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Sean Duffy’s back in both the 80s and in Belfast… A double dosing of intriguing melancholia. Please…. Please…. Please listen first to “The Cold Cold Ground”, Adrian McKinty’s introduction to Sean Duffy’s police work in the heart of the Irish “Troubles”. It’s important to avoid spoilers for that introductory book you’ll surely want to visit after you’ve finished this one.
But more importantly, Sean Duffy is bending in the fury of the cultural maelstrom raging about him. And the way the nature of all of this is shaping his development is deeply moving. Duffy of “Sirens in the Streets” is not the young man who we first met in “Cold Cold Ground”. This isn’t as much a series as it is an epic psychological evolution cut into sort of stand-alone hunks with “I Hear Sirens” as the second.
The sense of place in time hot-welds you inside of Ulster and its non-normal normalcy. Apparently McKinty means to write a trilogy but the detective puzzle this time is powerfully different from the fist and the ensemble cast adds and loses characters with the frequency of Ireland’s emigration rates.
Gerard Doyle’s mouth is filled with Irish and he speaks the story through a lilt that’s got to make this a finer experience than you’d hope for from the printed page. I’ll be among the first to buy the next installment in this Sean Duffy series.
32 of 33 people found this review helpful
The narrator's voice with a beautiful Irish lilt is perfectly matched to the words that are so well-written by McKinty. I want to compare the writing to soaring poetry, but I lack the skills to define how much this story -- this series -- moves me to listen so intently. I actually listened to some chapters a second time, not because I didn't understand, but because I wanted to hear it again. I am already looking forward to the day that I can re-listen to this series.
Don't even think of starting this book unless you have heard the first in the series "A Cold, Cold Ground". The background and place (1980's in Northern Ireland) have taught me a great deal about the "Troubles" near Ulster. It is fortunate that the first book is just as excellent as the second.
Sean Duffy is my hero. No need to explain, it will be readily apparent as you read this story, even though no one would claim Duffy is perfect. I can't wait to read the next book in the series. I hope Adrian McKinty will not plan to take a break from writing now that he has completed this trilogy. I would read anything he puts out in the future.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
These are a series of stories set during the troubles but not about them - thank God! The narrator has a very dodgy "Nornirish" accent - more Dublin than Belfast (perhaps Jimmy Nesbitt for the next series?) but despite that, this is a great story which evokes memories of Belfast and especially Carrickfergus 30 odd years ago. The author has researched the book well and many of the characters remind me of some "peelers" of the time. I thoroughly enjoyed the first and look forward to listening to the rest of the series.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful