"We see the story of the policeman's murder unfold through the eyes of the men who were responsible and the portrayal of those people and the times are vividly and convincingly recorded."
1920s and Present Day
Ireland and Glasgow
History teacher James Lucas buys a book as a reference for his lessons, a book written by a self-confessed IRA terrorist during the years following World War One. The author describes how he murdered an evil RIC policeman; a man whom James recognises as his great grandfather, a man whom he knows little about because the family have always been tight-lipped about this particular ancestor. Suddenly suspended from school thanks to an inadvisable and false Instagram image of him and a former student, James has the perfect opportunity to investigate the claims of Brendan O'Rourke, author of the book.
Leaving his wife at their home in Yorkshire, James travels to Ireland and the town where the murder took place. But his enquiries do not go unnoticed, even when his investigations take him to Belfast and later Glasgow.
We see the story of the policeman's murder unfold through the eyes of the men who were responsible and the portrayal of those people and the times are vividly and convincingly recorded. The cause they fought for is neither condemned nor exonerated; it is as it was. The ripples that James causes spread to modern day Glasgow and put not only James' life in danger, but also that of his wife.
So we have a tense thriller dealing with a still sensitive subject. My only quibble was that I felt that some of the loose ends concerning the Glasgow segment were not really cleared up satisfactorily enough. Nevertheless, the action is fast, the characters more than convincing, the plot well researched and neatly divided between the two time spans.
© Richard Tearle