Adrian McKinty books in order
Adrian McKinty is a Northern Irish award-winning author of mystery and young adult fantasy novels. He is best known for writing the award-winning Sean Duffy Series.
Born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland during the most dreadful years of the Troubles, Adrian studied philosophy at Oxford University, thanks to a full scholarship.
It is while at the prestigious institution that he crossed paths with the love of his life, whom he followed to New York City where he did several jobs, including working as an illegal in bars and building sites. The two went on to get married, something that enabled Adrian to acquire American citizenship.
Prior to becoming a full-time author, Adrian was a high school teacher in Denver and Boulder.
The recipient of several awards, including the 2010 Spinetingler Award for Fifty Grand, and the 2014 Barry Award for I Hear The Sirens In The Street, Adrian currently lives in Melbourne, Australia.
Genres: Fantasy / SF, Young Adult
- Orange Rhymes With Everything (1997)
- Hidden River (2004)
- Fifty Grand (2009)
- Falling Glass (2011)
- Deviant (2011)
- The Sun is God (2014)
- The Chain (2019)
- The Island (2022)
- Belfast Noir (Edited by Adrian McKinty and Stuart Neville) (2014)
- The Lighthouse Land (2006)
- The Lighthouse War (2007)
- The Lighthouse Keepers (2008)
- Dead I Well May Be (2003)
- The Dead Yard (2006)
- The Bloomsday Dead (2007)
- The Cold, Cold Ground (2012)
- I Hear the Sirens in the Street (2013)
- In the Morning I'll be Gone (2014)
- Gun Street Girl (2015)
- Rain Dogs (2015)
- Police at the Station And They Don't Look Friendly (2017)
Detailed book overview
For his first novel, author Adrian McKinty has chosen Northern Ireland's age-old conflict between Protestant and Catholic as his stage and peopled it with two unnamed narrators, a violent Protestant paramilitary man and his hunchbacked teenage daughter.
The story opens with the man breaking out of a New York mental hospital and proceeds on a violent, bloody path back to Ireland. Alternating with this killer's progress are chapters describing his daughter's daily life in working-class Ulster.
Mr. McKinty writes close to the bone, taking the reader right inside his characters' heads so that each thought, each action, resonates in the mind almost as if it had been the reader's own. Given the harrowing lives these characters lead and the graphic depictions of violence throughout the book, Orange Rhymes with Everything can prove a disturbing read.
Alexander Lawson is a former detective for Northern Ireland's police force and a rising star at cracking difficult cases. After he is assigned to the force's dangerous, corruption-ridden drug squad, he becomes addicted to heroin—under unusual circumstances. Forced to resign in disgrace, Alex is twenty-four and still entrapped by the needle when he learns that his high school love, beautiful Victoria Patawasti, has been murdered in drought-scorched Denver, Colorado.
Victoria's family begs Alex to investigate the case, and he seizes the opportunity to fly to America for a chance at redemption.
Soon the bodies begin to pile up, and Alex is forced to go on the run after the only credible lead to Victoria's murderer is accidentally killed. Wanted by both the Colorado cops and the British police, who believe he has information about a corruption scandal, and with the murderer closing in all the time, Alex will have to fight just to stay alive, never mind solving the terrifying case.
A man is killed in a hit-and-run on a frozen mountain road in the town of Fairview, Colorado. He is an illegal immigrant in a rich Hollywood resort community not unlike Telluride. No one is prosecuted for his death and his case is quietly forgotten.
Six months later another illegal makes a treacherous run across the border. Barely escaping with her life and sanity intact, she finds work as a maid with one of the employment agencies in Fairview. Secretly, she begins to investigate the shadowy collision that left her father dead.
The maid isn't a maid. And she's not Mexican, either. She's Detective Mercado, a police officer from Havana, and she's looking for answers: Who killed her father? Was it one of the smooth- talking Hollywood types? Was it a minion of the terrifying county sheriff? And why was her father, a celebrated defector to the United States, hiding in Colorado as the town ratcatcher?
Richard Coulter is a man who has everything. His beautiful new wife is pregnant, his upstart airline is undercutting the competition and moving from strength to strength, his diversification into the casino business in Macau has been successful, and his fabulous Art Deco house on an Irish cliff top has just been featured in Architectural Digest.
But then, for some reason, his ex-wife Rachel doesn't keep her side of the custody agreement and vanishes off the face of the earth with Richard's two daughters. Richard hires Killian, a formidable ex-enforcer for the IRA, to track her down before Rachel, a recovering drug addict, harms herself or the girls.
As Killian follows Rachel's trail, he begins to see that there is a lot more to this case than first meets the eye and that a thirty-year-old secret is going to put all of them in terrible danger.
