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The Ghosts of Belfast (Jack Lennon Series #1)

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Overview

Fegan has been a "hard man," an IRA killer in Northern Ireland. Now that peace has come, he is being haunted, day and night, by twelve ghosts: a mother and infant, a schoolboy, a butcher, an RUC constable, and seven other of his innocent victims. In order to appease them, he's going to have to kill the men who gave him orders. As he's working his way down the list he encounters the wife of a policeman, a woman who may offer him redemption. Now he has given Fate - and his quarry - a hostage. Is this Fegan's ...

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The Ghosts of Belfast (Jack Lennon Series #1)

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Overview

Fegan has been a "hard man," an IRA killer in Northern Ireland. Now that peace has come, he is being haunted, day and night, by twelve ghosts: a mother and infant, a schoolboy, a butcher, an RUC constable, and seven other of his innocent victims. In order to appease them, he's going to have to kill the men who gave him orders. As he's working his way down the list he encounters the wife of a policeman, a woman who may offer him redemption. Now he has given Fate - and his quarry - a hostage. Is this Fegan's ultimate mistake?

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Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Stasio
…so bleak and despairing—"noir" in the genuine existential sense—it would rattle the composure of a saint…For something that reads as if it were written in a hellish fury, Neville's novel is a coldly lucid assessment of the fragility of the Irish peace.
—The New York Times
Anna Mundow
…the book's sections are numbered like a countdown, from 12 to 1 for the avenging ghosts, but the predictable action is complicated by a clever espionage twist…With the exception of Fegan, for whom we are expected to feel some sympathy, Neville's portraits of the IRA leadership and its foot soldiers are clear-eyed and unforgiving (the British officials, by contrast, are rather cartoonish). Northern Ireland's recent historical background is also deftly compressed, albeit with a few too many journalistic cliches. The moral of The Ghosts of Belfast, voiced by the mother of a murdered boy, is that "everybody pays." Even when peace is declared and even when killers become politicians.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
With this stunning debut, Neville joins a select group of Irish writers, including Ken Bruen, Declan Hughes and Adrian McKinty, who have reinvigorated the noir tradition with a Celtic edge. Gerry Fegan, a former IRA hit man haunted by the ghosts of the 12 people he killed, realizes the only way these specters will give him rest is to systematically assassinate the men who gave him his orders. Though those in the militant IRA underworld have written him off as a babbling drunk and a liability to the movement, they take note when their members start turning up dead. Meanwhile, Fegan is attracted to Marie McKenna, a relative of one of the newly slain men and a pariah to the Republicans. Can Fegan satisfy his demons and redeem himself, or will the ghosts of Belfast consume him first? This is not only an action-packed, visceral thriller but also an insightful insider’s glimpse into the complex political machinations and networks that maintain the uneasy truce in Northern Ireland. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Former IRA killer Gerry Fegan is literally haunted by the past: 12 ghosts follow him, the victims of his days as a "hard man." Although Belfast is no longer a war zone, the IRA bosses are still in charge, and the ghosts want them dead. Oblivious to the precarious state of the political situation in Northern Ireland and how his actions might affect it, Fegan tries to win some peace for himself by satisfying the ghosts' desire for revenge, only to find himself hunted in return, not only by former IRA heavies but by the British as well. His budding relationship with a woman and her child who are also threatened by the IRA show him that another type of life is possible but at the same time makes him vulnerable. Verdict In this well-crafted and intriguing series debut, Neville evokes the terrors of living in Belfast during "the Troubles" and manages to makes Fegan, a murderer many times over, a sympathetic character. VERDICT The buzz around this novel is well deserved and readers will be anticipating the next book in the series. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 6/1/09; this was published in July as The Twelve to great acclaim in the U.K.—Ed.] —Lisa Hanson O'Hara, Univ. of Manitoba Libs., Winnipeg
Kirkus Reviews
The IRA may have made peace with England, but decades of violence still haunt a former terrorist. One-time IRA hard man Gerry Fegan is out of prison. But the 12 people he killed (three while out of jail on compassionate leave for his mother's funeral) won't let him forget the past. For the seven years since his release, Belfast native Fegan has been troubled by these dozen silent and accusing figures, and no amount of drink has driven the ghosts away. So when his old running buddy, Sinn Fein Assembly member Michael McKenna, shows up to ask why Fegan has revealed the site of a body dump to a victim's still-grieving mother, he follows the direction of one spectral victim and shoots McKenna. The killing ignites a firestorm of old rivalries and paranoia; it's a crime against Fegan's former brotherhood that makes him an outlaw among his own kind, but it's also the beginning of possible salvation, as the haunted, wasted gunman realizes he must avenge his ghosts to find peace. But even murder isn't simple, especially when McKenna's beautiful niece Marie and her daughter Ellen get caught up in the violence. First in a proposed series, Neville's debut is as unrelenting as Fegan's ghosts, pulling no punches as it describes the brutality of Ireland's "troubles" and the crime that has followed, as violent men find new outlets for their skills. Sharp prose places readers in this pitiless place and holds them there. Harsh and unrelenting crime fiction, masterfully done.
From the Publisher
“Not only one of the finest thriller debuts of the last ten years, but also one of the best Irish novels, in any genre, of recent times.”
John Connolly

