Saturday, March 1, 2014

Do you like binge reading? Give this trilogy a whirl.
"This is the best crime novel mystery that I've read in a long time.  And when I read a mystery, I'm always looking for something more than the plot. I need it to give me something else, and  it's hard to define what that something else is — but this book does it so well. " ~ Nancy Pearl, NPR

Spring 1981. Northern Ireland. Belfast on the verge of outright civil war. The Thatcher government has flooded the area with soldiers, but nightly there are riots, bombings, and sectarian attacks.

In the midst of the chaos, Sean Duffy, a young, witty, Catholic detective in the almost entirely Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary, is trying to track down a serial killer who is targeting gay men. As a Catholic policeman, Duffy is suspected by both sides and there are layers of complications. For one thing, homosexuality is illegal in Northern Ireland in 1981. Then he discovers that one of the victims was involved in the IRA, but was last seen discussing business with someone from the Protestant UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force).

Fast-paced, evocative, and brutal, this book is a brilliant depiction of Belfast at the height of the Troubles and a cop caught in the cross fire.
A torso in a suitcase looks like an impossible case. But Sean Duffy isn't easily deterred, especially when his floundering love life leaves him in need of distraction. So, with Detective Constables McCrabban and McBride, he goes to work identifying the victim. The torso turns out to be all that's left of an American tourist who once served in the US military. What was he doing in Northern Ireland in the midst of the 1982 Troubles? The trail leads to the doorstep of a beautiful, flame-haired, twenty- something widow, whose husband died at the hands of an IRA assassination team just a few months before. Suddenly, Duffy is caught between his romantic instincts, gross professional misconduct, and powerful men he should know better than to mess with. These include British intelligence, the FBI, and local paramilitary death squads, enough to keep even the savviest detective busy. Duffy's growing sense of self-doubt isn't helping. But, being a legendarily stubborn man, he doesn't let that stop him pursuing the case to its explosive conclusion.
A Catholic cop tracks an IRA master bomber amidst the sectarian violence of the conflict in Northern Ireland

The early 1980s. Belfast. Sean Duffy, a conflicted Catholic cop in the Protestant RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary), is recruited by MI5 to hunt down Dermot McCann, an IRA master bomber who has made a daring escape from the notorious Maze Prison. In the course of his investigations Sean discovers a woman who may hold the key to Dermot’s whereabouts; she herself wants justice for her daughter who died in mysterious circumstances in a pub locked from the inside. Sean knows that if he can crack the "locked room mystery," the bigger mystery of Dermot’s whereabouts might be revealed to him as a reward. Meanwhile the clock is ticking down to the Conservative Party Conference in Brighton in 1984, where Mrs. Thatcher is due to give a keynote speech....

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