If there was ever any doubt, Rain Dogs proves Adrian McKinty’s name belongs right up there with the legends of the genre ― and that the return of Sean Duffy warrants as much celebration as the release of a new Bosch or Rebus novel.
In the fifth installment of McKinty’s Sean Duffy series, the spotlight is shone on the increasingly weary, but no less dogged detective inspector, in 1987; still dealing with the violence of The Troubles, and being a Catholic policeman in the hostile Royal Ulster Constabulary. Then there’s another failed relationship – a woman who’d rather be anything than a policeman’s doting wife – and the conundrum of a ‘locked room’ murder case.
The death of Lily Bigelow inside Carrickfergus Castle is deemed a suicide by Duffy’s colleagues. At first glimpse, there is no evidence of foul play, and the castle was locked and sealed shut when the young reporter died. The only thing keeping the case open and unsolved is Duffy’s inkling that there is more to Lily’s death than meets the eye; some of the finer details aren’t coalescing into a cohesive whole. And despite protestations from his superiors, and forces above even them, Duffy’s never backed down from political pressure; it’s justice, not appeasement, that matters most.
cKinty is a master of pacing, stretching out the mystery, and peppering its procedural elements with bursts of earned emotional gravitas. Indeed, even as the intensity of Duffy’s investigation subsides, something else in his personal life rises to the occasion, and proves just as compelling, and in one instance, has everlasting consequences for the series.
It’s a sure bet that you won’t read a tighter-plotted, richer-peopled, enthralling page-turner of a mystery this year.
With thanks to Seventh Street Books for providing a digital review copy of
RAIN DOGS (9781633881303) in exchange for an honest review.
Format: Paperback (234mm x 153mm x mm)
Imprint: Serpent’s Tail
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Publish Date: 21-Jan-2016
Country of Publication: United Kingdom