My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In Northern Ireland in 1981, Detective Sean Duffy wryly observes, there aren't a lot of what you'd traditionally think of as "serial killers"; any psychopath who wants to kill a lot of people has only to seek out and join the paramilitary group of his choice, and he'll have all the killing his twisted heart may desire. But when a pair of bizarre murders points to the existence of an honest to goodness serial murderer, Duffy, a Catholic "peeler" in a heavily Protestant area, gets the case.
I've been an Adrian McKinty fan since 2003's Dead I Well May Be, and this one did not disappoint. Duffy's a classic McKinty character: complicated and conflicted, driven by internal forces he himself understands only imperfectly. The book takes place during a time when IRA hunger strikers were dying in the notorious Maze prison and the entire country seemed on the verge of civil war as the paramilitaries responded with bombings and riots. The ever-present threat of an explosion (both literal and metaphorical) adds an extra layer of almost unbearable tension to the main story.
This one comes out in the US in early 2012. Get it.
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