Top positive review
Tinker, Traveller, Pavee, Enforcer
on 26 November 2017
I read a bunch of McKinty's Detective Sean Duffy series and generally quite enjoyed them as atmospheric Belfast police procedurals. I haven't caught up with any of his three "Michael Forsythe" books, which this is kind of a standalone spinoff from. The story concerns a 40-something ex-enforcer, who has tried to leave the criminal life behind, but is sucked back in when he finds himself under water in his property investments following the collapse of the Irish economy. He's sucked into tracking down the ex-wife of a hugely wealthy Irish businessman (kind of an Irish Richard Branson wannabe), which of course proves to be more than meets the eye.
Killian is a pretty compelling character, preferring to use his brain and smooth tongue, rather than weapons. Unfortunately there's someone else looking for the ex-wife, and he's much less scrupulous. A former Russian Special Forces Seargeant who has flashbacks to Chechnya, he's brutal and more than a match for Killian in brains. Both characters get introductory scenes to demonstrate their working methods, Killian in a Westchester County mansion, the Russian in a basement under a Mexican mobster's ranch...
What makes this a bit more interesting than a standard mano-a-mano cat-and-mouse thriller, is Killian's background. He's an Irish Traveller/Tinker/Pavee, and part of the story takes place within one of their camps. That gives a much more interesting dimension to Killian and why he makes certain decisions. Plenty of plot twists occur along the way, so definitely recommend it as a page-turner.