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The Cold Cold Ground (Detective Sean Duffy Book 1) by [McKinty, Adrian]
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The Cold Cold Ground (Detective Sean Duffy Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 188 customer reviews
Book 1 of 5 in Detective Sean Duffy (5 Book Series)

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Length: 356 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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A razor sharp thriller told with style, courage and dark-as-night wit ... a brilliant novel with its own unique voice (STUART NEVILLE, AUTHOR OF THE TWELVE)

The Cold Cold Ground is fast-paced, intricate and crime to the core. (Guardian)

If Raymond Chandler had grown up in Northern Ireland, The Cold Cold Ground is what he would have written (Peter Millar Times 2012-01-14)

The Cold Cold Ground is a razor sharp thriller set against the backdrop of a country in chaos, told with style, courage and dark-as-night wit. Adrian McKinty channels Dennis Lehane, David Peace and Joseph Wambaugh to create a brilliant novel with its own unique voice (Stuart Neville)

The names of David Peace and Ellroy are evoked too often in relation to young crime writers, but McKinty shares their method of using the past as a template for the present. The Cold Cold Ground is a crime novel, fast-paced, intricate and genre to the core. (Eoin McNamee Guardian 2012-01-07)

Detective Sergeant Sean Duffy could well become a cult figure (Irish Independent)

Detective Sergeant Sean Duffy could well become a cult figure... McKinty has not lost his touch or his eye for the bizarre and the macabre, or his ear for the Belfast accent and argot. ...McKinty creates a marvellous sense of time and place... he manages to catch the brooding atmosphere of the 1980s and to tell a ripping yarn at the same time... There will be many readers waiting for the next adventure of the dashing and intrepid Sergeant Duffy. (Maurice Hayes Irish Independent 2012-01-07)

It's undoubtedly McKinty's finest . . . Written with intelligence, insight and wit, McKinty exposes the cancer of corruption at all levels of society at that time. Sean Duffy is a compelling detective, the evocation of 19802 Northern Ireland is breathtaking and the atmosphere authentically menacing. A brilliant piece of work which does for NI what Peace's Red Riding Quartet did for Yorkshire (Brian McGilloway)

McKinty's prose is a master-class in vicious poise . . . Be in no doubt that this novel is a masterpiece: had David Peace, Eoin McNamee and Brian Moore sat down, they would have been very pleased indeed to have written The Cold Cold Ground (Declan Burke)

The Cold Cold Ground is a fearless trip into Northern Ireland in the 1980s: riots, hunger strikes, murders - yet Adrian McKinty tells a very personal story of an ordinary cop trying to hunt down a serial killer' (John McFetridge)

McKinty's The Cold Cold Ground has got onto on my five best books of the year list as it is riveting, brilliant and just about the best book yet on Northern Ireland (Ken Bruen)

Adrian McKinty is the voice of the new Northern Irish generation but he's not afraid to examine the past. This writer is a legend in the making and The Cold, Cold Ground is the latest proof of this (Gerard Brennan)

Adrian McKinty may have struck gold with Sean Duffy (The Sun 2012-07-13)

Highly readable. (Evening Standard 2012-07-12)

A stylish page-turner of a thriller that will keep you gripped until the end. (We Love This Book 2012-08-01)

"Adrian McKinty is one of the great storytellers writing crime fiction today." (Don Winslow)

'When it comes to Northern Irish crime fiction, Adrian McKinty forged the path the rest of us follow.' (Stuart Neville)

Book Description

Sean Duffy will do anything to solve this case. Including risking his life.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1413 KB
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail; Main edition (5 Jan. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006U1C5K6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 188 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,833 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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The Cold, Cold Ground has been reviewed multiple times by professionals and Amazonian amateurs alike. It was listed as a best book of the year by the London Times and won a few awards. As such, there shouldn’t be a lot more to say about it. It’s a great read, well-written, lyrical, pacey, edgy, a page-turner. You get the idea. For me, all those things are true. Most definitely true. In fact Sean Duffy, our conflicted ‘in oh so many ways conflicted’ hero is, for me, a marvelous reinvention of Inspector Morse, crossed with Lieutenant Columbo, with an added dash of Philip Marlowe, in some strange noir ménage à trois. Flavour the outcome with a brushing of Presbyterian dourness and a hefty seasoning of Catholic guilt and Duffy would be ‘Yer Man’. But, and I will admit I may have missed it, a quick scan of those reviews seems to leave out the crux of the book for me.

