Reader Reviews

Praise for the Sean Duffy series

Duffy [is] smart, clever, and doesn’t let a question go unanswered. He’s also got enough attitude to ensure he never leaves a smile on a supervisors face. He is a complex and flawed character whose unorthodox methods have left him with a number of answers but just as many problems. He’s got friends and enemies – sometimes the same people – in the station house, the RUC, the IRA and even MI-5.

Cyndi – 5 STARS

But what makes the journey so enjoyable is experiencing this world through Sean’s eyes. The relentless rain & a population weary of sectarian violence lends the story a dark, moody atmosphere that is well balanced by Sean’s frequently amusing asides & observations regarding Irish culture … He’s a smart, affable guy who employs the restorative powers of Guinness & his treasured record collection to keep the realities of life at bay. He’s not the RUC’s most popular detective thanks to his irreverence for the rules. The political machinations & warnings from higher-ups only make him dig his heels in harder as he fights to bring those responsible to account.

Sandy – 4 STARS

I just love the single minded, strongly motivated and methodical approach of Duffy. He is happy to be self-aware and declare he might not be the greatest or even a good detective but he is determined and will never give up on a case, regardless of self-interest, friendship or personal gain. He is your worst nightmare and keeps coming for you and eventually through his dogged persistence results will follow and the truth uncovered.

Richard – 5 STARS

I often find myself laughing aloud at Sean’s sarcasm, and this book was no exception… [If] McKinty moves on from here, if I never see Sean Duffy again, I can accept this ending and smile. I guess. Oh, who am I kidding? Please, Mr. McKinty, give me one more Sean Duffy book.

Amanda G Stevens – 5 STARS

First and foremost, Sean Duffy is one of the great characters in crime fiction today. Right above Rebus in my opinion.

John Barrett – 5 STARS

Duffy is a fascinating character – cynical and wry, his career in the RUC has hit a glass ceiling thanks in part to his Catholicism but also because of his refusal to play the political game and because none of his investigations have, to date, landed a conviction.

I Read, Therefore I Blog (Vine Voice) – 4 STARS

No loss of form here for the sharp and sardonic Detective Sean Duffy, one of the finest creations in modern detective fiction. How the pieces all fit is as gripping a tale as ever, bringing Sean into contact with old friends, new acquaintances and facts that are beyond belief. Except that this is Norn Iron, and the impossible is sometimes easier to believe in than a non-existent normality.

A I McCulloch (Top 500 Reviewer)

Rain Dogs

Just finished Rain Dogs–a very entertaining book. Enjoyed the acerbic humor and self deprecation. As well as the historical references, social commentary and the religious conflict. That’s a lot of bases to cover in a book. Keep Sean Duffy going as long as you can.

John Vanderhoof, via

Gun Street Girl

I am 76 years old and this is the first time I have ever written to an author. I have just finished Gun  Street Girl.  PLEASE never stop writing novels – your work is so amazing.  My long-dead father always said that you learn more history and more about life from the best novels than you ever do from history books.  This is certainly the case with your books. They lift my spirit – while I despair of the world.

Thank you do much for the pleasure you give me. I think these books should be compulsory reading for high school students.

Jean Crowther, via

I have recently discovered your books.  Thank you for giving me hours of pleasure with many more hours to look forward to.

I have read all four Sean Duffy books – awesome (in the true sense of the word).  I read them far too quickly as they were so gripping.  I am now about to embark on the remainder of your books.

I hope you will write a fifth Sean Duffy!

Ann Scanlon, via

I discovered your first book in the Sean Duffy series on a rainy Saturday in Chapters in Vancouver where I live. Lots of rain here. I fell in love, seriously. Your writing is super amazing. I had just seen the movie ’71 & since I see all the “Irish” movies I was feeling suddenly more & more curious about Falls Road & the Troubles.  I know a little but not enough. And I found The Cold Cold Ground. I was immediately caught up in the story, so easy to read, so interesting, so well written. Just love crime stories & you are now one of my top favs. In my top list for sure. I bought the second book in the series & just got the third on Kobo.

I am also a huge movie junkie & a Game of Thrones junkie. Read all the books.

I just skimmed your blog but so much there I need more time to go through it.

Anyway, thank you thank you, love Sean & your books. Keep writing.

Angi Webber, via

Thank you so much for your books.  I really enjoy them.  I love the fact that you are a visual writer.  I feel that I am witnessing the events unfold firsthand. I get the books on audio so that I can enjoy my long commute to and from work.  I just wanted to thank you and tell you to keep up the good work.  Thanks for the entertainment.

