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Gun Street Girl

Detective Sean Duffy, Book 4
Narrated by: Gerard Doyle
Series: Detective Sean Duffy Series, Book 4
Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (98 ratings)

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Summary

Belfast, 1985. Amid the Troubles, Detective Sean Duffy, a Catholic cop in the Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary, struggles with burnout as he investigates a brutal double murder and suicide. Did Michael Kelly really shoot his parents at point-blank range and then jump off a nearby cliff? A suicide note points to this conclusion, but Duffy suspects even more sinister circumstances. He soon discovers that Kelly was present at a decadent Oxford party where a cabinet minister's daughter died of a heroin overdose, which may or may not have something to do with Kelly's subsequent death.

New evidence leads elsewhere: gun runners, arms dealers, the British government, and a rogue American agent with a fake identity. Duffy thinks he's getting somewhere when agents from MI5 show up at his doorstep and try to recruit him, thus taking him off the investigation.

Duffy is in it up to his neck, doggedly pursuing a case that may finally prove to be his undoing.

©2015 Adrian McKinty (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic reviews

  • Shortlisted for the 2016 Audie Award (Best Mystery) and the 2016 Edgar Award (Best Pbk Original)

"When it comes to Northern Irish crime fiction, Adrian McKinty forged the path the rest of us follow. The Sean Duffy series is the culmination of a career spent examining our darkest moments, and McKinty is the only crime writer who can do justice to our singular history." (Stuart Neville, author of The Final Silence)

"Series fans will appreciate the further insight into the fallout from tragic cases, department politics, and war. As usual, there's plenty of entertaining territorial battling between the dizzying array of law-enforcement agencies acting in Belfast, and Duffy's investigative skills seem somehow sharpened by his lost hope." (Booklist)

"Gerard Doyle gives a stunning narration of the fourth installment of McKinty's Detective Sean Duffy series.... From the subtle changes in dialect to McKinty's distinct writing cadence and dark humor, Doyle hones in on the details that make this procedural a joy to listen to." (AudioFile)

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GREAT

The best listen a while. The narrator was great the best iv heard. A fab read. This is one book I definitely recommend.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Superb

Excellent series, highly recommend it.
Great mix of fact and fiction.
Well done Adrian McKinty!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • GORDON
  • United Kingdom
  • 25-09-16

Terrific

Great story - the narrator is sublime - and the characters entertaining. I'm going back to start this series again, it's so good.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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awesome<br />great. story, great humour, great voice

very good delivery, great story . love the humour. don't like the fact that he's a commie but it just shows you that all police in EU are commie.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great, in depth story.

Very well told and much appreciated as a Sean Duffy case. Mystery and intrigue until the end. Johnh

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Best one yet

This series has been consistently brilliant so far - great protagonist in Sean Duffy, an unputdownable story, a gritty 1980s Northern Ireland setting and sharp witty narrative. Gun Street Girl is the best so far and the bar was already high!

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  • Top of Mind
  • 07-03-15

Another McKinty Gem

McKinty simply is one of the best writers out there today - of any kind. His prose is lyrical without any cloying ornamentation or sentimentality. He sets a firm noir tone that he brilliantly leavens with sharp observation, humor and well-defined, but not cardboard characters.
But most of all, he tells a good story. It is well-paced and a continuing pleasure to read. The Gun Street Girl like the other books in this series is hard to put done.
The real mystery with McKinty is why he is not more popular.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Ted
  • 25-04-15

Excellent. 15 Stars! Warning Though

Is hope a business plan?

Warning: This is the fourth chapter in the epic adventure of Ulster detective Sean Duffy. Each is powerfully terrific, but they are chronological, start with "The Cold, Cold Ground" and grow along with Sean.

Now... "Gun Street Girl" is heartbreaking on so many levels. An Irish poet has written about today's Northern Ireland as "Reveling in the ordinary." Adrian McGinty moves us back into the 1980s Ulster where nothing, by our American/European standards, is ordinary. In a way, it's a hell much like this moment's Middle East or perhaps Mozambique.

Over these novels we've lived with Sean's growth (or regression) through ten years that he entered as a brilliant young man who'd hoped to make a difference by leaving a PhD program to become a cop. Originally planned as a trilogy, McKinty's narrative of Sean Duffy's trip has easily expanded into this fourth adventure swirling around a whodunit murder mystery. But from opening to solution Duffy becomes yet something almost grotesquely different from the dreamer of "The Cold, Cold Ground".

Perhaps this is the end of Duffy? Maybe it took McKinley four rather than three novels to get to this spot? Or maybe my hope in redemption will fuel another Sean Duffy experience. Even if it does end here, this is an epic that will haunt me, thanks in very large part to Gerard Doyle's spectacular talent as an actor with a tongue drunken by brogue.

McKinty is one of the greatest living popular Irish writers, and yet I understand he lives in America? Maybe you have to be from somewhere to communicate it to others? Yet historically, we are all from somewhere we left moments, minutes, hours, years, and decades ago. McKinty takes us back... To hope.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Shauna
  • 06-04-15

Gun Street Girl

This is another great book in the Sean Duffy series by Adrian McKinty. Sean gets involved with a murder investigation of a prominent family of Northern Ireland. Sean, a Catholic, is in the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) which is predominantly Protestant. As in the previous books, the underlying story is about The Troubles between the Protestants and IRA during the 80s.