Danny Lopez is new in town. He made a mistake back home in Las Vegas, and now he has landed at an experimental school in Colorado for “tough cases.” At the Cobalt Charter School, everything is scripted—what the teachers say, what the students reply—and no other speaking is allowed. This supercontrolled environment gives kids a second chance to make something of themselves. But with few freedoms, the students become sitting ducks for a killer determined to “clean up” Colorado Springs.
Colonial New Guinea—1906: a small group of mostly German nudists live an extreme back-to-nature existence on the remote island of Kabakon. Eating only coconuts and bananas, they purport to worship the sun. One of their members—Max Lutzow—has recently died, allegedly from malaria. But an autopsy on his body in the nearby capital of Herbertshöhe raises suspicions about foul play.
Retired British military police officer Will Prior is recruited to investigate the circumstances of Lutzow’s death. At first, the eccentric group seems friendly and willing to cooperate with the investigation. They all insist that Lutzow died of malaria. Despite lack of evidence for a murder, Prior is convinced that the group is hiding something.
Things come to a head during a late-night feast supposedly given as a send-off for the visitors before they return to Herbertshöhe. Prior fears that the intent of the “celebration” is not to fete the visitors but to make them the latest murder victims.
When a mother is targeted by a dangerous group of masterminds, she must commit a crime to save her kidnapped daughter—or risk losing her forever.
It's something parents do every morning: Rachel Klein drops her daughter at the bus stop and heads into her day. But a cell phone call from an unknown number changes everything: it's a woman on the line, informing her that she has Kylie bound and gagged in her back seat, and the only way Rachel will see her again is to follow her instructions exactly: pay a ransom, and find another child to abduct. This is no ordinary kidnapping: the caller is a mother herself, whose son has been taken, and if Rachel doesn't do as she's told, the boy will die.
"You are not the first. And you will certainly not be the last." Rachel is now part of The Chain, an unending and ingenious scheme that turns victims into criminals—and is making someone else very rich in the process. The rules are simple, the moral challenges impossible; find the money fast, find your victim, and then commit a horrible act you'd have thought yourself incapable of just twenty-four hours ago.
But what the masterminds behind The Chain know is that parents will do anything for their children. It turns out that kidnapping is only the beginning.
After moving from a small country town to Seattle, Heather Baxter marries Tom, a widowed doctor with a young son and teenage daughter. A working vacation overseas seems like the perfect way to bring the new family together, but once they’re deep in the Australian outback, the jet-lagged and exhausted kids are so over their new mom.
When they discover remote Dutch Island, off-limits to outside visitors, the family talks their way onto the ferry, taking a chance on an adventure far from the reach of iPhones and Instagram.
But as soon as they set foot on the island, which is run by a tightly knit clan of locals, everything feels wrong. Then a shocking accident propels the Baxters from an unsettling situation into an absolute nightmare.
When Heather and the kids are separated from Tom, they are forced to escape alone, seconds ahead of their pursuers.
Now it’s up to Heather to save herself and the kids, even though they don’t trust her, the harsh bushland is filled with danger, and the locals want her dead.
Heather has been underestimated her entire life, but she knows that only she can bring her family home again and become the mother the children desperately need, even if it means doing the unthinkable to keep them all alive.
Launched with the summer '04 award-winning best seller Brooklyn Noir, Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies. Each book is comprised of all-new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.
Reflecting a city still divided, Belfast Noir serves as a record of a city transitioning to normalcy, or perhaps as a warning that underneath the fragile peace darker forces still lurk.
Featuring brand-new stories by: Glenn Patterson, Eoin McNamee, Garbhan Downey, Lee Child, Alex Barclay, Brian McGilloway, Ian McDonald, Arlene Hunt, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Claire McGowan, Steve Cavanagh, Lucy Caldwell, Sam Millar, and Gerard Brennan.
When Jamie’s mother inherits a small island and moves her little family from Harlem to Ireland, her troubled son sees a chance to start over, far away from the bullies and the pitying stares.
Cancer has left Jamie without an arm or the will to speak. But Muck Island is no sanctuary, and it offers more than solitude and sea views. Jamie learns that he is heir to an ancient title—Laird of Muck, Guardian of the Passage—and certain otherworldly responsibilities.
With the help of a mysterious object he discovers in the island’s old lighthouse, Jamie sets out on a dangerous interstellar mission that could change the course of his life—and the universe—forever.
Jamie O’Neill is back on Earth, where no one but his best friend Ramsay knows he’s the hero of a great war that saved an alien nation. Now he’s back to being a kid with one arm, no girlfriend, and a band that plays bad songs about intergalactic romance. Then news breaks on the Internet: a space probe has picked up a coded message from far across the galaxy. NASA’s best scientists can’t figure out what it says. Only Jamie and Ramsay realize it’s a message from Altair. They’re needed again.
