For Detective Sergeant Sean Duffy, the Troubles are only just beginning ...As all Three Regular Readers will be aware, I loved THE COLD COLD GROUND; even though Sean Duffy is pencilled in to appear in a trilogy, I have a gut feeling that there’s a lot more miles in him than that.
Northern Ireland. Spring 1981. Hunger strikes. Bombings. Assassinations. Sky high unemployment. Endemic rioting. Everyone who can is getting out. This is a society teetering on the edge of chaos and the brink of civil war. Amid the madness, Detective Sergeant Duffy is dealing with two cases: what may be Northern Ireland’s first ever serial killer and a young woman’s suicide that may yet turn out to be murder. It’s no easy job - especially when it turns out that one of the victims was involved in the IRA, but last seen discussing business with one of their sworn enemies in the UVF. For Duffy, though, there’s no question of which side he’s on - because as a Catholic policeman, nobody trusts him. Fast-paced, evocative and brutal, THE COLD COLD GROUND is a brilliant depiction of Belfast at the height of the Troubles - and a cop treading a thin, thin line.
Here’s a review of THE COLD COLD GROUND, which references David Peace, Eoin McNamee, James Ellroy and James Lee Burke. While you’re at it, here’s an interview with Adrian McKinty I had published in the Irish Examiner back in March.