It is McKinty’s acute observations and the layering on of an atmosphere that, for anyone who was there at the time, recaptures perfectly north-east Ulster in the early eighties. The novel is for the most part set in May 1981. The Hunger Strikes. I remember what it felt like and this Carrick-cum-Melbourne author, only a couple of years younger than me, obviously knew it too and captures it superbly. Yes, he plays with the acronyms and the names, yes he weaves a blend of fact and fiction into the narrative to blur the lines between truth and reality, but in the feel of the places, the oppressive nature of mass-unemployment, the knowledge of a future that was bleak, and looking bleaker by the minute, he gets it absolutely spot-on. Like he does with the humour and the speech of the people involved. In parts, I would laugh out loud, reminded of phrases that I have long ago stopped using, for there aren’t many around me now who would know what a sleeked wee shi## was. But that’s okay. McKinty does and I am so pleased. I’m off to indulge in a deluge of Duffy. I recommend you do the same.
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By FictionFan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Mar. 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's May 1981, and Northern Ireland is on the brink of a complete breakdown of law and order, possibly even civil war. IRA prisoners in the Maze are on hunger strike, and when the first one dies the streets erupt in violent riots. In the midst of this mayhem, a man is found dead with his hand cut off. At first the police assume the victim was an informer, punished by one or other of the bunches of murderous nutters who held sway in NI at that time. However, when a second body is found, it appears that these killings may be nothing to do with the unrest – it looks like Northern Ireland might have its first serial killer, targeting gay men. It's up to Detective Sergeant Sean Duffy and his team to catch him before he kills again...

The book starts out well. McKinty has a great writing style and paints an authentic seeming picture of NI at the height of the Troubles. The book is told in the first-person past-tense from Duffy's viewpoint and he gives a good insight into the various divisions and factions that ruled the streets in those days. He also shows how socially conservative this small part of the world still was, even more than mainland Britain. The book touches not only on the victimisation of homosexuals but on the question of unmarried motherhood – shown as a thing so shameful that women would attempt to hide pregnancies, abandon their babies, or even, in some cases, commit suicide.

Duffy and his team are all likeable characters, and the interactions between them provide some humour which prevents the story from becoming too bleak. The Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) was, of course, a major target for the IRA and Catholic officers in particular were seen as traitors, selling out for English gold.
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It's a week after the death of Bobby Sands, and Ulster is rioting. And Detective Sergeant Sean Duffy has a murder on his hands

But it isn't sectarian. Oh no. At first glance it looks a bit like proddies killing fenians or vice versa. But there's a difference. And it's starting to look as if the RUC have got a serial killer. One that isn't getting his kicks from the political struggle.

Well it's a great book. Nothing is black and white here. There are at least fifty ambiguous shades here and probably more.
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Conflict. That's what they say a good story needs, don't they? And Adrian McKinty's whipcrack of a crime thriller,The Cold, Cold Ground, has conflict in spades.

The Cold, Cold Ground is set in Northern Ireland in 1981 and of course there's a shed load of conflict between the Protestants and the Catholics; the Irish and the Brits; the military and civilians; the military and the cops; the cops and, well, everyone, it seems.

In the middle of this we have our protagonist, Sean Duffy.

Duffy is a cop. A Catholic cop. Living in a Protestant street. A smart mouthed psychology graduate trying to fit in with the mostly Protestant RUC. A square peg in round hole whose investigation into a fairly routine looking murder- a possible IRA execution - spirals off into the search for a homophobic, opera obsessed serial killer. And, of course, politics raises it's grubby, blood splattered head many times during the investigation, too.

McKinty recreates the edgy atmosphere of the times well - 'The smell of peat and diesel and fifty thousand umbilical cords of black smoke uniting grey city and grey sky'. He never wastes a word, moving us easily from scene to scene, and he has given us a very tasty crime novel indeed. Part police procedural / part thriller, The Cold, Cold Ground is a perfectly paced and flavoursome mystery.

The Cold, Cold Ground is also well sprinkled with cultural references and allusions from the Tom Waits title to The Crystals, Billy Wilder, George V Higgins, Rod Serling, The Last Boy Scout, Puccini, Serpico and more. Mckinty even smarly adds a Chekov gag to the mix without over egging the pudding.

Sean Duffy is the reason for the book, though, and in some ways The Cold, Cold Ground is a rites of passage story.
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