McKinty’s third book in the Sean Duffy series reignites the protagonist’s thrilling charm and redeems itself from the predictability of the trilogy’s second addition. McKinty delivers an action-packed and satisfying story that encapsulates everything we loved about Duffy in the character’s first novel.
Whether it’s a maturity in the writing, or the protagonist himself, everything I disliked about Duffy seems to have been negated. He’s a little less sexist, somewhat less self-obsessed and he holds back on the cheesy one-liners (most of the time).
McKinty has learnt from the mistakes of his previous novel, and instead of including female characters for the sake of Mr Duffy’s ego, the author has created strong, flawed and real characters in the Fitzpatrick’s, as well as the inscrutable Kate, that improve the story as a whole. Their distinct personalities imprint themselves in the reader’s mind with ease.
Like most of McKinty’s books I’ve read the first part of the novel does seem to drag on, until reaching a very fast-paced and dramatic climax. Those familiar with McKinty’s structure would know to persevere to be rewarded with a somewhat satisfying ending, however, newbies to the author would only have their own judgement to go by.
McKinty has a talent of hinting at the reader the possibility of a juicy revelation but then falls short of delivering the goods. From the very first chapter, McKinty suggests that Duffy and McDermot had a deep connection that would come to light by the end of the story. The linkage of the two was simply that they were old schoolmates, something that was revealed early on anyway. I would have been satisfied with a more dramatic revelation, something that gave Duffy a darker edge.
I also enjoyed McKinty’s habit of including real people within his works and this book is no exception with the likes of Margaret Thatcher, a Kennedy brother and Bobby Sands all having a feature. They all seem to clash with Duffy’s down-to-earth, no-nonsense sensibility that makes for entertaining dialogue.
Overall, this book is an enjoyable read that projects Duffy at his finest. Is it enough to want me to continue reading the next Duffy trilogy? Probably not. For me, personally, Sean Duffy has given me all that he can offer without becoming boring. It’s time for us to part ways. But for those who love a brooding, funny crime-solver, than Duffy is the man for you!