“Neville’s novel is a coldly lucid assessment of the fragility of the Irish peace … a rare example of legitimate noir fiction.”
The New York Times Book Review
 
"Perfect for summer—especially if you want to be reminded of what a blessing it is to live in relatively peaceful times."
—Slate

“The best first novel I’ve read in years…. It’s a flat-out terror trip.”
James Ellroy

The Ghosts of Belfast is a smart and atmospheric thriller about the many causes served and corrupt pockets lined courtesy of sectarian hatred.”
Maureen Corrigan, NPR.org

"Stuart Neville is Ireland's answer to Henning Mankell."
Ken Bruen

“Stuart Neville's tightly wound, emotionally resonant account of an ex-IRA hit man's struggle to conquer his past, displays an acute understanding of the true state of Northern Ireland, still under the thumb of decades of violence and terrorism.”
Los Angeles Times

“Both a fine novel and a gripping thriller: truly this is a magnificent debut.”
Ruth Dudley Edwards, author of Ten Lords-A-Leaping
 
“Stuart Neville goes to the heart of the perversity of paramilitarism.”
Sean O’Callaghan, author of The Informer

“An astonishing debut. Brilliantly conceived, masterfully written, Stuart Neville’s The Ghosts of Belfast is both a heart-pounding thriller and a stunning examination of responsibility and revenge. He is going to be a major new voice in suspense fiction.”
Jeff Abbott
 
“Stuart Neville will go far as a writer . . .  It’s a wonderful novel, brave and fierce and true to its place and time. I sincerely hope it sells a million copies.”
Crimespree

“Stuart Neville belongs to a younger generation of writers for whom the region's darkest years are history—but that history endures, as his first novel, The Ghosts of Belfast, shockingly demonstrates…. This noir thriller plays out in a Belfast that, even in summer sunshine, remains oppressively gray. The clannishness of its inhabitants is vividly evoked in Neville's descriptions of a tiny rowhouse packed with mourners for a murdered man's wake or a seedy pub where the bartender has learned to look the other way when violence arrives. A riot scene, one of the novel's best, captures a new generation's appetite for blood and an old veteran's nostalgia…. In scene after gruesome scene, Neville attempts to persuade us that this time around, with this repentant murderer, the killing is different.”
—Washington Post

“Neville’s debut is as unrelenting as Fegan’s ghosts, pulling no punches as it describes the brutality of Ireland’s 'troubles' and the crime that has followed, as violent men find new outlets for their skills. Sharp prose places readers in this pitiless place and holds them there. Harsh and unrelenting crime fiction, masterfully done.”
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
 
