Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Review: The Cold, Cold Ground

Finished Adrian McKinty's THE COLD, COLD GROUND ( kindle version) over the weekend and posted the below review on Amazon US & UK. I'm certainly no reviewer and will only post a review of something I like, or I think others with similiar tastes might enjoy. If I don't dig a book, then it's,  "whatever you say, say nothing"  ;) You can get your copy HERE

 5 Stars: While I was chugging beers and wearing a Devo hat...
"In 1981 I was 16, without a care in the world, while across the Atlantic in Ireland...

Having read and enjoyed all of McKinty's previous crime novels, and based on the description of this one, I was pretty confident that it would be discretionary entertainment dollars well spent. However, no author I have read, no matter how much I have enjoyed their past work gets a free pass. In fact, with each novel, the stakes and expectations are raised and as soon as I feel they are relying on old tricks or mining tired, predictable and clich├ęd themes, I'll move on. This was billed as a police procedural and I'm not really a fan of that genre, so a level playing field was set.

What I experienced was a fearless, hard-hitting, and dare I say, important and perhaps groundbreaking novel. It also enlightened me as to what my aversion of the procedural genre stemmed from. The story takes place in 1981 where the cops for the most part, relied on detective work and instinct, rather than technology. This is a world before cell phones, DNA, and all the other crutches that are so commonplace in modern crime fiction. Sean Duffy is a great character and if you took the best qualities of John Thaw's Inspector Morse and The Sweeney's John Regan, added a jigger of cool, and a splash of very entertaining wit, you'll get an idea of what he is all about.

The first person narrative was done superbly and I felt like I was side-by-side with Duffy and his excellent supporting cast of characters- in the Land Rover, on the streets, at the station, and all the other locations the story took me to.

I am well-versed in the "Troubles" or at least as much as you can be from reading numerous non-fiction and historical fiction regarding the subject, but the superb writing, excellent story, and McKinty's intimate first-hand knowledge and experience, enabled The Cold, Cold Ground to take me to a time and place, like none of that reading possibly could.

A great read and I was pleasantly suprised to find the first chapter of the next "Duffy" installment was included in my kindle version. And what a opener it was!"

This really is a great read, and if there was an extra star, I would have given TCCG one. After re-reading the review, I hope the John Thaw comparision does not make readers think Duffy is an old geezer because he's a young dude, more of a Sonny Crockett from Miami Vice with the crime solving methods / intelligence of a Morse, and the cowboy mindset of Regan and Crockett.  What really, really made this work for me, and most any story I love (good guys or bad) , was the comraderie of Duffy and his fellow RUC mates.

I think this would make a terrific movie and some of the scenes, if done right would have you on the edge of your seat. I'm thinking a Michael Mann treatment would do it justice.


  1. Charles- I think you would dig it. Nice post yesterday!

  2. Sean mate, you're the man. Glad you liked the book. This one wasn't exactly fun to do but it probably unleashed some inner catharsis which can only be a good thing.

  3. Adrian- my pleasure, and I thank you for providing such quality entertainment. I can imagine it took a lot out of you, especailly with the unwavering approach you took with it.

  4. I agree so much with your review. I didn't know you were a writer too. so I will check out your books!

  5. Lil- It was such a great read. I feel like I know you from the common blogs and authors we follow. If you do decide to give any stories a read, they are free on Amazon today and tomorrow and the novel will be free tomorrow thru Sunday.
    Thanks for stopping by!