Adrian McKinty

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Adrian McKinty
Adrian McKinty.jpg
Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
EducationUniversity of Warwick, University of Oxford
GenreCrime fiction, young adult fiction
Literary movementCeltic New Wave in Crime Fiction
Notable worksThe Cold Cold Ground (Sean Duffy series)
Notable awardsEdgar Award, Ned Kelly Award
ChildrenArwynn, Sophie

Adrian McKinty is a British crime novelist and critic born in Northern Ireland. His debut crime novel, Dead I Well May Be, was published in 2003, and was the first in the Michael Forsythe Trilogy; since then he has published more than a dozen additional novels. He is the author of The Lighthouse Trilogy and the Sean Duffy Series. He is a winner of the Edgar Award, the Ned Kelly Award, the Barry Award, the Audie Award, the Anthony Award and has been shortlisted for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award and the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière.


Adrian McKinty was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1968 and grew up in Victoria Council Estate, Carrickfergus, County Antrim. His father was a welder and boilermaker at the Harland and Wolff shipyard before becoming a merchant seaman. McKinty is the fourth of five children. He grew up reading science fiction and crime novels particularly Ursula Le Guin, J G Ballard and Jim Thompson. He studied law at the University of Warwick and politics and philosophy at the University of Oxford.[1][2] After graduating from Oxford in 1993, McKinty moved to New York City and found work in a number of occupations: security guard, barman, bookstore clerk, rugby coach, door to door salesman and librarian for the Columbia University Library. In 1999, while his wife studied for a Fulbright in Israel, McKinty played loose head prop forward for the Jerusalem Lions Rugby Club.[3] In 2000, he relocated to Denver, Colorado to become a high school English teacher.[4]

After writing several short stories, a novella and book reviews, his debut crime novel Dead I Well May Be was published by Scribner in 2003.[5] McKinty and his family moved to Melbourne, Australia, in 2008, to become a full-time writer.[6] He also writes on and reviews literature for a number of publications including The Guardian.[7]


McKinty is primarily known as a writer of genre fiction, crime and mystery novels and young adult fiction. Patrick Anderson of the Washington Post has praised McKinty as a leading light of the "new wave" of Irish crime novelists along with Ken Bruen, Declan Hughes and John Connolly. [8] He often uses the classic noir tropes of revenge and betrayal to explore his characters' existential quest for meaning in a bleak but lyrically intense universe.[9] Steve Dougherty writing in The Wall Street Journal praised McKinty's use of irony and humour as a counterpoint to the violent world inhabited by McKinty's Sean Duffy character. Some reviewers have criticised the explicit use of violence in his novels.[10] However, in reviewing McKinty's Fifty Grand in The Guardian,[11] John O'Connor called him a "master craftsman of violence and redemption, up there with the likes of Dennis Lehane."[12]

Liam McIlvanney, writing in the Irish Times, singled out McKinty's lyrical prose style as the defining characteristic of his Sean Duffy series: "his prose is vital, vigorous and – as that other Carrickfergus boy, Louis MacNeice, would have it – 'incorrigibly plural'."[13]


McKinty is a book critic and op-ed writer for The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Washington Post, Literary Hub, The Australian, The Irish Times and Harpers.[14]


