“Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly” by Adrian McKinty

Police at the station“Police at the Station and They Don’t look Friendly” is the latest in the Sean Duffy series by Adrian McKinty. Even if you have not read the others in the series, you will enjoy this one. The title grabbed my attention right away, and with chapters with titles such as “No Hay Banda” or “Daadd Knows Best” and “The Paper, the Scissors, and Michael Stone” I knew I was going to love this book.

Sean Duffy is a Catholic peeler in the most dangerous police force in the world in which to serve, RUC, The Royal Ulster Constabulary, in the 1980s, and hated by all sides. He does remind us “If you really have to get shot, Belfast is one of the best places to do it. After twenty years of the Troubles, and after thousands of assassination attempts and punishment shootings, Belfast has trained many of the best gun-shot trauma surgeons in the world.” He still diligently checks under his car for bombs every time before he gets in.

Throughout the series, we have watched Duffy grow and change. He is now struggling with very big changes. He has a girlfriend and a young daughter to consider. He still loves music, poetry, and movies, but he is trying to cut down on drinking, smoking and drug use. He has not lost his sense of humor and tells the crowd gathered around the dead body at a crime scene “Get back. There’s nothing to see here, he won’t be doing any tricks, he’s not frigging Lazarus.” In desperation, he also wonders, “Where was Miss Marple when you needed her?”

Duffy has made powerful friends over the years and powerful enemies as well, and these collide with catastrophic consequences. Throughout the book, he struggles to solve the complex case, keep his job, and cope with the unstable work environment while still maintaining some relationship with his child and his child’s mother.  He struggles for answers, but find none that fit.

He is not one to give up and quotes Martin Luther “If the Apocalypse was coming tomorrow, today I would plant a tree.” even as his own world his world collapses. The case is solved in a surprising way and Duffy contemplates surprising change for himself as well. How will this complex arrangement work out for him? We will have to wait for the next book.

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