This is a singular novel from an author who really knows how to tell a story.
Set in the murky world of ‘black ops’ during the troubles of Northern Ireland, this book gives insights into a world that many readers will suspect, but could never be sure, existed. The depth of research is extraordinary, with details of places, the nature of operations, techniques, and equipment all adding veracity to the plot.
The characters are all believable people; people leading double lives in perilous situations whilst appearing as ‘normal’ to those surrounding them. There is love here, fear and humour, energy, persistence, great courage and, inevitably, given the nature of the task, sex. In fact, there’s a good deal of sex, so don’t leave the book where impressionable kids might pick it up.
There are elements of presentation that may irritate purists. But the power of the narrative and the pace of the story, coupled with the ready empathy generated by well-drawn characters, easily allow the reader to skip over such things.
This is, in the end, a love story. But it’s a love story of a different nature, set in a world of adventure, showing great perception of the very hazardous and complex life of undercover operatives as they go about their daily tasks of ensuring the safety of unaware civilians. Well written and thoroughly engaging, this is a book I can fully recommend to all who enjoy their fiction with bite, humour and an earthy understanding of what it is to be a human being living with danger.