Book Review: Adrian McKinty’s Dead I Well May Be

Posted October 16, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Adrian McKinty’s Dead I Well May Be

Dead I Well May Be


Adrian McKinty

It is part of the , series and is a thriller that was published by Pocket Books on August 31, 2004 and has 384 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

First in the Michael Forsythe thriller series revolving around a young mick who keeps making bad choices. This story takes place mainly in New York City.

My Take

Interesting with the philosophizing, but it felt slow and it took a while to get into the story. I’m not excited enough to read more. It was depressing with nothing positive. If you like a mob story with vengeance and stupidity, you’ll like this low-key tale. McKinty does write well (other than the stupid and depressing) so that you feel what’s happening and can smell and taste. Yet it’s a period in a man’s life which does affect him intensely, and I feel as if I’m missing the point of this story. As if there’s no reason behind it other than the dumb choices Mike makes and how he copes with it.

I don’t know if the slowness was partly due to McKinty’s voluble foreshadowing or if it was all the set-up I had to read through. The time setting for this story was vague as well. I suspect it’s in the 1980s, 90s, but with the squalor and ruins in New York City it could be earlier in the twentieth century or sometime in the future.

What was Mike thinking? Letting himself be photographed for the paper? Duh.

Most of this is typical mob stuff. Well, until they get to Mexico where it all falls apart. Then it’s simple vengeance that keeps Mike going. When he gets back…it’s the same-ol’, same-ol’, but with different players.

Jesus, the time in the Mexican prison is…grimly awful and enough to ensure that I’ll behave myself in Mexico!

The Story

Caught. Damn. Nothing for it but to head to America where maybe young Mike can pick up a job with relatives.

Only, it’s a job with more flexibility and more death than Mike had expected. Not all that different from his time in Ireland.

The Characters

Mike Forsythe is an Irish lad on the dole who gets caught. He’s a bit of an eejit in some respects. Always falling into it because he doesn’t think. He had tried to get out of the rackets, but, hey, those decisions just land him right back in ’em. I can’t figure out who Nan is. She’s on some sort of disability. I think. When Mike’s mom took up with the butcher, she sent him and his brother, PJ, to live with Nan, and life was downhill all the way. Audrey Martin is one of Nan’s neighbors.

Darkey White is cousin Leslie‘s brother-in-law in America with a building business, a glass company, and shares in Seamus Patrick Duffy‘s interests. He’ll pay for Mike’s ticket and Mike will work it off. Bridget Callaghan was Andy’s girl and now she’s with Darkey. And canoodling on the side with Mike. Sunshine is Darkey’s second-in-command. Big Bob O’Neill and Scotchy lead White’s two teams — Bob does the bigger jobs while Scotchy’s team does more clean-up than anything. Yup, Mike’s on Scotchy’s team along with Fergal Dorey and the beat-up Andy. Marley is one of Bob’s along with Sean McKenna, and Mikey Price.

Shovel is suspected of administering Andy’s beating, so he gets his own beat down. Dermot Finoukin runs a bar as a front and thinks he can cut loose from Darkey. Danny the Drunk is smarter than he appears. Ratko is/was Mike’s landlord.

The Mexicans
Captain Martínez is the first and last official with any pull Mike sees. Príncipe, Pedro, and María are some of the villagers who help Mike.

The Dominicans
Ramón Borges Hernández has come up the hard way and has pulled a crew and some territory together. He’s bright, patient, and too trusting. Moreno F. Cortez, Ramón’s cousin, José Martinez, Sammy, Iago, and Pedro are trusted lieutenants. Devo, aka Cuba, and Hector are bodyguards.

Jim hires Mike to tend bar. Linnie is the girl Michael’s living with in California.

The Cover and Title

The cover is spare with a white background and a closeup of the cylinder of the revolver with one bullet showing, a Western 0.38 Special.

The title makes me a bit nuts as it’s difficult to remember the proper order of the words. It is however, true. If Mike doesn’t make the right choices, the right moves, Dead I Well May Be.