“[A] stunning debut.... This is not only an action-packed, visceral thriller but also an insightful insider’s glimpse into the complex political machinations and networks that maintain the uneasy truce in Northern Ireland.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
 
“In this well-crafted and intriguing series debut, Neville evokes the terrors of living in Belfast during 'the Troubles' and manages to makes Fegan, a murderer many times over, a sympathetic character…The buzz around this novel is well deserved and readers will be anticipating the next book in the series.”
Library Journal, Starred Review
                                                                                                                                                                                         
“Explosive and absorbing ... The Ghosts of Belfast is an intense meditation on obligation, necessity, and war. Within Stuart Neville’s rich vocabulary, complacency is not a word to be found.”
Sacramento News and Review

The Ghosts of Belfast is a tale of revenge and reconciliation shrouded in a bloody original crime thriller.... Fierce dialogue and the stark political realities of a Northern Ireland recovering from the ‘Troubles’ drive this novel. It's not difficult to read this brilliant book as an allegory for a brutal past that must be confronted so the present ‘can be clean.’”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“In his stunning debut, Stuart Neville delivers an inspired, gritty view of how violence's aftermath lasts for years and the toll it takes on each person involved. The Ghosts of Belfast also insightfully delves into Irish politics, the uneasy truce in Northern Ireland, redemption, guilt and responsibility ... Neville delivers an emotionally packed novel that is both empathetic and savage. Neville never makes Gerry's visions of ghosts seem trite or silly. Like his countryman, John Connolly, Neville keeps the supernatural aspects believable ... The Ghosts of Belfast is a haunting debut.”
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

“If you by chance have never read Stuart Neville’s Belfast Trilogy, it’s time to redeem yourself.”
Grift Magazine

“A brilliant thriller: unbearably tense, stomach churningly frightening … a future classic of its time.”
The Observer

“Stuart Neville's blistering debut thriller is a walk on the wild side of post-conflict Northern Ireland that brilliantly exposes the suffering still lurking beneath the surface of reconciliation and the hypocrisies that sustain the peace.”
Metro (UK)

“Neville has the talent to believably blend the tropes of the crime novel and those of a horror, in the process creating a page-turning thriller akin to a collaboration between John Connolly and Stephen King.”
Sunday Independent (Ireland)

“A gripping, original thriller."
Sunday Times

“[Neville] is … uniquely, tragically equipped to be able to think through complex issues of justice and mercy.”
Irish Times

The Barnes & Noble Review
Just when you thought the invasion of excellent Irish crime writers -- a group nicknamed Celtic Noir -- had ended, along comes Stuart Neville with his first novel. Its central character, Gerry Fegan, is a former IRA "hard man," a killer in Northern Ireland, now reduced by the coming of peace to a shambling drunk, haunted by the ghosts of 12 victims who follow him everywhere. In a Belfast bar, "Fegan looked at each of his companions in turn. Of the five soldiers, three were Brits and two were Ulster Defence Regiment. Another of the followers was a cop, his Royal Ulster Constabulary uniform neat and stiff, and two more were Loyalists, both Ulster Freedom Fighters. The remaining four were civilians who had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. He remembered doing all of them, but it was the civilians whose memories screamed the loudest... They'd been with him since his last weeks in the Maze prison, seven years ago... He told one of the prison psychologists about it. Dr. Brady said it was guilt..." The only way that Fegan can kill off his ghosts is by tracking down his IRA superiors who ordered their deaths. This he does with violent precision, one by one, until he is alone again. Along the way, Neville condenses the fear and hate that troubled Ireland for so long, at the same time creating a memorable character with ease and a cool, deceptively straightfoward writing style. --Dick Adler
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569476000
  • Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/1/2009
  • Series: Jack Lennon Series , #1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Stuart Neville is a partner in a multimedia design business based in Armagh, northern Ireland. This novel, also known as The Twelve in the UK and Ireland, is the first in a series.
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Read an Excerpt

The Ghosts of Belfast


By Stuart Neville

Soho Press, Inc.

