Friday, 23 January 2015

Gun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty

The fourth book in the ongoing Sean Duffy series was released this month. Gun Street Girl is set in 1985, and again, Adrian McKinty uses actual events from Northern Irish history as a backdrop for the tale. While the story starts out as a murder investigation -- and one that could have been tidied away quite quickly if a team of shittier cops were handed the case -- it isn't long until DI Duffy and DS McCrabban find themselves embroiled in something much bigger.

As you would expect from McKinty at this stage, Gun Street Girl is a wonderful read. The books seem to get funnier as the series progresses, but they're balanced out with plenty of gut-punching moments of darkness. McKinty is a master of emotional manipulation. If you don't feel something when you read this one, you might be dead inside. Book an appointment with you GP tout feckin' suite.

I wish I could pinpoint exactly why I find McKinty's books so readable, but I haven't quite figured it out yet. What I do know is that in the few days that I gorged on this one, my copy was never more than a few metres away from me. Sean Duffy is my favourite series character right now, and it'd take a hell of a lot to knock him off the top spot. Gun Street Girl is a stunner, plain and simple.

As a side note, it's interesting that McKinty has gone beyond a third part for this series. He called time on the Michael Forsythe or "Dead" series of books because he felt that the character had had his fair share of adventures and a further foray would stretch his readers' suspension of disbelief a little too far. I presume that the fact that Duffy is a cop makes it more believable that he'd get into more scrapes, especially a cop employed at the height of the troubles. Whatever the reason, I'm delighted to have read another Duffy book and hope to read more of them in the future.

Also, I love the fact that Duffy is ageing at the same rate as me. We're both 35 this time around! That's really cool.


seana graham said...

Yeah, same age, but luckily for you, you don't have to put yourself through that Northern Irish singles mixer...

I loved the book as well, and also pondered what makes it such an incredibly fast read since there is plenty of content to it.

The humor is definitely there, but the tone as a whole is rather bittersweet, don't you think?

Gerard Brennan said...

Hah! Wasn't the singles night a blast (no NI pun intended)?

Aye, I'm with you on the bittersweet tone. McKinty's 'whistling past the graveyard' humour takes the edge off it, but it's not entirely shaken. Very much a Northern Irish way of dealing with things, fitting with the era he's exploring.