February’s Book of the Month – The Cold Cold Ground

The start of a fast-paced trilogy from the acclaimed writer is set in Northern Ireland in the 1970s.

For Detective Sergeant Sean Duffy, the Troubles are just beginning…
Northern Ireland. Spring 1981. Hunger Strikes. Riots. Power cuts. A serial killer with a penchant for opera. And a young woman’s suicide that may yet turn out to be murder.

On the surface, these events appear unconnected, but then things – and people – aren’t always what they seem. Detective Sergeant Sean 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 last seen discussing business with someone from the UVF. Add to that 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 a cop treading a thin, thin line.

‘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 a brilliant novel with its own unique voice.’ – Stuart Neville

‘McKinty (has) a razor sharp ear for the local dialogue and a feeling for the bleak time and place that was Ulster in the early Eighties, and pair them with a wry wicked wit… If Raymond Chandler had grown up in Northern Ireland, The Cold Cold Ground is what he would have written.’  
The Times

‘Ireland’s more accessible answer to James Ellroy.’ – Guardian 


Adrian was born and grew up in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. After studying philosophy at Oxford University he emigrated to New York City where he lived in Harlem for seven years working in bars, bookstores, building sites and finally the basement stacks of the Columbia University Medical School Library in Washington Heights.

In 2000 he moved to Denver, Colorado where he taught high school English and started writing fiction in earnest. His first full length novel Dead I Well May Be was shortlisted for the 2004 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award and was picked by Booklist as one of the 10 best crime novels of the year. The sequel to that book, The Dead Yard was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the 12 best novels of 2006 and won the Audie Award for best mystery or thriller. These two novels, along with The Bloomsday Dead, form his trilogy of novels starring hitman Michael Forsythe, the DEAD trilogy.

In mid 2008 he moved to St. Kilda, Melbourne, Australia with his wife and kids. His book Fifty Grand won the 2010 Spinetingler Award and was longlisted for the 2011 Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year.

You can visit Adrian’s blog at www.adrianmckinty.blogspot.com