In this final and most ambitious book in a wonderfully inventive trilogy, veteran interplanetary travelers Jamie and Ramsay must protect their alien friend Wishaway, now living with them on Earth, from the scrutiny of sinister forces on their own planet. In the meantime, Wishaway’s beloved home planet of Altair seems to be hurtling toward doom.
Just when circumstances on both worlds are at their most dire, members of the ancient race who built the mysterious lighthouses return to offer Jamie a terrible choice. He can save Earth or Altair, but not both. The fate of two planets is in the hands of the teenage Lord Ui Neill. Which home will he save? His own or Wishaway’s?
"I didn't want to go to America, I didn't want to work for Darkey White. I had my reasons. But I went."
So admits Michael Forsythe, an illegal immigrant escaping the Troubles in Belfast. But young Michael is strong and fearless and clever—just the fellow to be tapped by Darkey, a crime boss, to join a gang of Irish thugs struggling against the rising Dominican powers in Harlem and the Bronx. The time is pre-Giuliani New York, when crack rules the city, squatters live furtively in ruined buildings, and hundreds are murdered each month. Michael and his lads tumble through the streets, shaking down victims, drinking hard, and fighting for turf, block by bloody block.
Dodgy and observant, not to mention handy with a pistol, Michael is soon anointed by Darkey as his rising star. Meanwhile Michael has very inadvisably seduced Darkey's girl, Bridget—saucy, fickle, and irresistible. Michael worries that he's being followed, that his affair with Bridget will be revealed. He's right to be anxious; when Darkey discovers the affair, he plans a very hard fall for young Michael, a gambit devilish in its guile, murderous in its intent.
But Darkey fails to account for Michael's toughness and ingenuity or the possibility that he might wreak terrible vengeance upon those who would betray him.
While on vacation in Spain, Michael is suddenly arrested and thrown into a Spanish prison when a soccer riot between Irish and English fans escalates out of control.
Enter Samantha, a British intelligence agent as cunning as she is voluptuous. She makes Michael an offer he cannot refuse: instead of being extradited to Mexico to serve time for a prison break, he can help her by infiltrating an IRA sleeper cell in the United States, and she'll see to it that the Spaniards and Mexicans forget all about him. Filled with apprehension about the dangers of the assignment, Michael reluctantly agrees.
Within hours he is flown to New York City and thrust into the nightmare world of men known for their distinctive brands of torture and revenge. Michael crosses and double-crosses key players, escapes his own lies by a hairsbreadth, loses his only ally, and falls for the daughter of his enemy—a most inadvisable development.
Laying low in South America, Michael has been running security for the Miraflores Hilton in Lima, Peru, juggling temperamental tourists, irksome dignitaries, and the occasional lady of the night. But Michael's colorful life in Lima comes to a violent halt with the arrival of two Colombian hit men who trap him in one of the hotel's rooms and force him at gunpoint to take a call from Bridget Callaghan in Ireland.
Michael and Bridget have a lot of history. For one, they used to be lovers. For another, Michael killed Bridget's husband. Bridget offers Michael a terrible choice: come find my daughter, or my men will kill you—now.
Michael arrives in Dublin on Bloomsday, June 16th, the date that James Joyce's Ulysses takes place—but whether this coincidence augurs well for him or foretells his end can't yet be known. In the span of this single day, he penetrates the heart of an IRA network, is kidnapped, escapes, then worms his way into the criminal underground in search of the missing girl. Never certain who to trust, Michael keeps his revolver close at hand—and doesn't hesitate to use it—outsmarting at every turn any number of determined would-be assassins.
Before the day is out, on a windswept ocean cliff, Michael finds himself face-to-face with the kidnappers as well as the lovely and murderous Bridget. It is there that he must finally confront a series of shocking truths—not just about others but, above all, about himself as well.
Northern Ireland, spring 1981. Hunger strikes, riots, power cuts, a homophobic serial killer with a penchant for opera, and a young woman’s suicide that may yet turn out to be murder: on the surface, the events are unconnected, but then things -- and people -- aren’t always what they seem.
Detective Sergeant Duffy is the man tasked with trying to get to the bottom of it all. It’s no easy job -- especially when it turns out that one of the victims was involved in the IRA but was last seen discussing business with someone from the loyalist Ulster Volunteer Force.
Add to this the fact that, as a Catholic policeman, it doesn’t matter which side he’s on, because nobody trusts him, and Sergeant Duffy really is in a no-win situation.
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 a 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, twentysomething 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 as a legendarily stubborn man, he doesn't let that stop him from pursuing the case to its explosive conclusion.
It's the early 1980s in 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.
Belfast, 1985. Amid the Troubles, Detective Sean Duffy, a Catholic cop in the Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary, struggles with burnout 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, which 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.
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 a few things that bother Duffy just enough to keep the case file open, which is how he finds out that Bigelow 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?
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.