Friday, March 07, 2014

In the Morning I'll Be Gone arrives

In the Morning I'll Be Gone is a fine name for the final novel in a series — if indeed this third of Adrian McKinty's "Troubles" novels is to be the last appearance of Sean Duffy.  The book is out in North America and in audio form this week, and it's well worth your time, as are its predecessors, The Cold Cold Ground and I Hear the Sirens in the Street.

I like the series' very human, non-dogmatic, non-polemical view of an everyday cop's life in Northern Ireland in the early '80s. The sense of what it might have been like to live in those times is vivid but, more than that, convincing. This goes especially for the books' homely details and the off-hand observations by Duffy, a Catholic member of the mostly Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary. Among other things, McKinty, a longtime friend of Detectives Beyond Borders, would make a hell of a tour guide to Belfast and McKinty's own home town of Carrickfergus.

Like the first two novels, In the Morning I'll Be Gone abounds in good jokes and in popular-music references a good deal better than most such references in crime fiction. Unlike Books One and Two, In the Morning ...  reminds me in a small way of Dashiell Hammett's story "Fly Paper." It's no wandering daughter job but, like Hammett's story, McKinty's novel embraces a hoary murder-mystery motif and works it with great success into a story that is far from a traditional mystery.

© Peter Rozovsky 2014

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19 Comments:

Blogger Dana King said...

My copy arrived yesterday and I'm about halfway through. Damn day job.

March 07, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

McKinty is fairly prolific, so happily he can write them almost as fast as you can read them. It looks like his next one is a pretty big departure.

March 07, 2014  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

My proudest moment in Duffy#3 is the pun that begins the Joe Kennedy chapter.


MANY thanks for the mention...

March 07, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

You're welcome. I think you and James Ellroy ought to be on the reading list for a course in Kennedy studies.

March 07, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I should mention that I think it was the Sean Duffy books that got me listening to Tom Waits in a big way. I'd previously regarded him as a bit of a poseur, but "Cold, Cold Ground" is a fine song.

March 07, 2014  
Blogger Fred said...

I just read Cold, Cold Ground for a discussion group. I found it chilling for its depiction of what appears to be a city under siege. The rest of the series are on my TBR list.

March 07, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Right. A city under siege from within and without, but with everyday life going nonetheless

March 07, 2014  
Blogger Fred said...

Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Extremists on both sides determined to create as much misery and suffering as possible while the majority struggle to maintain stability, while hoping for peace some day.

I'm glad to see that Blogspot is now using all numbers. Those are much easier to read than the earlier surrealistic letters.

March 07, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...



Numbers and easier-to-read words. My own newspaper published an article sometime in the past couple of years about the process by which such security measures are chosen. It's a constant race to stay ahead of hackers, and the scientist in question had some interesting things to say. I'll look for the article if I think of it.

March 07, 2014  
Blogger Fred said...

Peter,

What I'm seeing now are two set of numbers and it's been like that for others on blogspot. I now see 59923255 and 86. The letters have just recently disappeared.

March 07, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

When I posted my comment to you, I had a squiggly word and a straightforward one, albeit misspelled. Now I have an easily visible word and a squiggly string of nonsense letters. But I have recently had all-numbers combinations, as well.

In any case, folks in Northern Ireland had far worse problems than that to deal with in the 1980s.

March 07, 2014  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Fred

When my old partner in crime Dec Burke read the first couple of chapters of The Cold Cold Ground, he said that Belfast felt like "a city crucified by its own Blitz" which I liked so much I asked if I could steal it and put it in the book which he said was fine. But thats exactly the way it did feel in 1981 - a city choking itself to death. The Russians werent on the horizon lobbing shells over the Spree, this was a city blowing itself up... Extraordinary that it all happened in the UK within living memory...

March 07, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

And all that when you were at an impressionable age. I realized a couple of months ago that you and John McFetridge had set your most recent fiction in a time when you were adolescents or just before. I was reading James Ellroy at the time, and I immediately realized he was around that age when the events happened that aparked his career in fiction. Wonder years, indeed.

March 07, 2014  
Blogger Kelly Robinson said...

I've heard nothing but good about McKinty. He moves further up my short to-read-soon pile every day.

March 08, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I've written about most of his books. Feel free to plumb my archives for suggestions.

I am partial to his two three-book series: The current one, and the Michael Forsythe/"Dead" books.

March 08, 2014  
OpenID jamesreadsbooks.com said...

I think this is a series I need to read.

March 09, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Do so.

March 09, 2014  
Blogger bookwitch said...

Tour guide? You want to be accidentally steered towards the nearest street riots??

March 10, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Does "adventure tourism" mean nothing to you?

March 10, 2014  

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