Review by Sandra Ruttan

Michael Forsythe is a man with a past. There’s a bounty on his head from when he killed the top men in the Irish Mob in New York and testified against the organization. Part of the Witness Protection Program, Michael’s working in Peru, running security for a large hotel when his past starts to catch up with him.

Bridget Callaghan has been looking for him, and this time, her men have caught up to Michael. However, Bridget hasn’t sent them to kill him. She wants him to come to Belfast to help her find her missing daughter, Siobhan.

This is an action-packed, violent tale that starts in South America, winds its way through New York, Mexico, Dublin and Belfast, and includes things from many years earlier, critical clues that help connect the pieces for the reader.

There was the odd time when the use of present tense in the writing threw me, and as the story unfolded there were a few points where excessive description of scenery – vivid as it was – felt like a distraction from the meat of the story. This is without a doubt an intense thriller, and the sense of urgency makes it hard to resist flipping the pages to find out what happens. Although I have not read the first two books in the trilogy it was clear to me what the holdbacks were. While I had a sense that I could see where the story would ultimately end up, there were enough turns in the storyline to make it intriguing and satisfying. Michael Forsythe is engaging and ruthless: He is capable of anything, and that is part of the appeal.

As someone who was only in Northern Ireland and Belfast in the early ‘90s I recall what it was: McKinty brought me up to speed with what it is. You don’t just get a sense of the physical details but of the history, of the current cultural temperature.

THE BLOOMSDAY DEAD is the first book I’ve read by Adrian McKinty and it definitely won’t be my last. An author to watch for.


Sandra Ruttan's debut novel, Suspicious Circumstances, was released in January 2007. Her short fiction has appeared in Out of the Gutter, Demolition, Mouth Full of Bullets, Crimespree Magazine, The Cynic and Spinetingler. For more information visit her website.

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