Written by Administrator
Monday, 05 September 2016 05:07
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Reviewed by John Hagan
To my shame, I must admit that Rain Dogs is the first Adrian McKinty book I have read. What have I been doing? With fourteen books to his credit, McKinty, who hails from Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland, is already an award winning author, with Rain Dogs the fifth in a crime series featuring Detective Inspector Sean Duffy of the Carrickfergus RUC. Set in the 1980s during ‘The Troubles’, Rain Dogs is a fast paced thriller, full of intrigue, verbal jousting, engaging characters and dark (Norn Irn) humour. Duffy, a classical music buff and a first class detective respected by his colleagues, is faced with an investigation into the death of a Financial Times journalist whose body is found inside the keep of forbidding Carrickfergus Castle. It looks like a suicide, but Duffy has doubts – and rightly so. He can’t help but feel this incident looks suspiciously like a previous crime he investigated. A coincidence, muses Duffy? Alas, it isn’t. In pursuit of a solution, Duffy considers ‘the facts’, doggedly teases out clues, pursues his quarry to Finland, and has the courage, and nous, to successfully take on ‘the establishment’.Into the cracking narrative, McKinty weaves characters such as Muhammad Ali, Ian Paisley, Bono and the notorious paedophile, Jimmy Savile, whom Duffy interviews as part of the investigation. With his sometimes sparse, staccato and pointed prose, McKinty successfully captures the patois and cadence of the Northern Ireland dialect together with its ambiance.  His descriptions of Carrickfergus, Belfast and environs and the bombings, evoked many memories of my own time in Northern Ireland during  the unrest. Duffy is an exciting and intricate character with the potential to endow upon Belfast the literary cachet Harry Hole brings to Oslo, Arkady  Renko to Moscow and John Rebus to Edinburgh.Rain Dogs has certainly whetted my McKinty appetite. Now I’m off to Dymocks to purchase the previous four Sean Duffy thrillers.

Rain Dogs is published by Allen & Unwin (www.allenandunwin.com)

and is available from all Dymocks Bookshops.