually gets the job done, but not without dramas along the way. Plenty of twists, lots of seemingly irrelevant information, and plenty of violence – I Hear the Sirens in the Street is worth recommending.
The police procedural here is quite excellent, to be sure. But look--how many mysteries are really mysterious these days? They've been done to death. What makes them stand out is the characterizations and the writing. McKinty uses the mystery as a backdrop to recreate an ugly era in history. That's a good thing, not a bad one, as some here would evidently have it. It is the first reason why this is a cut or three above the normal detective stuff. The historical details make it stand out. It brings the era to life and makes it real again, as scary as that is. This is as vivid as a nightmare.
It would all be for nothing, of course, if the book was boring or Sean Duffy was a cardboard character. Neither of those things is true here. McKinty's second prong is his careful writing style. Nope, this is definitely not a dime-novel pulp book played like a cartoon. He thinks about what he is writing in terms of prose style. This stands up well to books that would be considered more as literature than detective stories. Third, the richness of the Duffy character is perhaps the most marvelous part of this. He seems real: flawed, intense, world-weary and smart. You can add lots of adjectives, because he is complicated. Most real people are.
The writing style and historical details mirror the 1st book in the trilogy (Cold, Cold Ground), but I thought the plot and the police procedural aspect of this one were far better. Overall, this is a tour de force.