  • His debut crime novel Dead I Well May Be was short-listed for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award 2004.[15]
  • His debut young adult novel The Lighthouse Land was shortlisted for the 2008 Young Hoosier Award[16] and the 2008 Beehive Award[17]
  • The Dead Yard was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the 12 Best Novels of 2006[18] and won the 2007 Audie Award for best thriller/suspense.[19]
  • The Bloomsday Dead was long-listed for the 2009 World Book Day Award.[20]
  • Fifty Grand won the 2010 Spinetingler Award for best novel[21] and was longlisted for the 2011 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award.[22]
  • selected Falling Glass as the Best Mystery or Thriller of 2011.[23]
  • The Cold Cold Ground won the 2013 Spinetingler Award for best crime novel,[24] was shortlisted for The 2013 Prix Du Meilleur Polar,[25] was shortlisted for the 2015 Prix SNCF Du Polar,[26] and Crime Fest's 2013 Last Laugh Award.[27]
  • I Hear the Sirens in the Street won the 2014 Barry Award for best mystery novel (paperback original),[28] was shortlisted for best crime novel at the 2013 Ned Kelly Awards,[29] was shortlisted for the 2014 Grand Prix de Littérature Policière,[30] and for the 2014 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the year Award.[31]
  • In the Morning I'll Be Gone won the 2014 Ned Kelly Award for best fiction,[32] was shortlisted for the 2015 Audie Award For Best Thriller[33] and was named as one of the 10 best crime novels of 2014 by the American Library Association.[34]
  • Gun Street Girl was shortlisted for the 2016 Edgar Award (best pbk original),[35] the 2015 Ned Kelly Award,[36] the 2016 Anthony Award (best pbk original),[37] the 2016 Audie Award for Best Mystery,[38] was a Boston Globe "Best Book of 2015"[39] and an Irish Times "Best Crime Novel of 2015."[40]
  • Rain Dogs won the 2017 Edgar Award (best pbk original)[41] and the 2017 Barry Award.[42] It was a Boston Globe Best Book of 2016,[43] an Irish Times Best Crime Novel of 2016[44] and was shortlisted for the 2016 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award,[45] the 2016 Ned Kelly Award,[46] the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2016,[47] and the 2017 Anthony Award (best pbk original).[48]
  • Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly won the 2017 Ned Kelly Award,[49] was short listed for the International Thriller Writers Awards 2018 (Best Paperback Original Novel),[50] was short-listed for the 2017 CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award[51] and was picked as a Boston Globe best book of 2017.[52]


Michael Forsythe Trilogy[edit]

  1. Dead I Well May Be (Scribner) 2003
  2. The Dead Yard (Scribner) 2006
  3. The Bloomsday Dead (Scribner) 2007[53]

The Lighthouse Trilogy[edit]

  1. The Lighthouse Land (Abrams) 2006
  2. The Lighthouse War (Abrams) 2007
  3. The Lighthouse Keepers (Abrams) 2008

The Sean Duffy series[edit]

  1. The Cold Cold Ground (Serpents Tail) 2012 ISBN 978-1616147167
  2. I Hear the Sirens in the Street (Serpents Tail) 2013 ISBN 978-1616147877
  3. In the Morning I'll Be Gone (Serpents Tail) 2014 ISBN 978-1616148775
  4. Gun Street Girl (Serpents Tail) 2015 ISBN 978-1633880009
  5. Rain Dogs (Serpents Tail) 2016 ISBN 978-1633881303
  6. Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly (Serpents Tail) 2017 ISBN 1781256926
  7. The Detective Up Late (Blackstone) 2019[54]

Standalone books[edit]

  • Orange Rhymes With Everything (novella) (Morrow) 1998
  • Hidden River (Scribner) 2005
  • Fifty Grand (Holt) 2009
  • Falling Glass (Serpents Tail) 2011
  • Deviant (Abrams) 2011
  • The Sun Is God (Serpents Tail in the UK/Seventh Street Books in the US) 2014

As editor[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^
  2. ^ Doyle, Martin (2 October 2017). "Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty is October's Irish Times Book Club pick". The Irish Times. Dublin, Ireland. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Interview with Malcolm Hillgartner". Archived from the original on 26 December 2014. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Rowbotham, Jill (23 January 2015). "Adrian McKinty, writer, 46". The Australian. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Adrian McKinty". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
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  15. ^ CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
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  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-09.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
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  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
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  37. ^ "Boucercon Nominees". Archived from the original on 7 February 2012.
  38. ^ Adrian McKinty [@adrianmckinty] (9 February 2016). "bloody delighted to be shortlisted for best mystery audiobook! #audies #underdog #blackstoneaudio #mystery" (Tweet) – via Twitter. /photo/1
  39. ^
  40. ^ Burke, Declan. "Irish Times".
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  53. ^ Anderson, Patrick (26 March 2007). "Going great guns in Belfast". Washington Post. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  54. ^

External links[edit]