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The Cold, Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty

The Cold, Cold Ground (2012)

by Adrian McKinty

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Sean Duffy (1)

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4073337,395 (3.91)77



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English (31)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (33)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
I loved the setting of Belfast in the 80's. The book was a slow burn and the writing was nice. There were a few plot points that I found a little wonky but not enough that I won't read the next book. The Belfast setting alone (with all the descriptions) was worth reading this book by itself. ( )
  CSDaley | Mar 28, 2018 |
I really loved this one! Set during The Troubles in Ireland, this is a police procedural that is full of twists and turns. The writing is excellent - McKinty does a great job of setting the scene, establishing a sense of place, and detailing just how hard it would have been for police to do their job amidst all the turmoil. But there is humor here, too. A subtle wit in the character descriptions and in the interactions.

"McCrabben was a big, lanky man with a carefully engineered old-school peeler look tache, straight ginger hair and pale, bluish skin. With a tan he'd look somewhat like a Duracell battery, but he wasn't the type to get a tan. He was from farmer stock and he had a down-to-earth conservative millenarian quality that I liked a lot. His Ballymena accent conjured (in my mind at least) Weber's stolid Protestant work ethic."


"His hair was mostly black but with a Sontagian grey mohawk up front. His blue-grey eyes were sunk deep in his head and the lines around his mouth were deeper still. He had a square Celtic face, which reminded me a bit of Fred Flintstone or Ian McKellen."

I loved the main character, Sean Duffy, and his cohorts. The audiobook is narrated by Gerard Doyle, who is a perfect fit for all the accents. And I loved that the title is taken from Tom Waits Cold Cold Ground - interestingly enough, the lyrics are quoted at the beginning of the audiobook but not present in the print book. Here is a link to the song if you are interested: Tom Waits singing Cold Cold Ground. I have big love for Waits. Just saying... ( )
  Crazymamie | Mar 1, 2018 |
This is the great start in the Sean Duffy series, which plays in the high bloom of the unrest in Northern Ireland. Sean Duffy is a Catholic policeman, who is not afraid and is not afraid to get to the bottom of things. He is a little crude and rude, but his heart is in the right place. What appears initially as a simple murder of homosexuals, leads him soon to the top of the IRA, the moles and dark secrets.
The story is exciting and fast-paced. I will definitely read the other books of this series. ( )
  Ameise1 | Sep 16, 2017 |
The first Sean Duffy novel, and it's quite gripping. The voice and the sense of place are excellent, and I was sucked in from the first chapter. I was afraid this was going to turn out to be a serial killer of gay men story, and I'm so tired of those, but it was much more. The setting in 1981 during the hunger strikes and the Troubles in Belfast were vivid.

The writing was mostly good but uneven. I liked the clues that linked to Greek myths and to 19thC operas, and McKinty provided convincing explanations for why they were chosen (and I appreciated that many of the higher-ups in the various insurgent forces were smart and educated). But in the second half in particular the writing got a bit too indulgent and Duffy verged on a caricature of the brilliant misunderstood copper. The ending was definitely OTT. And the women; even when they had advanced degrees and were gorgeous, they just couldn't resist Sean. Come on, people. It's not necessary to the plot.

Still, it was a pageturner and I kept returning to it to see where it was going. I'm looking forward to the next one. ( )
  Sunita_p | Mar 11, 2017 |
First in the Sean Duffy series, 2nd for me since I accidentally read the 2nd one first, and I continue to enjoy the background history of the protests in Ireland of the 80's as well as a refresher into the 80's music. Detective Duffy has pretty good taste.

This story about a homosexual serial killer in Ireland was really interesting. Ireland with it's ability for its citizens to kill easily enough by joining the IRA or other similar groups does not bred serial killers so this was a particularly intriguing case for Duffy. I love his brilliance and how his mind works and his interactions with the rest of his squad. ( )
  she_climber | Jan 6, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Adrian McKintyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Doyle, GerardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It is rumoured that after concluding his song about
the war in Ilium, Homer sang next of the war
between frogs and rats.
              -Jorge Luis Borges, "The Immortal," 1949
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The riot had taken on a beauty of its own now.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In a 1981 Northern Ireland rife with sectarian violence, Catholic detective Sean Duffy investigates a serial killer who is targeting gay men--a series of murders that may have political implications as well.

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