Adrian McKinty, Dead I May Well Be Reviews

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“Dead I May Well Be ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 10/12/2006

Dead I May Well Be
Adrian McKinty
Pocket, Sep 2004, $6.99
ISBN: 0743470567

In Belfast, Michael Forsythe is unemployed, has no prospects (or ambition), and is no longer a state recipient of a stipend. In 1992 with little to keep him in Ireland, he decides to go to New York where he anticipates opportunities will abound for a young healthy teenage Irishman, but first he must pay back his airfare debt which includes expediting an illegal entry. Thus Michael quickly obtains employment in construction in Harlem as an enforcer for Irish mobster Darkey White who is at war with encroaching Latino gangs.

Michael soon proves adept at killing the enemy, especially construction competitors and the Dominican gangs. However, loyal to Darkey when it comes to eradication, Michael cannot resist the lure of his boss' girlfriend Bridget in spite of his brain telling him he is dead if he gets caught. He is not stunned when a drug deal in Mexico proves a setup that leaves him forgotten in a Mexican jail. He vows to join Darkey's enemies when he returns to the mean streets of Manhattan.

Having read and enjoyed THE DEAD YARD several months ago, this reviewer wanted to obtain the first Forsythe tale, DEAD I MAY WELL BE. It is worth the effort as the fast-paced thriller focuses on the dichotomous antihero's thirst for vengeance. Forsythe in this novel in some ways will remind the audience of Alex Star, of Burgess' A Clockwork Orange, though Michael's violence is not random; in THE DEAD YARD he seems more like Bourne. Crime thriller fans will appreciate this fine tale and its sequel, but recommend reading this one first as fans will have a better understanding of what makes Forsythe tick during THE DEAD YARD escapades.

Harriet Klausner

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