Sunday, July 13, 2014

In The Morning I'll Be Gone by Adrian McKinty

The early 1980's, Northern Ireland. On the hunt for notorious IRA terrorist Dermot McCann, detective Sean Duffy comes across the bizarre case of a young woman found dead in a locked pub...



The final entry of a trilogy of books starring the battle-worn detective Sean Duffy, Adrian McKinty's In The Morning I'll be gone is the first to feature a locked room mystery. The core of the book focuses on the manhunt of IRA bomber Dermot McCann, but Duffy is pulled off on a tangent as an informer promises the location of McCann in exchange for re-opening the case of her daughter's death.

The grizzled and insubordinate detective makes for an interesting protagonist. Bouncing between the various leads in his investigation, Duffy has a world-weary swagger that pushes the boundaries of likeability but always stays on the right side of the line. "The troubles" also make for a thrilling backdrop to the book, with Duffy consistently checking for potential car-bombs or other attacks. The immediacy of the danger persists throughout, making the book an engaging read with a possible threat always lurking on the next page. It also grounds the story in a uniquely Irish setting, and is combined with continual Irish-isms to provide a very distinct style. The book does take a little while to hit its stride, but picks up pace towards the second half and becomes a real page-turner.

Adrian McKinty
The locked room mystery aspect - a young woman is found dead in a pub that has been locked and barred from within, but her injuries don't quite match the apparent accidental cause of death - is bookended by the manhunt aspects of the plot. It's a slightly strange format with each section quite separate from the other. The impossible crime does feel a little shoehorned in to the (presumably trilogy-spanning) IRA thriller, but retains the Irish feel (a pub lock-in - where else?) to form a unique entry to the genre. The solution is simple yet satisfying, and it's apparent that McKinty has done his research with a number of the characters humorously referencing prior locked room mystery novels.

The book should appeal to any thriller readers looking for a taste of Northern Ireland. The troubles permeate through the story as a constant reminder of the deadly period in recent Irish history, and it makes for one hell of a ride.

An unmistakably Irish story that combines a locked room mystery with an IRA thriller.



In The Morning I'll Be Gone is available on Amazon (UK) and Amazon (US) in both paperback and kindle editions. Adrian McKinty's blog can be found here.

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