Tag Archives: The Cold Cold Ground

Book review: The Cold Cold Ground

I’ve been an Adrian McKinty fan ever since reading Falling Glass last year and was keen as hell to get his latest, The Cold Cold Ground.

McKinty’s books are the kind of crime fiction I love, sharp, well written, combining political analysis with a hard noir edge.

I’ll be doing a longer review of The Cold Cold Ground in the next issue of Crime Factory. I just wanted to do a short post on it here, partly because it’s such a good book and deserves all the kudos is can garner and partly because it’s another chance for me to spruik the launch of Crime Factory Publications on March 5. McKinty will be one of the authors attending and reading from his work, along with Megan Abbott, David Whish Wilson and Leigh Redhead.

The Cold Cold Ground is set in the spring of 1981. Sean Duffy is a cosmopolitan, well education Catholic cop posted to the fiercely Protestant working class town of Carrickfergus. In other words, a complete fish out of water.

As if it’s not bad enough that Duffy has to start every day checking under his car for IRA bombs, the economy is collapsing and civil war seems imminent following the death of Republican hunger striker Bobby Sands.… Read more

Crime Factory Publications clocks on

Put the night of March 5 in your diaries, people. That’s the launch of Crime Factory Publications, a (very) small publishing company I’ve set up with my two colleagues and friends from Crime Factory magazine, Cameron Ashley and Liam Jose.

A couple of months ago on this blog I mentioned 2012 was going to be a big year for me. In addition to several short stories coming out around the place in the next couple of months, my novel will be out as an e-book around mid-year with Snubnose Press. On top of all this, I’ve now got my own slice of the publishing business (he says, tongue firmly in cheek).

The Crime Factory crew have been discussing taking our work to the next level for a while now. Several factors drove the decision to finally bite the bullet.

First and foremost, nine issues of Crime Factory magazine (of which I’ve been on board for the last four) have given us contacts and access to quality crime fiction from great writers. We don’t always make the most of this and push the great writing we get as much as possible. Starting our own outfit is one way to reverse this situation. We also wanted to raise the profile of the magazine here in Australia where, in comparison to the US, we’re pretty much unknown.… Read more

Top 5 crime reads for 2011

I was recently asked by the UK site Crime Fiction Lover to list my top five crime novels for 2011.

I cheated a little and, in addition to my top five, gave a few honourable mentions. Money Shot, Christa Faust’s first Angel Dare novel (the second having recently come out), Frank Bill’s short story collection Crimes in South Indiana, Roger Smith’s Dust Devils, and Yvette Erskine’s gritty police procedural The brotherhood were all in contention for my top five in 2011.

But my final list was:

5. Butcher’s Moon – Richard Stark (University of Chicago Press)

I waited ages to read Butcher’s Moon by Richard Stark aka Donald Westlake. It was almost impossible to get a copy until University of Chicago Press, which has been gradually re-leasing all the Parker books, published it. 

First released in 1974, Butcher’s Moon was the last Parker book before Westlake took a 23-year rest from the character. It takes Parker back to the familiar territory of his earlier books The Hunter and The Outfit, hot on the trail of money owed him by the mob. A failed heist sends Parker to an amusement park where he stashed $73,000 during a previous caper several years earlier. Parker enlists the help of his only friend, another thief called Grofield.… Read more

Falling hard for Adrian McKinty

Falling Glass by Adrian McKinty is one of my best reads for 2011.

How much did I like it?

About thirty pages in, I put it down, went onto The Book Depository website (sorry bookshop purists) and bought myself two of McKinty’s earlier books

That’s how much.

I’m a late convert to McKinty’s work, but am now a keen follower. I’ve just finished Dead I May Well Be, his debut book, which showed the promise which led to a book like Breaking Glass.

I’m also very excited to discover that he has a new novel coming out early next year, The Cold Cold Ground. As the publisher’s blurb describes it:

“Belfast. Spring 1981. Hunger strikes, riots, power cuts … and a homophobic serial killer with a penchant for opera. Sergeant Duffy really is in a no-win situation. As a Catholic policemen, it doesn’t matter which side he’s on, because neither side trust him. The first book of a new fast-paced, gripping trilogy laced with dark humour, Cold, Cold Ground is a brilliant depiction of Belfast at the height of the Troubles—and a cop treading a thin, thin line.”

The central character of Falling Glass is Killian, a tough as nails Tinker criminal. His ambition to go straight has been derailed by the Irish economic crisis and, reluctantly, he’s back to doing other people’s illegal dirty work.… Read more