Sunday, March 22, 2015

Gun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty

Belfast is a war zone.  English, Irish, IRA, cops, labor movements, Americans, and more are all through the city and each has their own plan on how to make things right.  Most of the time making things right means making it right for themselves and the hell with the rest of them.  Even the cops aren't safe from beatings or death.  Those who live there do because they love the country and sometimes there is no way out.  But with a pot being stirred by so many interests, you can be sure there will be some casualties along the way...

Seventh Street Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can find a copy at your local bookstore now.

Detective Sean Duffy is an irascible copper who takes no shit off anybody and has his own beliefs and opinions.  You can tell he doesn't care what people say about him because he is a Catholic cop in a Protestant district.  He's tired though and approaching burn out.  The new case he gets assigned to isn't going to help him get over that...

When he visits a crime scene, he finds a husband and wife dead.  Shot in the head.  It looks like a professional hit to him.  There's a missing son, they start trying to find him to see what he knows.  When they do find him, he's dead, too.  An apparent suicide.  Sean isn't buying that.  He's too stubborn to take the easy way out.  He starts looking for connections.  Unfortunately, he finds them.

This is a complicated case with players from every group in Belfast and beyond involved.  Anyone who might talk ends up dead.  Sean gets badly beaten up.  Much of what should be exposed can't be.  So the whole exercise is futile and unfulfilling. 

This is not a nice story.  You're on the mean streets of Belfast with politicians, spooks and the higher echelon of police all messing about.  It's not nice, but it's real. Sean isn't a character I like but I admire him and his quest for answers.  If you follow Sean on his journeys, you'll see bad things, share his disappointments, and wonder if he will ever be happy in life.  One thing you won't be is bored.

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