Mysterious Book Report Dead I May BeDead I Well May Be by Adrian McKinty

Scribner, 2003, $19.99, 384 pages, ISBN 978-0-7432-5355-0

This week’s MBR is by another Irish writer named Adrian McKinty.  His novel is, Dead I May Well Be, which follows the trail of Michael Forsythe as he leaves Belfast, Northern Ireland to work for a shady Irish ex-pat named Darby White in New York City.  Darby is a mid-level criminal in the organization of Seamus Duffy: the head of the Irish mob in New York City.  Michael is a low-level soldier, a thug, in the criminal hierarchy.  Their area of operations is the upper west side of Manhattan, in the heart of Harlem.  Their business is drugs and mayhem, at which Michael excels.  When he starts having a fling with Darby’s girlfriend however, things go to hell in a hand basket.  The action is non-stop and violent, with frequent references to pop culture, Irish slang, and classical literature.  McKinty’s writing is alive with crackling dialogue and witticisms, along with the occasional sarcasm and bon mot.  He’s a writer I’ll be watching and enjoying in the future.  I’m looking forward to more of his work.  You will too if you like ‘em really hard-boiled.


John Dwaine McKenna