Police at the Station And They Don’t Look Friendly (Sean Duffy Series #6). Adrian McKinty. Prometheus Books. March 2017. 319 pp. ISBN #: 9781633882591.
Belfast 1988 – Ireland is a volatile place where IRA, Irish and British conflict constantly erupts. The novel opens with Duffy being into a hidden area where he will be forced to dig his own grave and then die. The scene shifts, however, to a murder scene. Two murders, both committed by crossbows, have been committed and Duffy is called to investigate the second death of a known drug dealer. Obviously, this is an odd choice of weapons but effective because of the difficulty of tracing the owner or owners. All he knows is the victim’s wife is a violent mourner, giving grief to anyone and everyone. Add to the mess that it’s hard for Duffy to get cooperation in the Carrickfergus station. However, he has a job to do and he sets about it with determination, even when it seems he is being blocked at every turn.
Duffy is also in danger of losing his girlfriend Beth and daughter Emma, as Beth hates being in the middle of a violent neighborhood. There’s a subplot here as she tries to get him to think about moving to a house in the country. At first he refuses but realizes he will lose her if he doesn’t come around. Trying to explain to Beth that he is attempting to prove himself at the station, being distrusted as a fenian “peeler” or detective (Irish independence supporter and detective), and is slowly gaining ground in that effort. Beth doesn’t see that as the essence of a steady, peaceful existence for a family, even though she won’t hear of marriage as a viable option.
The story continues and holds the reader’s avid interest as Duffy and an associate are kidnapped, almost murdered and endures other life-threatening moments and obstacles. Adam McKinty crafts an excellent crime or detective novel that is challenging, mysterious, and altogether a wild ride with some poignant times in between the task of finding the guilty and bypassing the innocent. Nicely plotted Adam McKinty!