The third in McKinty’s trilogy (following The Cold Cold Ground and I Hear the Sirens in the Street) featuring peeler (aka Royal Ulster Constabulary police detective) Sean Duffy in Northern Ireland in the early ’80s, a fraught and dangerous time of Maze Prison hunger strikes and IRA bombings and then, of course, the murder cases Sean must work and solve. None of them ends very satisfyingly for him but this is a three-book flash photo of the time that you will not be able to forget, with walk-ons by historical figures like Gerry Adams, Ian Paisley, John Delorean, JFK’s nephew Joe Kennedy and even Margaret Thatcher.
This book builds the trilogy to a big finish, in which Sean is required to solve a cold case murder to stop an IRA assassination. The most horrifying moment is reserved for a quiet conversation at the end that makes you realize how bittersweet the title really is. Well worth reading.