McKinty, Adrian - 'Gun Street Girl'
This is the fourth in the Sean Duffy trilogy set in and around Carrickfergus in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Adrian McKinty says that he had finished with what he planned to do with Sean Duffy after three books but the idea for this fourth book came to him in a dream. Well it was obviously a good dream for him and a great dream for us as this is the best of the series.
Sean Duffy is struggling with burn-out and he leaves the investigation of a brutal double murder in Whitehead to DS McCrabban and the two new DCs as it seems all tied up when the prime suspect, the son of the deceased couple, commits suicide. But the question niggles at Duffy as to whether Michael Kelly really did shoot his parents at point blank range and then jump off a nearby cliff?
Duffy proves to still be a rebel with his own cause of finding the truth and is at odds with both his immediate superiors, who would like a quiet life, and others further up who have a big picture agenda of keeping everything neat and tidy in Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
My major issue with the first book, THE COLD COLD GROUND, of Duffy not being penalised for his hot-headedness has completely gone now and you are left with a very assured police procedural with a serious theme at its heart - the peace process - and great writing which is strongly literate but still keeps you engaged and turning the page.
I really hope that there are more books down the line as I would love to see how Duffy handles the Patten Commission reforms and the shift to the PSNI as it looks like he is stuck in the RUC after this book.
It is going to take 5 absolute gems to get this out of my top 5 for 2015.
Mark Bailey, Northern Ireland