THE COLD, COLD GROUND (2012) written by Adrian McKinty introduces Detective Sergeant Sean Duffy, a Catholic police officer working for the Carrickfergus RUC in Ulster. The story is set in Northern Ireland, namely, Belfast, during the height of the Troubles. This is the first book in a proposed trilogy and I am looking forward to reading each one. The story opens on a rainy night in Belfast. Rioters have taken to the streets and the peelers are in full riot gear. The author does an excellent job, all throughout this story, of describing the sights and sounds of Belfast, giving readers a good sense of time and place in a country that is being torn apart by civil war.
The Maze Prison Hunger Strike in 1981 serves as the backdrop of this story which has grabbed the media attention from across the world. It’s interesting in its own right. Just to fill in quickly, Bobby Sands was an IRA revolutionary and a martyr. He led the hunger strike, demanding that their status as prisoners be that of “political prisoners” and not that of “criminals” among other things. It’s mentioned that at one point, special status was given for political prisoners but now that has changed. Continue reading