Michael is on holiday in Spain when a soccer riot between the Paddies and the Brits escalates out of control and he winds up in a Spanish prison. Enter Samantha, a beautiful British Intelligence agent. She makes Michael an offer he can't refuse: instead of extradition to Mexico to serve time for a prison break, he can infiltrate an IRA sleeper cell in the United States. Thrust into the nightmare world of men known for their distinctive brands of torture and revenge, Michael crosses and double-crosses key players, narrowly escapes his own lies, loses his only ally, and falls for the daughter of his enemy.
©2006 Adrian McKinty; (P)2006 Blackstone Audiobooks
"McKinty's literate, expertly crafted third crime novel...confirms his place as one of his generation's leading talents." (Publishers Weekly)
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"A more mature Michael..."
I listened to this book immediately after the first, and prefer this one-- the protagonist is seven years older and has indeed matured, his motivations are clearer, the contrasts in his behavior (savage) and his intellect/sensitivity (intense) are less stark, which results in a more nuanced and intelligent novel, though still very much of a piece with the first. Although I could admire some things about Michael Forsythe in the first novel (his bravery, his poetry, his intelligence), in this novel I came to like him, the author gives him more internal conflict, more of a chance for redemption. As with the first book I found the read intense, but blood and gore don't stream through the book for shock's sake, it's not a book where the violence repulses though it certainly sounds as a constant in the novel and the protaganist's life. As with the first novel, the male characters are much more compelling and three-dimensional than the females, but...this particular world is a very ugly male world so far, so no real surpise. Nice to have two consistent, high caliber novels - I'm ready to read the third and hope for the same!
"Where has this guy been?"
A friend of mine recommended this series of books to me, and I loved every minute of them. Michael Forsythe is an interesting, captivating character. The narration is a perfect mate to these stories as it is very well done with Irish brogue and various other accents done to perfection.
I don't know why Adrian McKinty hasn't made best seller lists all over the place. I was blown away by his writing style - a thriller writer who puts his more popular contemporaries to shame (James Patterson eat your heart out!).
Start with this book and dive into the world of Michael Forsythe. Let him take you to places and thrilling situations to make you forget everything else. I know you'll quickly be getting the other two books when you're done with this one. Only a wee ijit would miss out on such fantastic storytelling.
"Staying Cool, but not polar"
I am a big fan of the first book in this series, but unfortunately, was not as much a fan of this one.
I really enjoyed the majority of this book, but my major problem was with two major turning point plot twists that made no sense and were outside the acceptable suspension of disbelief. I won't be a "spoiler", but it is a series of serious against character moments.
Yes, this flaw sets up the action for the final act of the book, but really rubbed me wrong.
I enjoyed the book on a whole, but rather than remembering how well it was written in general, how great the narration was, or anything else, I remember these "bad decisions" instead.
Anyway, as a series, it certainly moves the character along. I also found it FAR more violent and gory than the first. Much more along the lines of a NC-17 slasher flick. But, that almost made it much more real and scary.
I DO recommend this, especially if you've read the first. But, I don't recommend going in expecting "The Godfather II" out of it. You may be surprised, or you may be like me and disappointed a bit.
"The Poetics of Terror"
I have just finished my third Adrian McKinty Audible novel, "The Dead Yard." Both novelist and narrator are off-scale, so the combination is darkly dazzling because their speciality is the poetry of the terrible. The listener is drawn into dismaying absorbtion in the emotional and psychic drama of blood vengeance. It isn't until the last lyrical words have been uttered that one realizes how profoundly moral is this tale about the very current subject of terror as political tactic.
The protagonist Michael Forsythe is tricked by British intelligence into infiltrating a radical splinter IRA group attempting with action in America to undermine the 1990s peace process in Northern Ireland. Each member of the group represents a type of terrorist in terms of character motivation. Jerry, the leader, spouts poetic maxims in Latin, as he seeks to confer the glory of epic-style action on the tawdry actions of his little band. "Touched" is the psychopath whose twisted soul meshes so naturally and therefore so effectively with the twisting machinations of terror. Sonia the intellectual is deluded by bookish, romantic idealisms akin to those of the old Left. The two young people Jackie and Kit are animated with the corrupting romanticism of their elders and Irish forebearers: Jackie the male motivated much by the need for male solidarity; Kit the female, not even Irish by birth but by adoption, trapped by ethical complexities of identity and values too great for her quite good, but too young mind. On the other side are Michael and his handler Samantha. She like Kit is in over her head because she is not quite the consummate cold professional that she prides herself in being. And Michael, the hapless agent of British intelligence, turns into the commited avenger--an almost mythical figure bringing the justice he and the listener crave. But, oh, the cost to him!
"The Dead Yard" is a deep listen.
"Three for Three"
Unbelievably, this third novel by McKinty is the best of the three he's written. I say that because the other two were so excellent, it was hard to think he could match them...but match and exceed them he did. Gerard Doyle adds so much to the experience of this book that I'm not quite sure on whom to heap praises - the author or the narrator.
This book is surprisingly hilarious at times. When Michael is being hugged by the bad guy he's consorting with, he wonders whether the guy really likes him or whether it is the world's most subtle murder attempt.
However, a word of caution. It is excruciatingly violent and gory. The last two hours was so full of graphic violence and edge of the seat tension, I actually got nauseated and nearly threw up. You'll know what I mean if you read this book. I had to get up and pace back and forth the last 30 minutes. I haven't been this nervous since Silence of the Lambs' basement scene.
I hope McKinty continues to write "The Forsythe Saga" and I hope Doyle never gets laryngitis. I have totally, totally enjoyed this book, and the two previous.
I give it five stars and it will give you a heart attack.
Hope you like it as much as I did.
"slow at first"
The beginning of this book didn't hook me butsince I had paid for it I continued to listen. Once the action began however I would just drive around aimlessly so I could listen to more. I purchased the next in the series as soon as I finished this one.
"I stayed up til 2 am"
I usually listen in the car. I opted to continue with this story instead of TV. I stayed up until 2 am listening to the end. The story was so intense, I didn't want to stop.
"A great sequel"
A wonderful follow up! Brilliantly read...a wee bit gory......okay a LOT gory. But the storyline will hold your interest and the twists will delight you.
"Great pulp fiction, and perfect narration"
I loved this book. Started it right after I finished "Dead I Well May Be" and am nearly done with "Bloomsday Dead" now. If you like swearing, drinking, killing, lusting tales of revenge and mayhem, you'll love this. Plus, the narrator fits the main character perfect, and it's written in the first person.
This novel is the weakest of the series but it is so entertaining still that it still merits three stars. Michael is a great character and is pretty damned funny. Narrator is fantastic!
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