Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Somebody shoot that damn rooster!

Last night I finished reading Adrian McKinty's In The Morning I'll Be Gone. Top shelf stuff, people. Get your hands on a copy now.

It was the first book I read this year. I'm hoping to read 100 novels in the next 52 weeks. I don't fancy my chances, though. Only starting the second one today. Average it out over the 365 days and I'll only manage to squeeze in 60.83334 books. Who wants to read 0.83334 of a book? You get that far in, you should just get to the end, right? Still, I'll give it a go.

But I digress. Back to McKinty's excellent writing.

In The Morning I'll Be Gone is the third in the Sean Duffy series (currently a trilogy, but most readers will be hungry for more, I'm sure) and we rejoin the lippy RUC officer in 1984. McKinty has tonnes of fun with the history of Northern Ireland at that time, and there are a few Easter eggs in there for his constant readers and fans of his blog. One which will stand out for most is a pleasantly surprising, blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo. Curious? Good. Get your hands on a copy.

As usual, McKinty's writing is lyrical and a good chunk of the inner monologue (Duffy serves as a 1st person narrator) is philosophical; perhaps a coping mechanism for a cop that has been through the mangle one time too many. It's been a while since I read the previous installments, but I do believe that this one is a little funnier than its predecessors. But it's humour dealt with restraint. McKinty presents a tragic past, and he knows when to adjust his tone accordingly.

In The Morning I'll Be Gone is an old school locked-room mystery served up by a writer who's well versed in the form. McKinty, in the role of writer/magician, uses his masterful prose as smoke and mirrors throughout, and manages to tease the readers with his puzzle before letting us in on the trick. It really is one of the more satisfying answers too, even though he works hard to manage expectations through Duffy's foreshadowing.

Keep 'er lit, McKinty. You've left your audience wanting more.

If you're wondering what the title refers to, by the way, then you have yet to discover the song that inspired the title. I only got to it yesterday, but I'm glad I did. Worth a listen if you have the opportunity.

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