Review: Gun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty


Title: Gun Street Girl {Sean Duffy #4}

Author: Adrian McKinty

Published: Sceptre: Allen and Unwin January 2015

Status: Read from January 28 to 30, 2015 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

I’ve been curious about Adrian McKinty’s work for a while. Though born and raised in Ireland, McKinty now lives in Australia, allowing us to claim him as one of our own. Despite my dislike of starting a series in the middle, so to speak, I couldn’t resist the lure of Gun Street Girl, the fourth book in his gritty police procedural series featuring Sean Duffy, an Irish Catholic Detective Inspector in Northern Ireland during the mid 1980’s.

It’s a busy night for Detective Inspector Duffy who, after observing a multi-agency midnight raid on some gun runners which goes spectacularly wrong, is not long home when he is called out to deal first with a sensitive situation in a local whorehouse and then a double homicide just inside the border of their RUC district. A wealthy couple has been shot dead while watching the TV, and Detective Sergeant McCrabban is eager to take on the case. The scene seems straightforward, the dead couple’s missing twenty-two year old son determined to be the likely perpetrator, but it soon becomes clear that this investigation will be anything but simple and Duffy finds himself chasing missing missiles, gun dealers and a clever assassin.

Duffy is a complex guy, a cop who believes in justice but is cynical about the law. He is not above breaking the rules, enjoying the occasional snort of cocaine and regularly circumventing the chain of command, but he clearly prioritises the truth over diplomacy or procedure. His failure to play by the ‘rules’, and the fact that he is one of the few Catholics amidst an overwhelmingly Protestant police force, means he will likely never rise any higher.

Th plot is well crafted with several layers, though I didn’t really feel like it offered any surprises. I did appreciate that Duffy, with the help of McCrabban and Lawson, has to really work the case to get the answers he needs. The investigation is thorough but never tedious and enhanced by the story’s subplots.

Set against the background of ‘The Troubles’ and referencing real events, the story is particularly well grounded in time and place. I love that Duffy’s house is McKinty’s childhood home in Carrickfergus, and though I’m not really a fan, music lovers may enjoy constructing their own playlists from Duffy’s preferences.

Thankfully I felt that Gun Street Girl worked well as a stand alone novel (though I’m still eager to read the previous books in the series: The Cold Cold Ground ; I Hear the Sirens in the Street and In the Morning I’ll be Gone). Well crafted, with an appealing lead character and interesting setting, Gun Street Girl is a great read for crime fiction fans.

Available to purchase from

Allen and Unwin Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I Amazon AU  I via Booko

Book Depository I Amazon US I Amazon UK

and all good bookstores.




2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Coffee & a BookChick (@CoffeeBookChick)
    Jan 31, 2015 @ 02:23:15

    I do love a good Irish murder mystery. Will keep an eye out for this series.



  2. Trackback: GUN STREET GIRL by Adrian McKinty | Booklover Book Reviews

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