Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Review of There’s Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly by Adrian McKinty (Serpent’s Tail, 2017)
There’s Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly is the sixth book in Adrian McKinty’s excellent Sean Duffy series set in Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland during the 1980s. In this outing, Duffy has settled down with his partner and has mellowed a little after the birth of their daughter. His work life is just as difficult as ever. Being a Catholic cop and head of Carrickfergus CID at the height of the Troubles is challenging; more so when you have a streak of intransigence and bloody-mindedness and want to solve every crime and have the wits to do so. In this case, Duffy seeks the killer of a local drug-dealer which brings him into the orbit of paramilitaries who ‘police’ local areas. As usual he manages to rub his own colleagues and powerful people up the wrong way, with potentially deadly consequences. As with the other books, the characterisation, sense of place and time, intertextuality, and prose are excellent. Duffy and his colleagues are three-dimensional characters and the dialogue throughout the story sparkles. In addition, the pacing and plotting is very nicely done, with tale working its way to a tense denouement without the need for obvious plot devices. The result is a wonderful addition to the series.