I Hear the Sirens in the Street by Adrian McKinty

Northern Ireland, 1983: the unfortunate home of the Troubles and the fortunate home of Catholic Detective Inspector Sean Duffy. Smart, funny, tough and sad, he’s not impartial to a bit of poetry, or in fact a bit of weed from the station’s confiscated store of drugs. When his girlfriend departs, he’s left behind, as usual, with a body in a suitcase and a murder case that’s getting colder by the day. Leads are drying up, no one is talking, and he’s being pulled off the scent by those in power. But Duffy is not known for his lack of drive, and he will pursue it until it puts him in danger – which of course it will.

Duffy is an excellent protagonist. You stand nervously behind him when he’s fighting for what’s right, and you sigh at him when he strikes out with women or friends. He’s witty and clever and occasionally takes the wrong path to the right answer. The world he inhabits is drawn with the tension and drawl of the time. Don’t be surprised if you’re checking underneath your Mazda 3 for bombs or calling police ‘peelers’ afterwards. The title doesn’t trip off the tongue but just cut out this review and shake it at a Readings salesperson; this is a fabulous book and you won’t regret it.

Fiona Hardy sells books and talks too much to customers at Readings Carlton, and puts together Dead Write for the Readings Monthly. She blogs haphazardly about movies and books (and sometimes music) and you can follow her on twitter: @readwatchtweet.