By now I have almost got round to accepting the ending of the novel pictured below (sorry if this sudden change of wording looks odd, but I’m being subjected to the worst attack of spam I’ve ever encountered). Almost. Adrian McKinty’s latest crime novel is as pacy and well written as I expected it to be. And I like the fact that he has set it in Northern Ireland. Apart from the bits that are set elsewhere, obviously.
St Patrick’s Day in Boston seems to be big, and very green. And I had not stopped to consider the possible differences between shamrocks and four leaf clovers before. You learn something new all the time.
Killian is a Pavee, which luckily turns out to be relevant to the plot, and not just some exotic trait handed over to the ‘hero’ to make him sound interestingly different. He gets hired to do all manner of things, and he seems to be good at avoiding unnecessary deaths, which is nice. Doesn’t mean this novel lacks blood and gore or dead bodies. Plenty of that about.
A successful airline owner – who only avoids being suspected of being that man who charges to use the toilet, by the fact that he too gets a mention – hires Killian to find his ex-wife Rachel who has done a runner with their two young daughters.
As is usually the case, there is more than one side to the problem, and the reader is also shown Rachel’s point of view of the case. From this you can predict that Killian will have to switch sides. What’s harder to predict is how many people will still be alive at the end.
There is a very bad hitman, but even he has his good sides, when you get to know him. The airline owner seems quite nice, but you know he can’t be. And how much double crossing will there be?
I sometimes wish (male) writers of hardboiled crime didn’t feel the need to start off with such crude behaviour on the part of their main characters. There has to be very casual sex before some more acceptable casual sex. And the question is if fewer f-words would gain more readers? There are hard men (and women) and then there are hard men (and women). I can see that the Resident IT Consultant will be avoiding Adrian’s novel.
But Adrian’s writing is fantastic, and the plot is good. There is even a goat.