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Sean Duffy Books In Order

Publication Order of Sean Duffy Books

The Cold, Cold Ground (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
I Hear the Sirens in the Street (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
In the Morning I'll Be Gone (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Gun Street Girl (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rain Dogs (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


The Sean Duffy series is a novel series comprising of three novels published by Blackstone Audiobooks from 2012 to 2014. The series is written by Irish author Adrian McKinty and narrated by Gerard Doyle. The fourth one in the series is ready to be published in early 2015. The series is set in the Belfast and Carrickfergus areas of Northern Ireland in the year 1981. The series opens up by introducing the main protagonist Detective Sergeant Sean Duffy as a hard-boiled Catholic man. Duffy remains on the hunt of the serial who try to bring chaos in Belfast by committing murder, throughout the series. His character description given by the author is of an intelligent and an insubordinate police officer. Duffy was born on 6th August 1955 in Londonderry as Sean Patrick Duffy. Over the years of his service in the Ireland police department, Sean achieves the rank of Detective Inspector. He is depicted as being a potentially rogue police officer. Sean has links with the MI5 and the C6 military intelligence. He has the habit of getting drunk very often. Being the only Catholic in the protestant housing estate Sean has been advised to change his residence but does not pay any heed to the written requests sent to him. Detective Sean Duffy is not someone who can be trusted with the key to the evidence room. He is full of resources and a very dangerous asset when it comes to killing criminals. His ruthless behavior has allowed him to make powerful enemies. With some influential friends and companions, Detective Sean Duffy is feared by many criminal lords.

The first novel of the series was titled ‘The Cold Cold Ground – The Irish Independent’s Verdict’ and was published in the year 2012. The novel introduces Detective Sergeant Sean Duffy as the one who always lands himself in trouble. Set in 1981 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the novel gives the complete characterization of Detective Sean Duffy. He is Catholic by religion and a member of the RUC. Duffy is continuously at the risk of getting killed by the IRA for his profession and by the religious personnel for his habit of getting drunk. He is an unusual cop having a degree in psychology and interested in opera. He normally speaks Irish but is fluent in multiple languages. He was tempted to join the IRA before joining the police academy, after getting affected by the incident of the Bloody Sunday. He also has a pathologist girlfriend. The plot of the novel shows Detective Duffy being assigned to investigate the serial killings of the homosexuals.

The serial killer is considered to be a psycho as he plays with them after every murder. He leaves some or the other clue with some references to operas so that the police would come behind him. Another murder takes place in the city when the wife a hunger striker is killed. The murders seem unconnected in the beginning, but Detective Duffy has to investigate both the cases find out the truth behind the murders. The situation in Belfast out of control due to riots, hunger strikes, corruption and darkness of crime all over. Soon, Detective Duffy is taken off the case and is warned by Special Branch and the Army Intelligence for his connection to the IRA. But, this does not stop him from trying to solve the cases. He keeps dodging and defying the rules with the sole intention bringing justice to the victims. He continuously risks the life of his girlfriend and his own, but becomes successful in bringing out the truth. He reveals the murders not to be homophobic, but instead an attempt by a criminal lord to cover his crimes. The author has depicted the names of real people in the novel, including Freddie Scappaticci and Gerry Adams. He has been successful in depicting the actual scenario of the 1980 Ireland when the atmosphere was not at all conducive for survival.

The second novel of the series was titled ‘I Hear the Sirens in the Street’ and was published in the year 2013. In this novel, Sean Duffy maintains his quirky character depicted in the first book of the series. He has become more cynical and wiser from his prior experience. He awarded with the Queen’s police Medal and a promotion from sergeant to Detective Inspector. This remains for a short period of time as he is demoted to return to the uniformed duty for his insubordinate behavior and chronic inability to give up trying to solve the cases after being taken off the cases. The life of Detective Duffy is very well depicted by author Adrian Mckinty. His sense of being at the risk of losing his life, searching for the bomb under his car, drinking heavily and consuming drugs show resemblance to a real life character. Sean often has wary relations with his colleagues and dear ones. He is also disturbed by the daily turf-wars with the special branch and the intervention of army intelligence in releasing the suspects out of custody and destroying the evidences. When the murder of Pat Finucane and the release of DeLorean makes the headlines of the newspapers, Sean begins his chase to find out a battered, headless and limbless body on the waste ground. The site is near the place where the American adventure Zachary Delorean is trying to develop a new exotic car which was going to cost millions of pounds to the taxpayers of Britain.

Duffy and his team are able to identify the body to be of a US army official, working for the federal drugs agency. With further investigations, Duffy comes to know about a couple of other murders and the role of a lonely and attractive widow along with a landowner. In the course of the investigation, Duffy looses his girlfriend who had revealed a toxic drug that can be obtained from house plant. The whole story is revealed to be of tax evasion and drug smuggling. Duffy faces conflicts with his superiors, especially from the army intelligence and the FBI and US treasury officials. The story strongly narrates the government’s vain attempts at providing jobs and at the same time depicts the DeLorean’s successful attempts to loot the British Treasury. Duffy carries himself to America in his attempts of stopping the criminal activities taking place in his country. The success of the novel series brought a prosperity to Adrian McKinty. He also went on to win several awards, including the Barry Award and the Ned Kelly Award. He was even shortlisted for several other prestigious awards such as the CWA Steel Dagger Award and the Young Hoosier Award.

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