Adrian McKinty’s gritty “The Troubles Trilogy” kicks off with The Cold Cold Ground. We’re introduced to Sean Duffy, a young police detective working the chaotic streets of Belfast in 1981. Two bodies are found miles apart. But each has the other’s arm. Why the killer switched body parts leads Duffy into another investigation: the missing ex-wife of an IRA prisoner on a hunger strike. McKinty captures the desolation and urban violence of those times very well.
In Book Two of “The Troubles Trilogy,” Duffy investigates a case where an American is found dead in a suitcase. The cause of death is poisoning. The plot includes Margaret Thatcher and John DeLorean (the guy who made that great car in the Back to the Future series). As you might expect, there’s plenty of violence in these books. My minor quibble is that Sean Duffy takes a lot of punishment in these books. But, he has incredible luck when he’s in those near-death situations. If you’re in the mood for something different, you might want to give “The Troubles Trilogy” a try. The third book will be published in March 2014. I already have it on order. GRADE: B (for both books)