Adrian McKinty has joined the long line of talented writers to come out of Ireland. In all of his novels, he exposes readers who might know little about Irish history to the long war waged in Ireland between Roman Catholics and Protestants. In particular, McKinty’s fast-paced, intensely violent mystery novels provide insights into a dark period in Irish history known as the Troubles, during which Republican and Loyalist paramilitary organizations in British-ruled Northern Ireland engaged in various forms of violence from the late 1960’s until the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. McKinty’s characters—especially his dark, popular protagonist Michael Forsythe, who illegally immigrates to New York City to escape the Troubles in Northern Ireland—are all products of this violent era in Irish history. McKinty, who has been described by crime-fiction specialist Otto Penzler as “the super-talented Irishman,” joins a number of Irish writers who have recently gravitated to crime writing such as John Banville, the winner of the 2005 Man Booker Prize for The Sea. Irish writer Frank Court, author of Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir (1996), describes McKinty as “a cross between American mystery writer Mickey Spillane and Damon Runyon.”
McKinty’s novels contribute to an emerging genre known as Irish noir, which, scholars suggest, has been created by the collision of the older political and social violence with the newer crime-based violence produced as a result of the prosperous economic era that made Ireland into the Celtic Tiger.
McKinty’s Dead I Well May Be (2003), which was adapted to screen, was short-listed for the Crime Writers’ Association’s Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award. His The Dead Yard (2006) was named one of the fifteen best novels of 2006 by Publishers Weekly.