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Belfast 1988: A man is found dead, killed with a bolt from a crossbow in front of his house. This is no hunting accident.

But uncovering who is responsible for the murder will take Detective Sean Duffy down his most dangerous road yet, a road that leads to a lonely clearing on a high bog where three masked gunmen will force Duffy to dig his own grave.

Hunted by forces unknown, threatened by Internal Affairs, and with his relationship on the rocks, Duffy will need all his wits to get out of this investigation in one piece




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It’s just the same things over and again for Sean Duffy: riot duty, heartbreak, cases he can solve but never get to court.

But what detective gets two locked-room mysteries in one career?

When journalist Lily Bigelow is found dead in the courtyard of Carrickfergus castle, it looks like a suicide. Yet there are just a few things that bother Duffy enough to keep the case file open. Which is how he finds out that she was working on a devastating investigation of corruption and abuse at the highest levels of power in the UK and beyond.

And so Duffy has two impossible problems on his desk: Who killed Lily Bigelow? And what were they trying to hide?




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Belfast, 1985: Detective Sean Duffy, a Catholic cop in the Protestant RUC, struggles with burn-out as he investigates a brutal double murder and suicide.

Did Michael Kelly really shoot his parents at point blank and then jump off a nearby cliff? A suicide note points to this conclusion, but Duffy suspects even more sinister circumstances. He soon discovers that Kelly was present at a decadent Oxford party where a cabinet minister’s daughter died of a heroin overdose. This may or may not have something to do with Kelly’s subsequent death. 

New evidence leads elsewhere: gun runners, arms dealers, the British government, and a rogue American agent with a fake identity. Duffy thinks he’s getting somewhere when agents from MI5 show up at his doorstep and try to recruit him, thus taking him off the investigation.

Duffy is in it up to his neck, doggedly pursuing a case that may finally prove his undoing.




VIDEO: Adrian McKinty heads to
Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, to visit
Det. Sean Duffy’s stomping grounds.


The first three books of the series



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A Catholic cop tracks a killer operating amidst the sectarian violence of the conflict in Northern Ireland.

Spring 1981. Northern Ireland. Belfast on the verge of outright civil war. The Thatcher government has flooded the area with soldiers but nightly there are riots, bombings, and sectarian attacks. 

In the midst of the chaos, Sean Duffy, a young, witty, Catholic detective in the almost entirely Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary, is trying to track down a serial killer who is targeting gay men. As a Catholic policeman, Duffy is suspected by both sides and there are layers of complications. For one thing, homosexuality is illegal in Northern Ireland in 1981. Then he discovers that one of the victims was involved in the IRA, but was last seen discussing business with someone from the Protestant UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force). 

Fast-paced, evocative, and brutal, The Cold Cold Ground is a brilliant depiction of Belfast at the height of the Troubles and a cop caught in the cross fire.




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There's always a clue. 
Sometimes it's just hard to see.

A torso in a suitcase looks like an impossible case. But Sean Duffy isn't easily deterred, especially when his floundering love life leaves him in need of distraction. So, with Detective Constables McCrabban and McBride, he goes to work identifying the victim. The torso turns out to be all that's left of an American tourist who once served in the US military. What was he doing in Northern Ireland in the midst of the 1982 Troubles?

The trail leads to the doorstep of a beautiful, flame-haired, twenty-something widow, whose husband died at the hands of an IRA assassination team just a few months before. Suddenly, Duffy is caught between his romantic instincts, gross professional misconduct, and powerful men he should know better than to mess with. These include British intelligence, the FBI, and local paramilitary death squads, enough to keep even the savviest detective busy.

Duffy's growing sense of self-doubt isn't helping. But, being a legendarily stubborn man, he doesn't let that stop him pursuing the case to its explosive conclusion.




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Detective Sean Duffy works to crack a locked room mystery while tracking an escaped IRA master bomber.

The early 1980s. Belfast. Sean Duffy, a conflicted Catholic cop in the Protestant RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary), is recruited by MI5 to hunt down Dermot McCann, an IRA master bomber who has made a daring escape from the notorious Maze Prison. In the course of his investigations Sean discovers a woman who may hold the key to Dermot's whereabouts; she herself wants justice for her daughter who died in mysterious circumstances in a pub locked from the inside. Sean knows that if he can crack the "locked room mystery," the bigger mystery of Dermot's whereabouts might be revealed to him as a reward. Meanwhile the clock is ticking down to the Conservative Party Conference in Brighton in 1984, where Mrs. Thatcher is due to give a keynote speech….