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Police at the station and they don't look friendly (edition 2017)

by Adrian McKinty

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618194,696 (4.43)4
Member:austcrimefiction
Title:Police at the station and they don't look friendly
Authors:Adrian McKinty
Info:London : Serpent's Tail, 2017.
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly by Adrian McKinty

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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
A gorgeous grim romp. Compelling and fun while being properly aware of the nastiness of the Irish troubles... Loved it. ( )
  AmberMcWilliams | May 22, 2017 |
Adrian McKinty’s latest POLICE AT THE STATION AND THEY DON’T LOOK FRIENDLY is the 6th title in his Detective Sean Duffy series.
The scene is Northern Ireland 1988. A man is dead at his front door - shot by a crossbow. His wife is hysterical and a goat from next door is nibbling on his jacket. The crime scene couldn’t be more compromised or more puzzling.
The plot is a complex one, full of twists and turns and surprises.
The main character is the weather and the human characters are just as grim and unpredictable. Our Sean is his own worst enemy most of the time. Lawson and Crabbie are intelligent, loyal and excellent policemen in their own right. They might make excellent main characters in the future.
The prologue is frightening. It upset me very much with its brutality and senseless violence.
Drugs, the IRA, the RUC, Carrickfergus, shady policemen, snitches, very complex and conflicted characters, moments of deep reflection, classical music, poetry, nasty weapons - shotguns, crossbows, guns, guns and more guns (did I mention all the guns?), terrorizing raids in the middle of the night, grim hopeless brutality, whiskey - a true noir.
Noir is a genre of crime fiction or film characterized by cynicism, fatalism and moral ambiguity. This Sean Duffy series has true noir ‘in spades’. I read a quote which said, “ noir is whiskey neat.” I couldn’t agree more.
I have read all of the titles in this series and find them frightening, thrilling and grim and I love them. ( )
  diana.hauser | May 21, 2017 |
5th book in the DI Sean Duffy series set in the Troubles of Northern Ireland. I've read two of the series, and will probably go back to the beginning if I can find the earlier ones. McKinty brings his own erudition to shape Duffy's character. The plot is masterfully complete with twists and turns and a satisfying wrapup. The ending, however, leaves me wondering if there's a sixth yet to come. Hope so. ( )
  PhilipJHunt | Apr 28, 2017 |
I first encountered Detective Sean Duffy, the subject of many of globetrotting author Adrian McKinty’s books, when I read The Cold, Cold Ground, the first book in this excellent series. Duffy leads a precarious existence. As a policeman in Northern Ireland, he walks one of the least enviable beats on earth. As a Catholic member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) he has a standing IRA contract out on him. As McKinty points out, probably the only benefit to his position is that “If you really have to get shot, Belfast is one of the best places to do it. After twenty years of the Troubles, and after thousands of assassination attempts and punishment shootings, Belfast has trained many of the best gunshot-trauma surgeons in the world.”

In this, the sixth book of what was originally intended to be a trilogy, Duffy is older and a little wiser. He is also worn down by the pressures of his existence, having to always look over his shoulder for attacks from Catholic paramilitaries or distrustful protestant officers on the force and having to search his car for bombs every time he gets into it. He also has a girlfriend and a young daughter whose safety is ever one of his paramount concerns.

As the story begins, Duffy and his family is vacationing in Donegal on a cold, windswept beach where ‘Scores of parents wrapped in thick woolen jumpers and sou’westers could be seen up and down these beaches driving their small shivering children into the Atlantic Ocean with the injunction that they could not come out until they had enjoyed themselves.’ But the vacation ends early when he receives a call from his station that he was needed to investigate a murder case. At first glance the case appears to be fairly mundane, a drug dealer is shot in front of his house as he arrives home late at night. It was probably rival dealers out to eliminate the competition or the IRA doing its own. But their initial assumptions soon start falling apart. The IRA doesn’t claim the attack. It didn’t even take place in a Catholic neighborhood. To top it all off, the murder weapon turns out to be a crossbow.

Anyone familiar with Sean Duffy knows that things won’t stay mundane for long. Within just a few days he’s ducking drive-bys and being marched into the woods and forced by an IRA hit squad to dig his own grave.

While it makes sense and would be more enjoyable to read this series in order, I confess that this is the first Duffy book I have read since reading the aforementioned first volume many years ago. While there are several references to events that occurred in the intervening years, I never felt that I was lost or missed out on anything important. I do want to go back to the beginning and read the entire series. Sean Duffy is one of my favorite police characters anywhere, any time.

*Quotations are cited from an advanced reading copy and may not be the same as appears in the final published edition. The review was based on an advanced reading copy obtained at no cost from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. While this does take any ‘not worth what I paid for it’ statements out of my review, it otherwise has no impact on the content of my review.

FYI: On a 5-point scale I assign stars based on my assessment of what the book needs in the way of improvements:
*5 Stars – Nothing at all. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
*4 Stars – It could stand for a few tweaks here and there but it’s pretty good as it is.
*3 Stars – A solid C grade. Some serious rewriting would be needed in order for this book to be considered great or memorable.
*2 Stars – This book needs a lot of work. A good start would be to change the plot, the character development, the writing style and the ending.
*1 Star - The only thing that would improve this book is a good bonfire. ( )
  Unkletom | Apr 7, 2017 |
Sean Duffy, one of a few Catholics in Northern Ireland police force, he has been promoted and demoted for many years. A cross bow as a murder weapon, unusual but it is 1988 and Ireland is torn between many different factions, the IRA a dangerous thorn in the side of the police. This murder though they are not claiming responsibility.

This is the sixth in series, but the first I have read and did not feel at all lost, in fact I enjoyed this very character oriented story. Sean drinks too much, smokes too much, has been ordered by the police physician to cut out both in order to pass a necessary physical. He has a daughter, a girlfriend he hopes to marry and things are looking up for him. Well, until, they aren't. He is dogged, doesn't take orders too well, and is often quite self deprecating, and so often amusing.

A good series, and a look at a time and place, the political situation in Ireland the divide caused by religious affiliation. Liked the gritty but amusing storyline.

ARC from publisher. ( )
  Beamis12 | Apr 7, 2017 |
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