‘The Cold Cold Ground’ by Adrian McKinty

‘Is My Memory Going?’

Score: 4/5

It was interesting, being taken back to Northern Ireland in 1981. It’s not (quite) how I remember it.

The main events, sure. They’re fine. It’s the little things that didn’t really fit for me.

Here’s one trivial thing: at one point, the protagonist unplugs his (landline) phone. Back in 1981, where I lived in Belfast didn’t have phones with plugs. All our phones (installed by the Post Office, because British Telecom wasn’t formed until 1980 and we got our phone line before then) were hard-wired into boxes. No plugs, and no way for us to ‘unplug’ the phone.

I’m not saying the author’s wrong - maybe the house in Carrickfergus had the phone installed more recently than us and it came with plugs. But it felt a bit jarring - part way my mind was back in the early 1980s in Northern Ireland, and part of my mind kept going ‘Nope’.

Then again, it was all a long time ago and I could well just be mis-remembering the details.

That aside, it’s an interesting tale of religion, sexuality and brutal murders in early 80s Norn Iron.

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