“The Cold Cold Ground is a razor-sharp thriller set against the backdrop of a country in chaos, told with style, courage, and dark-as-night wit. Adrian McKinty channels Dennis Lehane, David Peace, and Joseph Wambaugh to create an utterly brilliant novel with its own unique voice.” —Stuart Neville, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Fiction/Mystery & Detective
Northern Ireland, spring 1981. Hunger strikes, riots, power cuts, a homophobic serial killer with a penchant for opera, and a young woman’s suicide that may yet turn out to be murder: on the surface, the events are unconnected, but then things—and people—aren’t always what they seem. Detective Sergeant Duffy is the man tasked with trying to get to the bottom of it all. It’s no easy job—especially when it turns out that one of the victims was involved in the IRA but was last seen discussing business with someone from the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force. Add to this the fact that, as a Catholic policeman, it doesn’t matter which side he’s on, because nobody trusts him, and Sergeant Duffy really is in a no-win situation. Fast-paced, evocative, and brutal, The Cold Cold Ground is a brilliant depiction of Belfast at the height of the Troubles—and of a cop treading a thin, thin line.
“Adrian McKinty’s The Cold Cold Ground has gotten onto my five best of the year list as it is riveting, brilliant, and just about the best book yet on Northern Ireland.” —Ken Bruen, Shamus Award–winning crime writer
“No question, The Cold Cold Ground is an exciting launch for what is sure to be an anticipated crime series. Great detective stories are built on three key elements—setting, story, and protagonist—and this one deploys each one magnificently. The setting—Northern Ireland in 1981, during the hunger strikes—is portrayed with frightening detail. The clever story evolves slowly as plot points are pinned to cultural biases that transcend “The Troubles”—for example, homosexuality and unwed motherhood. Police detective Sean Duffy wins us over chapter by chapter with his tenacity; his swaggering, witty dialogue; and his record collection—he spins The Velvet Underground when in need of a lift. The audiobook exceeds all expectations because of narrator Gerard Doyle. His storytelling is understated, and his dialect work is remarkable. This is the ninth collaboration between author and narrator, and this team totally rocks. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.” —AudioFile
“A journey into a terrifying and almost dreamlike labyrinth of violence and betrayal, The Cold Cold Ground certainly won't let the reader go. It's the first novel of a trilogy that promises to be a superb read.” —Shots Crime & Thriller Ezine
“Irish novelist McKinty returns to his roots with the first book of the Troubles trilogy, set in his hometown during the time he grew up. At the height of conflict between the Catholic IRA and Protestant paramilitary factions in 1981, Sean Duffy, a Catholic police sergeant in the Protestant town of Carrickfergus, near Belfast, gets an unusual case. Two gay men have been murdered, their right hands severed (the classic modus for killing an informant) and switched between the two bodies. Duffy initially suspects a serial killer, but when no more gay men are targeted, he comes to believe that the second killing was done simply to cover up the first, in which the head of the IRA’s feared internal security force was the victim. Even after the case is reassigned, Duffy defies orders and keeps digging, coming up against corruption and collusion. Everything in this novel hits all the right notes, from its brilliant evocation of time and place to razor-sharp dialogue to detailed police procedures. McKinty, author of the Forsythe and Lighthouse Trilogies, has another expertly crafted crime trilogy going here, and readers will want to see what he does in the concluding two books.” —Booklist (starred review)
Adrian McKinty was born and grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He attended Oxford University on a full scholarship where he studied philosophy. In the mid 1990’s he moved to New York and found work in bars, bookstores, and building sites, finally becoming a high school English teacher in Denver, Colorado. In 2004 Adrian’s debut crime novel, Dead I Well May Be, was shortlisted for the Dagger Award and was optioned by Universal Pictures. Since then his books have sold over half a million copies and been translated into a dozen languages. Adrian won the 2017 Edgar Award and is a two time winner of the Ned Kelly Award and the Barry Award.