Gun Street Girl
Review: It is 1985, and Royal Ulster Constabulary detective Sean Duffy is called to the scene of a double murder, Ray Kelly and his wife shot with precision at point-blank range. The suspect is the couple's son, who has now gone missing, in Gun Street Girl, the fourth book in this series by Adrian McKinty.
But Michael Kelly is soon found, dead in the sea at the base of a cliff. Remorse from killing his parents? Possibly, as it would cleanly close two cases for the RUC and free up resources to deal with the continuing unrest in Belfast, the so-called Troubles. But even as Duffy turns over the case to Detective Sergeant McCrabban, he tells him not to quickly jump to any conclusions. Maybe wait a few days, just to see if anything else comes up. And sure enough, it does: Michael Kelly's girlfriend is found dead, presumably the result of a suicide. That's just too much for Duffy, who suspects that someone is trying very hard to connect the dots for the police and lead them in the wrong direction altogether.
The "Troubles Trilogy", the first three books in this series, and at the time presumably all that there would be to feature Sean Duffy, are superb, finely crafted crime thrillers. Credit should be given to the author — and maybe to his publisher — for recognizing that the trajectory of this character is one worth continuing. But whereas historical events provided a backdrop to the storylines in the trilogy, in this fourth book of the series they are front and center and as such seem far more intrusive. All of the elements that made the trilogy so compelling are here, too, including deftly drawn characters, solid plotting, and a narrative style that works perfectly within the context of the setting. But it somehow doesn't feel as organic as it should. Gun Street Girl can certainly be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone, but new readers should definitely consider, too, starting at the beginning, and then judging for themselves whether or not this really very good entry in the series is on par with the previous three. The answer is likely to be "No, but it is close."
Acknowledgment: Seventh Street Books provided an ARC of Gun Street Girl for this review.
Review Copyright © 2015 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Sun Is God
Seventh Street Books (Trade Paperback), September 2014
ISBN-13: 9781616140687; ISBN-10: 1616140682
Seventh Street Books (Trade Paperback), March 2016
ISBN-13: 9781633881310; ISBN-10: 1633881318
Location(s) referenced in Gun Street Girl: Belfast, Northern Ireland
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Gun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty — A Sean Duffy Mystery
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: March 2015
List Price: $15.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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