Copyright © 2009 Stuart Neville
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-56947-600-0


Chapter One

Maybe if he had one more drink they'd leave him alone. Gerry Fegan told himself that lie before every swallow. He chased the whiskey's burn with a cool black mouthful of Guinness and placed the glass back on the table. Look up and they'll be gone, he thought.

No. They were still there, still staring. Twelve of them if he counted the baby in its mother's arms.

He was good and drunk now. When his stomach couldn't hold any more he would let Tom the barman show him to the door, and the twelve would follow Fegan through the streets of Belfast, into his house, up his stairs, and into his bedroom. If he was lucky, and drunk enough, he might pass out before their screaming got too loud to bear. That was the only time they made a sound, when he was alone and on the edge of sleep. When the baby started crying, that was the worst of it.

Fegan raised the empty glass to get Tom's attention.

"Haven't you had enough, Gerry?" Tom asked. "Is it not home time yet? Everyone's gone."

"One more," Fegan said, trying not to slur. He knew Tom would not refuse. Fegan was still a respected man in West Belfast, despite the drink.

Sure enough, Tom sighed and raised a glass to the optic. He brought the whiskey over and counted change from the stained tabletop. The gummy film of old beer and grime sucked at his shoes as he walked away.

Fegan held the glass up and made a toast to his twelve companions. One of the five soldiers among them smiled and nodded in return. The rest just stared.

"Fuck you," Fegan said. "Fuck the lot of you."

None of the twelve reacted, but Tom looked back over his shoulder. He shook his head and continued walking to the bar.

Fegan looked at each of his companions in turn. Of the five soldiers three were Brits and two were Ulster Defence Regiment. Another of the followers was a cop, his Royal Ulster Constabulary uniform neat and stiff, and two more were Loyalists, both Ulster Freedom Fighters. The remaining four were civilians who had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. He remembered doing all of them, but it was the civilians whose memories screamed the loudest.

There was the butcher with his round face and bloody apron. Fegan had dropped the package in his shop and held the door for the woman and her baby as she wheeled the pram in. They'd smiled at each other. He'd felt the heat of the blast as he jumped into the already moving car, the blast that should have come five minutes after they'd cleared the place.

The other was the boy. Fegan still remembered the look in his eyes when he saw the pistol. Now the boy sat across the table, those same eyes boring into him.

Fegan couldn't hold his gaze, so he turned his eyes downward. Tears pooled on the tabletop. He brought his fingers to the hollows of his face and realised he'd been weeping.

"Jesus," he said.

He wiped the table with his sleeve and sniffed back the tears. The pub's stale air clung to the back of his throat, as thick as the dun-colored paint on the walls. He scolded himself. He neither needed nor deserved pity, least of all his own. Weaker men than him could live with what they'd done. He could do the same.

A hand on his shoulder startled him.

"Time you were going, Gerry," Michael McKenna said.

Tom slipped into the storeroom behind the bar. McKenna paid him to be discreet, to see and hear nothing.

Fegan knew the politician would come looking for him. He was smartly dressed in a jacket and trousers, and his fine-framed designer glasses gave him the appearance of an educated man. A far cry from the teenager Fegan had run the streets with thirty years ago. Wealth looked good on him.

"I'm just finishing," Fegan said.

"Well, drink up and I'll run you home." McKenna smiled down at him, his teeth white and even. He'd had them fixed so he could look presentable for the cameras. The party leadership had insisted on it before they gave him the nomination for his seat in the Assembly. At one time, not so long past, it had been against party policy to take a seat at Stormont. But times change, even if people don't.

"I'll walk," Fegan said. "It's only a couple of minutes."

"It's no trouble," McKenna said. "Besides, I wanted a word."

Fegan nodded and took another mouthful of stout. He held it on his tongue when he noticed the boy had risen from his place on the other side of the table. It took a moment to find him, shirtless and skinny as the day he died, creeping up behind McKenna.

