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I Hear the Sirens in the Street: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel (The Troubles Trilogy) Paperback – May 14, 2013
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*Starred Review* A headless torso found in a suitcase presents just the kind of case Detective Inspector Sean Duffy of the Royal Ulster Constabulary wants to pursue, even after he’s ordered to let it go. When the victim is identified as an American poisoned with a rare plant, and the suitcase is found to have belonged to Martin McAlpine—an army reservist and brother of a baronet killed months earlier, presumably by the IRA—the case becomes even more interesting, especially after the detective who did a perfunctory investigation of McAlpine’s murder reopens that case and is himself murdered. It’s 1982, when violence in Northern Ireland threatens to escalate after Britain’s invasion of the Falkland Islands pulls away troops that support the RUC. In this pitch-perfect sequel to The Cold Cold Ground (2012), the second in the author’s Troubles Trilogy, Duffy is nearly overwhelmed by politics. This is crime fiction at its best: a police procedural with dialogue that’s crisp and occasionally lighthearted; blistering action that’s often lethal; McKinty’s mordant Belfastian wit; and a protagonist readers won’t want to leave behind when the trilogy ends. --Michele Leber
• Winner! Barry Award for Best Paperback Original, 2014
• #3 on Booklist’s The Year’s Best Crime Novels /Top Ten Crime Fiction
• Shortlisted for 2013 Ned Kelly Awards, Best Crime Novel
• Longlisted for the Theakston Best British Crime Novel Award
“In this pitch-perfect sequel to The Cold Cold Ground...Duffy is nearly overwhelmed by politics. This is crime fiction at its best: a police procedural with dialogue that’s crisp and occasionally lighthearted; blistering action that’s often lethal; McKinty’s mordant Belfastian wit; and a protagonist readers won’t want to leave behind when the trilogy ends.”
—BOOKLIST, STARRED REVIEW
“I Hear the Sirens in the Street blew my bloody doors off!”
—IAN RANKIN, author of the Inspector Rebus novels
“Adrian McKinty has the chops to do all manner of things with words, and in I Hear the Sirens in the Street he unleashes a strain of rough and visual, sly and lyric narrative prose in service of one hell of a story. Sean Duffy is a great creation, a figure of many parts, and the place comes alive.”
—DANIEL WOODRELL, author of The Outlaw Album: Stories
Top customer reviews
McKinty has risen from near obscurity to one of the top crime writers today on the rare combination of gripping plots mashed with the uncommon prose one might expect from a writer packing the author's thick portfolio of Oxford-led academic creds. "Sirens" is a clever juxtaposition of a slick mystery and police procedural on top of a neat historical 1982 time capsule: the Falkland's War, the raging terrorism of the IRA, Blade Runner, "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher's Conservative administration, and even John DeLorean (who remembered that his ill-fated roadster was manufactured in Northern Ireland, and was briefly a flickering light in an otherwise dismal Northern Irish economy?) McKinty's Northern Ireland is a God-forsaken place: "...bad weather, bad people, bad food and sky-high unemployment." Consistent with its predecessor (Cold, Cold Ground"), McKinty's lofty prose is adrenaline-fueled, violent, and impossible to resist: strong characters, smart dialog, and authoritative local background supporting the tangled plot. The insightful Duffy refuses to let go of the sticky case even when it is becoming increasingly evident that he's playing well above his pay grade, leading to a ripping climax as rich in irony as it is in white-knuckled excitement.
In a trilogy, the second installment, neither the beginning nor the end, is typically the toughest. But "Sirens" is a beautifully executed instance in the set: dark, evenly paced, and intelligent - a crime noir masterpiece that will make it hard to wait another year for the series finale.
Detective Inspector Sean Duffy of the Royal Ulster Constabulary or RUC, and his major co-hort, Detective Constable Mcgrabbin are dragged from their endless days of robberies and civil war issues in Northern Ireland in the 1980's to a real murder. An American male has been hacked up and found in a suitcase. The pathologist discovers he was poisoned by Rosary Pea akin to Ricin. Now how is that for a start?
The description of day to day life in Northern Ireland at this time is so real I can taste it. Checking under his BMW every morning for a bomb, Duffy is a Catholic in the land of Protestants. Life can't get much more difficult, but Duffy loves this land, wants to make it a better place. Even though all around him are undermining him or pushing for cases to move up to the big boys! John Delorean plays a part in this novel, and he feels real, the ego, the money,the graft. The novel moves slowly until a trip to Boston, then incidents move along too quickly, too unreal until the final chapter. As I previously stated, you need to leave some of your disbelief at the door. I do not like green eggs and ham, and I do not like the fate of a certain detective. However, it seems somebody up there likes the man, and he will return to a better day and the end of this trilogy.
Highly Recommended. prisrob 05-18-13