I just realized that St. Patrick's Day would be a great day to review the "fourth in the trilogy" Sean Duffy novel, which is supposed to be released tomorrow in the U.S.. As I couldn't wait for that, I went ahead and bought the British version a while ago, and put up the usual blurbs on GoodReads, etc. at the time, but thought I'd wait for the U.S. publication to write a little more about it.
As I recall it, McKinty himself didn't know that there would be a fourth book when he finished the last installment in the "Troubles Trilogy", but I believe that was a marketing strategy from on high anyway. As he tells it, he dreamt the ending and then pretty much knew he had to write it.
But I'm not going to tell you anything more about that. Get to the end yourself.
As Gun Street Girl opens (all titles in the series are taken from Tom Waits' songs, and luckily for us Tom is pretty prolific) Sean Duffy is a sadder and older if not perhaps wiser man than he was when we first met him in The Cold Cold Ground. He's been through the wars since then, meteoric rise, meteoric fall, and now lies in some indeterminate place in the middle. It's 1985 and he's a marginal part of an international team that is lying low on a Northern Irish beach on a November night waiting for some smugglers to come ashore. What could possibly go wrong?
Let's just say that Duffy is not particularly surprised at the outcome and handles it in a characteristically Duffyesque way. But there's no rest for the wicked, or at least their pursuers, and soon he's on to other adventures, both criminal and political.
You can read the Sean Duffy series for the politics, the humor, the historical context, the music references, the occasional bleak philosophical aside or just for the great writing. This one you might want to get just so you can read about the Northern Irish dating scene, circa 1985. So what are you waiting for?
And if this isn't enough to whet your Irish whistle, why not head on over to Declan Burke's place, where he's done a St. Paddy's day round up of some of his reviews of Irish crime writers over the past few years. I've read a few of these books by now, so I can vouch for him...He's got a new one coming out himself here before too awfully long...
Check out his St. Patrick's Day Rewind HERE.
Oh, and I see that Rob Kitchin has compiled his own St. Patrick's Day list of reviews over at The View From the Blue House.
Such is the richness of the offerings of current Irish crime fiction that the lists don't even cross over that much.
Rob's current book is on offer there as well.