Police At The Station And They Don’t Look Friendly by Adrian McKinty

The Blurb On The Back:

Belfast, 1988:

A man has been shot in the back with an arrow.

It ain’t Injuns and it isn’t Robin Hood.  

Uncovering exactly who done it will take Detective Inspector Sean Duffy down his most dangerous road yet, leading to a lonely clearing on the high bog with three masked gunmen forcing Duffy to dig his own grave.

Hunted by forces unknown, threatened by Internal Affairs and with his relationship on the rocks, Duffy will need all his wits to get out of this investigation in one piece.  And this time, help isn’t coming … 

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

It’s spring 1988, almost a year after RAIN DOGS.  DI Sean Duffy is living with Beth and their baby daughter Emma at his house in Coronation Road but at Carrickfergus police station Chief Inspector McArthur has been promoted to Superintendent and will shortly be leaving for better things.  The incompetent Dalziel has been promoted to Inspector and is being groomed to step into McArthur’s shoes.  Duffy’s record means there’s zero change of him moving up the career ladder and he’s damned if he’ll answer to Dalziel.  Worse, there’s a new RUC fitness regime in effect and the hard drinking, pot smoking, chronically unfit Duffy needs to smarten up.

So when a drug dealer is murdered with a crossbow bolt, Duffy’s glad of the distraction.  Although it has all the hallmarks of a paramilitary sanctioned vigilante hit, Duffy finds himself a target of both the RUC’s internal affairs division and the IRA.  And it’s the IRA who catch up with Duffy first, which is how he finds himself heading into the boglands with three masked gunmen who want him to dig his own grave …

The sixth in Adrian McKinty’s SEAN DUFFY SERIES is another cracking paced thriller with sharp dialogue, funny one-liners, a great sense of the politics and social concerns of the period plus an excellent sense of location – all of which goes to make this a must read crime thriller series.  Sean Duffy is a great character and I really enjoyed his development here as he settles into family life and the difficulties that come with it – notably the interference from Emma’s father and the way that his enemies seek to use his family against him.  Also excellent is the development in Duffy’s police family – I really love his relationship with McCrabban and Lawson and McKinty does a great job of showing how changes threaten it (my favourite scenes are the discussions between McCrabban and Duffy on how to handle them).  There are some great twists and turns in the mystery and I love how McKinty brings in real life events (in this case the killing of IRA members in Gibralter) and builds them into the plot.  If I had one nitpick, it’s that Duffy’s night time activities seemed a little reckless (even for him) but otherwise the way the plot unfolds promises a really special seventh book, which I am really looking forward to reading.

POLICE AT THE STATION AND THEY DON’T LOOK FRIENDLY was released in the United Kingdom on 5th January 2017.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

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