Brett McAteer, via

In the Morning I'll Be Gone

If, like me, you are heartily sick of the sledgehammer of Scandi-noir crime, and would like to try some home- grown Irish-noir by an author who can write quality prose, then Adrian McKinty is your man.

Anne – Goodreads

It’s a thriller, with a locked-room mystery in the middle. But what sets it apart is the writing, which manages to be punchy and lyrical, and far superior to the mass of novels in the genre.

Robin – Goodreads

I like Adrian McKinty’s style of writing and the Northern Irish setting retains the ring of authenticity which was so evident in the previous books – there are many nice details such as the very accurate description of the well known Crown pub in Belfast. It is certainly not necessary to have read the other books though as this works well as a standalone story.

Brett H – Amazon

Tightly written thriller, once again McKinty delivers the goods. One of the finest crime writers in the world today.

Mr B Trotter – Amazon

It’s a riveting read with a captivating detective and a plot which is gripping from start to finish. The writing is realistic and peppered with dark humour. It’s clever, interesting, powerful and compelling. I would recommend this to any crime fan as it’s a very strong, well-written novel which will make people want to read more by McKinty. If you’re looking for a tough, well plotted piece of crime fiction that you can’t put down, then pick this up.

Lucy O’Connor – Waterstones

I Hear the Sirens in the Street

The writing is bright and well paced with honest insights into life amid the larger conflict especially for a Catholic police officer in a majority protestant RUC serving a divided community.

Ricoh – Waterstones

I visited Belfast recently and I am glad that I read these books first because they helped me to understand the complicated history of that beautiful & vibrant city.

Zoe Nock – Amazon

I was hooked within a couple of pages.

Ross Maynard – Amazon

Sean Duffy is one of the best characters to emerge in recent crime fiction. McKinty writes brilliantly and with great humour. Just the best.

Edward R. Addison – Amazon

McKinty masterfully recreates a dystopian world that was Northern Ireland for several decades, a world of almost unimaginable despair for those who had to live there. Those who could left, “went over the sea,” as it were, to Scotland or England, or better yet, to America.

Eric_W – Good Reads

The writing is splendid, with some quiet humour and a poetic quality that McKinty is careful not to over-indulge.

Patrick Neyland – Good Reads

This is a very cool novel. Set in the time of The Troubles in Northern Ireland and narrated by a Catholic policeman who has a wry sense of humor and almost values interesting things over life. I found it funny and sad and evoked a lot of childhood memories from watching television news about the events surrounding the story. A marvelous read.
Just an aside, I read this during Chinese New Year in Beijing and was lying down having a nice quiet read, listening to the gunshots on the streets of Belfast when I realized that the ambient noise was provided by the thousand firecrackers going off all over the city outside my window.

Kathryn – Good Reads

The Cold Cold Ground

I enjoyed The Cold Cold Ground. It was a thrilling read and I couldn’t put it down […] McKinty has done a really great job of capturing the claustrophobia, paranoia, tension and fear which pervaded the streets of Belfast at the time.

Read more books on 1 April 2012 (Amazon)

If there’s a book that might kick start my reading this year which has been laboured at best, this could well be the one. Smart, funny, interesting, compelling […]I think this one could possibly be one of my best books of the year.

col2910, 21 May 2014 (Amazon)

Excellent book with strong characters. A real page turner.Duffy is my kind of policeman – tough, and a bit disrespectful of authority.

Robert, 16 April 2014 (Amazon)

This novel had me literally sitting on the edge of my seat. It was that well written and took that many curves and twists that I never saw the ending coming.

Susan Johnson, Aug 07, 2014 (Goodreads)

What a great read this was! I absolutely loved McKinty’s evocation of life in the 1980’s and how he effortlessly wove in the political and social backdrop of not only Ireland at the time, in the grip of political unrest, the tyrannical actions of Thatcher and a general climate of fear but the little additions like the Yorkshire Ripper trial and the impending nuptials of Charles and Diana.

Raven, Mar 29, 2013 (Goodreads)

There’s a lot going on in this novel, but it is well constructed so I never felt lost. Actually it is very gripping, and I loved all the 1980s background stuff, which brought back memories from my childhood […]Bring on the next Sean Duffy story please!

Jane Sharp at Watford, 23 February 2012 (Waterstones)

I could hardly bear to put this down!

Neill Walker, 14 February 2012 (Waterstones)