Series are a big part of crime fiction, and devotees wait with baited breath for a new installment to come out each year or so, allowing them to visit with old friends as the series characters encounter new exploits and adventures. For me, one of those series is Adrian McKinty’s Sean Duffy series. And because of Gerard Doyle’s long-running and exemplary job narrating, audio is the only way to experience this series for me.
McKinty has created a dynamic, complex character in Duffy–a man with a huge capacity for compassion and loyalty, caught up in a world of dark crimes and mercilessness. Duffy’s outer shell is hard and opaque, but those close to him recognize his positive attributes. Doyle understands all this and manages to perform Duffy so that his audience can appreciate the protective characteristics but still see beyond them as well.
Doyle also grasps Duffy’s wry humor, the gallows banter that makes his life bearable. McKinty has created this characteristic wit authentically in Duffy, and Doyle delivers it with the perfect dry tone of a copper who’s seen too much death and destruction in his years. That laugh-out-loud humor gets Duffy through his days, and it provides levity for the listener as well. But it isn’t exclusively limited to Duffy’s wit. McKinty can make the presence of a goat in the crime scene bring tears to the eyes of the audience.
Sean Duffy is the hero of McKinty’s series, but Doyle treats the supporting cast as royally as the series’ namesake. Duffy’s young protege, Lawson, is ambitious, smart, and still a bit naïve, while his partner, McCrabban a.k.a. “Crabby,” elicits a more sage persona that comes with years on the job.
If, like me, you’re a series devotee, be sure to pick up the sixth and newest installment in the Sean Duffy series, POLICE AT THE STATION AND THEY DON’T LOOK FRIENDLY. But if you’re a crime fan who hasn’t discovered this series on audio, you can pick up any of the titles. They function together as a series, but they can easily be followed as individual listens if you have trouble getting them in order. Sean Duffy is an addiction worth having.
The series in publication order includes:
- The Cold Cold Ground
- I Hear the Sirens in the Street
- In the Morning I’ll Be Gone
- Gun Street Girl
- Rain Dogs
- Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly
Do you have a series you’re addicted to on audio?