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 30-year-old secret is going to put all of them in terrible danger.
Falling Glass is an Audible.com Best Thriller of 2011.
By now, Adrian McKinty’s reputation for solidly crafted Irish crime novels is well-established. Equally familiar is the context into which this latest narrative is dropped. McKinty spent his childhood in Belfast at the height of paramilitary conflict there, and Falling Glass centers around a minor character from his Michael Forsythe trilogy that is steeped in precisely those historical influences. Killian, a legendary IRA heavy, emerges from retirement for what appears to be an easy money job of rescuing some rich businessman’s kids from their drug-addled mother. Naturally, complications abound and Killian soon finds himself in fierce competition with an apparently invincible Russian hit man on a case that evolves into something much uglier than a straightforward kidnapping scheme.
Throughout this debacle, Killian’s Pavee senses of humor and realism never abandon him. He has the dry wit and keen improvisational reflexes of a man raised among the Irish gypsies, which gets him into and out of trouble in equal measure. McKinty has a discerning ear for Killian’s banter, colorfully supported by Gerard Doyle’s authentic brogue. Doyle has won numerous audio awards, but perhaps more importantly, has also been with McKinty every step of the way. As narrator for the entire Michael Forsythe trilogy, Doyle is not only aware of this new novel’s background, but has also already established a clear sense of voice for many of this novel’s chief characters.
Although Forsythe takes a back seat in this story, fans of the previous trilogy will be gratified by the return of Doyle’s vision for the voice work, and find a credible set of new developments among beloved characters. But this novel is also quite capable of standing alone, and listeners who are coming fresh to Adrian McKinty’s work will not have any trouble picking up the story’s thread, thanks in part to Gerard Doyle’s confident hold on the reins of the narration. McKinty and Doyle obviously have a good chemistry going, and the conclusion of Falling Glass satisfyingly leaves plenty of room for the development of a Killian trilogy. Megan Volpert
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