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Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty
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Rain Dogs (2015)

by Adrian McKinty

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978124,414 (4.19)9

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Initially I found this book tedious where think it was meant to be amusing. It was more a parody of a detective story than anything to take seriously. Take the following exchange: “The Chief Inspector looked at me anxiously. ‘Do you think you’ll find the wallet, Duffy? The Chief Super is quite worried about the impression we’re giving off here.’ I concealed another yawn. ‘The arc of the universe is long, sir, but it bends towards justice.’ ‘Does it really, Duffy?’ ‘So they say, sir.’ ‘They haven’t been to Northern Ireland though, have they?’ ‘No, sir. Well, I must be off.’ ‘Goodbye, Duffy.’ ‘Goodbye, sir.’”

Then there are all the more unusual words McKinty uses in the first few pages – ‘fulminating’, ‘lepidopterously’ & ‘pugilistically’ to quote three. Are we meant to be impressed or amused or what?

And how are we meant to respond to ‘Lawson met me at the car park entrance with one of the trainee detective constables they were always sending to us because Carrick was a relatively safe posting for a trainee and they were unlikely to get killed in the first few weeks on the job – something which was always bad for morale.’ Are we meant to be amused by the understatement or see Duffy as cynical. To me it just seemed a bit clichéd.

For the most part, though, the style just seems flat: “Lawson and I went outside the castle to question WPC Warren. She was a new recruit and not a detective, but she was not one of those time-serving eejits from the part-time reserve either, so hopefully she had her shit together. ‘WPC Warren, I’m Detective Inspector Duffy, I don’t think we’ve formally met, yet,’ I said and gave her what I hoped was a friendly smile. ‘No, sir, I don’t think so,’ she said, in a pleasing South Belfast accent.”

I did like, though, the way McKinty used the cat. Having established Duffy’s routine of checking for bombs under his car each day, we then find ‘Morning. A cat climbing on to my head and meowing. Shower, shave, skip breakfast, leave some tuna for the cat, check under the BMW for bombs. No bombs.’ This addition of the cat to the routine neatly showed the way Duffy had adopted the cat and adds to the reader's liking of him.

The book becomes a bit drawn out and no doubt is meant to be examining the Irish abortion prohibition with Duffy going with Beth to Liverpool for the abortion but I felt it just added to an already overlong book. ( )
  evening | Oct 8, 2017 |
Adrian McKinty turns in another enjoyable volume dealing with police inspector Sean Duffy.

While reading this novel, I felt the first half was the weakest part, but grew stronger after that.

Duffy is back again and dealing with another "locked room" mystery, which in itself seems to be an odd coincidence, which oddly becomes part of the plot.

McKinty is an enjoyable writer and produces consistently plotted novels that hold the attention of readers. He doesn't disappoint here. ( )
  EricEllis | Sep 2, 2017 |
McKinty is definitely a favourite. Clever ideas, witty and intelligent. Plausible plots and a real sense of place, viz., Belfast 1980s. I'm reading him out-of-order, but it doesn't matter. ( )
  PhilipJHunt | Aug 23, 2017 |
What if you suspected that an ostensible suicide was really a murder, but one of the “locked room” variety and it might have been cleverly designed in a way so that you, as a detective inspector who had already solved a different locked room puzzle, would never considered the new murder as a locked room riddle because the real world likelihood of being faced with two such enigmas was completely improbable. |

And yet, according to Bayes’ Theorem which describes “the probability of an event, based on prior knowledge of conditions that might be related to the event,” the fact that you knew of the previous locked room investigation might influence how you view the current one. Whew.

McGinty comes through once again with an excellent addition to the Sean Duffy series, this one #5 read by a favorite reader Gerard Doyle. Lily Bigelow’s death seemed to be a suicide; no other solution appeared possible and yet the forensic evidence pointed in a different direction. But who would want to kill her? And why?

Duffy’s tenacity pays off in his usual sardonic and winsome manner even as he has to inspect underneath his car for an IRA bomb. It’s 1987 and there are the usual tensions between the police and everyone else although they aren’t as prominent as in others of the series. Several of the books have darkly hinted to being the last of Sean Duffy and this one is no exception (fortunately there is a #6).

Excellent read, but four stars instead of five because I felt it wasn’t quite as compelling as the previous books in the series, but I eagerly await diving into the sixth (Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly.) Note that this one stands alone better than the first three of the series. ( )
  ecw0647 | Apr 2, 2017 |
One of my favorite detectives, Sean Duffy, is back in Adrian McKinty’s RAIN DOGS.
This is the fifth book I’ve read which showcases DI Sean Duffy of the Carrickfergus Royal Ulster Constabulary and it does not disappoint.
We read about a strange and unlikeable Finnish delegation looking at potential factory locales; a new woman in Duffy’s life; and the second locked room/castle mystery of Duffy’s career.
I wrote in one review that the real ‘star’ or main character of the series was the ever-present rain. This is true - the gloomy, chill rain and Northern Ireland’s ‘Troubles’ still provide the atmosphere and background and foundation of the series. But in RAIN DOGS, Sean Duffy has matured and is a bit softer around the edges. He shines as a developed person and nudges the rain and the ‘Troubles’ to the side to become the ‘star’ or main character.
He is still sarcastic, nasty, hateful even; angry and immoral at times; a conniver and brutally honest. But, this time around, he interacts more with people and muses on what they have to say.
I like the exchanges and workability he has with Lawson and McCrabban and these interactions have him ruminating about his own personality and future, as well as helping to solve the case. A tiny sense of optimism seems to linger with our Sean.
I like learning about, and the use of Bayes Theorem in solving the case. (Our Sean is benefitting from being a good listener.)
I like the phrase: “Rain. Wind. The afternoon withering like a piece of fruit in an Ulster pantry.”
I like the importance of music in Duffy’s life.
I like this book. ( )
  diana.hauser | May 15, 2016 |
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"Oh how we danced with the Rose of Tralee, her long hair black as a raven, Oh how we danced and she whispered to me, You'll never be going back home." - Tom Waits "Rain Dogs", 1988
Humiliation, unhappiness, discord are the ancient foods of heroes. - Jorge Luis Borges "On Blindness", 1983
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Even the fulminating racists on the far side of the police barriers were temprarily awed into silence by their first sight of the champ as he stepped nimbly - lepidopterously - from the bus on to the pavement in front of Belfast City Hall.
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