To understand the back story, it helps to have read the other Sean Duffy books. If you haven't, then become familiar with the RUC, the IRA, Sinn Fein, the Fenians, and other "tribes" of Northern Ireland. That way the back story will make more sense.

Adrian McKinty brings forth many insights about The Troubles and international politics in this book. He helped me understand Margaret Thatcher's attempts to back out of Northern Ireland without conceding any losses. He made me think more about Sinn Fein which ironically was a featured story on 60 Minutes on April 5, 2015, wherein Gerry Adams, who is referenced in Gun Street Girl, is now under investigation for murder.

Sean Duffy is a human and vulnerable character whom I believe most readers will relate to. He is bright and witty, but not the perfect protagonist as he delves into drugs and other excesses. Nevertheless, he is portrayed as a superior problem solver and strategist. I think readers will find in impressive and worth following.

I gave the narrator only 3 stars because his American accents grated on me. Perhaps it's because the Irish accents are so lovely in comparison. Simply, I am tired of hearing all Americans in these books sound as if they are from Boston. Not every American sound like JFK.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Elizabeth
  • 08-03-15

Fantastic experience

I had forgotten how much I enjoy McKinty's books read by Gerard Doyle. Highly recommended. Great series- can't wait for the next.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Susie
  • 13-03-15

Be Still My Freakin’ Detective Duffy Heart!

What did you love best about Gun Street Girl?

I could read a Duffy novel every week. Detective Sean is an improbable Irish Catholic cop on an all Protestant police force, during “The Troubles.” You wonder how he gets out the door every morning.

Although the character is fictional, McKinty takes his anti-hero and puts him into the most insane real-life historical twists. You start to feel like it MUST have happened.

What did you like best about this story?

When you find out the American political twist on what appears to local sectarian murders HOLY SH*T. I screamed.

What does Gerard Doyle bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Gerard has inhabited the Sean Duffy character for quite a while now. We BELIEVE him utterly. I know that real Irish must laugh at what Americans think is an Northern Irish accent, but hey, it WORKS FOR US.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Oh yes. The suspense is insane. The black humor is deadly. My barely suppressed longing for Duffy is never-ending. The political surprise at the end made me holler, and then I wouldn’t tell my partner what happened and we had to wait two weeks to talk about it openly.

Any additional comments?

I produce a lot of books at Audible, and listen to audio titles of all kinds, constantly. But political mystery fiction is my favorite escape, and John Le Carre’s classics, and Adrian McKinty are my GO TO.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Meg
  • 26-05-16

Enjoyable addition

I am a big fan of this series and I enjoyed this book just as much as the others. McKinty's style is unique and compelling and I am always hooked as soon as I start listening. The series has definitely grown on me over time and I'm eager to read the next installment.
The narration is excellent and the character development, as usual, is outstanding.
The reason I'm only giving 4 stars is that for some reason the end seemed a bit off to me, I'm not sure why and it could just be my expectations, but it felt a bit rushed.
However, all in all it was an entertaining read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • 02-01-16

I love this series!

Adrian McKinty is simply one of the best authors of police/crime thrillers. Gun Street Girl is Book 4 in the Detective Sean Duffy series with book 5 scheduled for release in 3 months. Duffy is a detective in rural Ulster (Northern Ireland which is part of the UK). In this book he ends up with a case in Belfast. As such he is a Catholic cop in a mostly Protestant country. The novel is set in 1985 while the IRA was still very active in Northern Ireland. This is a superb novel written by a true master of the genre. Gerard Doyle's narration is outstanding

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Karita dos Santos
  • 09-03-15

Adrian McKinty just keeps getting better

Like many other readers, I assumed that the final novel in The Troubles Trilogy would mark the end of Detective Sean Duffy. I'm happy I was wrong. These novels are some of the best crime fiction I've ever read, and the audio books with narrator Gerard Doyle are pure pleasure.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • B.J.
  • 09-03-15

What do you call the 4th book in a trilogy?

Not sure why or where it's headed, but clearly "The Troubles Trilogy" has grown. I guess you could call it a quadrilogy now - though the one word I'd use to describe it is "excellent."

Adrian McKinty has a bit of a formula - but that's not really a bad thing. I don't know how much you could write about "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland without getting a bit repetitive. What saves it from boredom is that his writing is always clever and the characters just keep getting better. Sean Duffy is terribly flawed and very likeable. When I thought the series was over, I was disappointed and knew I'd miss him. I'm glad he's back.

McKinty has a way of immersing his books in the culture of the time - partially through political references, but more so through music. It's really a terrific addition and adds even more personality to Duffy's character.

I can't do a review on this without commenting on Gerard Doyle. He is the voice of Sean Duffy. He makes this series work for me. I love listening to him.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • John S
  • 17-03-15

One book too many in series

I typically get hooked into series and at some point I realize enough is enough. This book was the enough. I love the setting of Northern Ireland, the narration by Gerard Doyle, but the basic material in this book is rather weak. I suppose that is just typical when you write a series of books eventually you run out of material, just look at the Harry Potter series.

I would highly recommend any of the earlier books in this series. This one, no.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful