Detective Up Late Adrian McKinty puts Carrickfergus on the Map again

Detective Up Late – Adrian McKinty puts Carrickfergus on the Map again

The book cover of The Detective Up Late by Adrian McKinty

Audio version

The Detective Up Late by Adrian McKintyIt has been a long time coming – but finally we have the last in the Sean Duffy series, Detective Up Late. The seventh in the series – and quite a few years since the last one – Police at the Station And They Don’t Look Friendly (2017) Yet again the title is taken from the lyrics of a Tom Waits song.

The author, Adrian McKinty hails from Carrickfergus although he hasn’t lived there for a long time. His roots are strong though and he bases this series on the 1980’s Carrick that he remembers. Sean Duffy is a Catholic RUC officer who is stationed in Carrick and he moves into Coronation Rd in the middle of a Protestant housing estate. The books can be violent but are easily relatable by anyone who grew up in the NI he describes.
Crime is crime even during the ‘Troubles’ and Sean and his team face threats from both sides as well as the criminal gangs who operate outside the law. The plots are intelligent, clever and engaging as well as being at times tense and threatening – the outcome is not always guaranteed and not always what you think it will be.
Within all this though Adrian manages to demonstrate Sean’s humanity and his vulnerability as he carves a reputation out for himself in the force. The relationships he has with his fellow officers including Crabbie and Lawson bring the stories down to earth as does his relationship with girlfriend Beth and the subsequent birth of their daughter.

The sixth book in the series, Police at the Station… ended with Duffy preparing to throw in the towel on his career after a terrifying attack on his family and he is proposing a move away from NI to Scotland. Detective Up Late begins as he is about to uproot his family to make the move. But there is one last case he needs to solve – a missing traveller girl has been reported and he, Crabbie and Lawson burn the candle at both ends to get to the bottom of the case (hence the title!)

McKinty studied Philosophy at Oxford and has a liking for classical music, and both of these things are channelled through to the intellectual side of Duffy’s character, adding another dimension to the novel. He also has a thing about his souped-up BMW which he goes into in detail as well – warning the reader to skip if the information dump is too much! I would have skipped them but it’s a bit hard to do when listening to the audiobook! 😊

The Chain by Adrian McKintyThe author makes no bones about the reason for the big gap in finishing the series. He has talked at length about his writer’s block and how he was on the verge of giving up writing altogether. After a succession of dead-end jobs including bartender and Uber driver he was able to pitch an idea for a new thriller to an agent who loved the idea. The Chain was the result and it quickly became a bestseller on both sides of the world revitalising Adrian’s career and finally giving him the recognition that his writing is due. He followed it up with The Island another bestselling thriller based in the outback of Australia – where Adrian’s family moved for a couple of years. This has been optioned by Universal Studios for development for the big screen.

Detective Up Late is only available as an audiobook through BorrowBox at present but I must say that the experience of listening to it on my commute was great – although I could easily have just kept on driving to hear what happens next. The story was engaging with a variety of great characters and the references to localities that I am familiar with added to my enjoyment. In one way I am sad that this is the end of Duffy – but also I am excited to see what Adrian does next and whether Carrickfergus, Sunnylands, the Marine Highway and Ownies pub will feature again in his writing!Carrick Castle

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Detective Up Late – BorrowBox audio

Sean Duffy Series

The Cold Cold Ground

I hear the Sirens in the Street- Libby audio

In the Morning I’ll be Gone - Libby audio

Gun Street Girl

Rain Dogs

Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly - Libby audio

Detective Up Late