3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Cold Cold Ground,
This review is from: The Cold Cold Ground: Detective Sean Duffy 1 (Paperback)I've read all of McKinty's crime/mystery thrillers and, while he is probably best known for the Michael Forsythe "Dead" trilogy, my favourite of his is Hidden River. His last novel, Falling Glass, featured a cameo appearance from Forsythe but I wasn't a big fan of this book. For The Cold Cold Ground (named after a Tom Waits song), McKinty has kicked off a new series featuring a youngish detective, Sean Duffy and set it in one of the most turbulent periods of Northern Ireland's recent history, the H Block Hunger strikes of 1981. However, whilst this is the backdrop to the book, it is not the subject. McKinty uses the hunger strikes and weaves in influential real figures of the time to mix with his fictional characters. Anyone with a knowledge of this period in history will work out who "Freddie Scavanni" represents though. Duffy, a Catholic in the RUC, which causes problems on both sides of the divide, is an engaging character and, as per most McKinty books, has some fantastic one liners and put downs. I got some very strange looks as I laughed out loud on the train a few times. Duffy's task is to unmask NI's first ever "non sectarian serial killer", and if that doesnt grab your attention, then nothing will. How he gets there is well worth the read. The book is strong on period detail such as clothes/music/politics and has a real feel for place, although that is a given in that it is mainly set in the author's home town of Carrickfergus (near Belfast). I raced through this book in a couple of nights and really look forward to the next one.
I can't recommend this one highly enough.