"This, ladies and gentlemen, is the real stuff."
After fifteen years of violence, a tense calm pervades Northern Ireland, soon to be broken by Jimmy Coogan, an IRA veteran who seeks to restore the Movement to its violent tradition. A true believer, as cunning as he is dangerous, Jimmy has stolen ten pounds of plastic explosive, intending to destroy the parliamentary ambitions of the IRA leadership by perpetrating a terrorist bombing in London.
Into Jimmy's turbulent world come two young Americans: Brian, vain, ironic, but well-meaning; and Clare, a beautiful, earnest college student on her junior year abroad. In Ireland on a seemingly harmless errand for his Irish Republican family in Detroit, Brian is recruited to Jimmy's bloody mission by his cousin Maire, Coogan's passionate and sharp-tongued wife. Only half-aware of each other's motives, Brian and Clare, Jimmy and Maire are all drawn into the deadly and unforgiving labyrinth of modern terrorism, borne inexorably toward a horrific and fatal climax.
A love story as well as a thriller, James Hynes's first novel is a page-turning tale of personal and political intrigue in the grand tradition, a classic story of commitment, violence, and betrayal.
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year.
"This, ladies and gentlemen, is the real stuff...Go out today and get this book, and plan on doing nothing else but reading it tonight."
-George V. Higgins, The Washington Post Book World
"Exciting and very well written...Hynes stakes a fair claim to that morally complex modern political terrain mapped out by the likes of Graham Greene, Joseph Conrad, and Robert Stone."
-Los Angeles Times Book Review
"A first novelist with a real story, intelligently imagined."
-The New Yorker
"Compelling...Powerful...A sharp eye for detail."
-The New York Times Book Review