Rain Dogs: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel by Adrian McKinty (Seventh Street Books, $15.95, 315 pages)
“The cryin’ rain like a trumpet sang/And asked for no applause.” Bob Dylan
Balanced Storytelling Makes Rain Dogs a Joy to Read.
The word that comes to mind when pondering Adrian McKinty’s Rain Dogs is balance. A cop story, for sure, McKinty’s 17th book is that and more.
The story opens with Detective Sean Duffy’s girlfriend, Beth, leaving him amidst his investigation into the apparent suicide of a young journalist named Lily Bigelow at Carrickfergus Castle. McKinty was born and raised in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, and details of the setting flow naturally, as would be expected.
As the story unfolds, Duffy uncovers some unseemly details at Kinkaid, a home for boys, and as the story comes to a close, McKinty deftly ties the various threads of the story together, including the return of Beth.
However, even as Duffy and his crew’s suspicions and clues lead them from suicide to murder, from one suspect to another, the cops can’t quite close the deal – which leads to another death… or murder, perhaps. With the circumstances of Duffy’s life and relationship changed, the next steps are less certain than they otherwise might have been, which, of course, perfectly sets up the 18th book.
Whether it be in the interplay between dialogue and description or plot construction and character development, McKinty always seems to deliver a pleasing balance that satisfies. Well done.
A review copy was provided by the publisher.
Dave Moyer is a school superintendent in Illinois, and is the author of Life and Life Only: A Novel.