The boy pointed at the politician's head. He mimed firing, his hand thrown upwards by the recoil. His mouth made a plosive movement, but no sound came.

Fegan swallowed the Guinness and stared at the boy. Something stirred in his mind, one memory trying to find another. The chill at his center pulsed with his heartbeat.

"Do you remember that kid?" he asked.

"Don't, Gerry." McKenna's voice carried a warning.

"I met his mother today. I was in the graveyard and she came up to me."

"I know you did," McKenna said, taking the glass from Fegan's fingers.

"She said she knew who I was. What I'd done. She said-"

"Gerry, I don't want to know what she said. I'm more curious about what you said to her. That's what we need to talk about. But not here." McKenna squeezed Fegan's shoulder. "Come on, now."

"He hadn't done anything. Not really. He didn't tell the cops anything they didn't know already. He didn't deserve that. Jesus, he was seventeen. We didn't have to-"

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville Copyright © 2009 by Stuart Neville. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 124 )
Rating Distribution

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(59)

4 Star

(37)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 124 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Unflinchingly brutal, completely original, and absolutely brilliant.

    "All I wanted was some peace. I just wanted to sleep." - Gerry Fegan

    Set in Belfast in the aftermath of Northern Ireland's Troubles, The Ghosts of Belfast introduces us to ex-con Gerry Fegan. Treated by the locals as a hero for his activities as a "hard man" during the Troubles, activities that got him sent to prison for twelve years, Fegan just wants to leave his past in the past and live out his life in peace. That, unfortunately, isn't going to happen.

    The guilt of his own conscience weighs heavily enough upon him, but that is not the only burden Fegan has to bear. Shortly before his release from prison Fegan began getting visits. Not from friends or family, but from the ghosts of the twelve people he killed during the Troubles. Sometimes only one or two at a time, other times all twelve at once, when we meet Fegan it has been seven long years since his "followers," as he calls them, first came calling.

    Tormented to the very edge of sanity, Fegan barely manages to do more each day than wander down to the pub, get drunk, go home and pass out, then get up and do it all over again. One night a friend Fegan used to run with before his time in prison comes to visit him in the pub. Now a smooth talking politician, Fegan's friend, McKenna, was once one of the men Fegan took orders from during the Troubles. Orders that led to deaths including one of Fegan's followers, the one he calls "The Boy."

    As The Boy circles McKenna in the pub, miming putting a gun to his head and pulling the trigger, Fegan comes to believe that what his followers want - no, demand - is justice. The followers want him to put to death those responsible for ordering theirs. Ignoring the potential consequences of killing a politician crucial to the fledgling peace process, not to mention one still very much "connected," Fegan tests his theory by killing McKenna. Sure enough, The Boy disappears. And with that, all in the first fifteen pages, we are off and running. One down, eleven to go.

    As Fegan systematically seeks to balance the scales, and hopefully save his sanity, the reader is given glimpses back in time to the circumstances under which each of his followers was killed. It's not pretty, as author Stuart Neville provides graphic descriptions of Fegan's past brutality as a hard man. And yet, one never gets the feeling that the depictions of violence are being used gratuitously. Rather, they are necessary to illustrate the events which gave birth to Fegan's extreme guilt, and which justify in his mind the extreme measures he's willing to take to rid himself of that guilt... and of his followers.

    Part noir, part ghost story, The Ghosts of Belfast is unflinchingly brutal, completely original, and absolutely brilliant. Stuart Neville has most definitely announced his presence with authority.

    18 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Very adventurous read highly stimulating and full of action would wake a great movie!!!!!

    I loved the writers style and flow of the story its a brutal story with many twist and turns it will keep you on the edge of your seat. The characters are all very colorful people with shady back rounds that came from their struggle for freedom. I was amazed at the level of violence and the brutal tactics of torture used to maintain absolute allegence to their cause yet they still where infiltrated with touts constantly. This book would be a great block buster movie!!!!

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 6, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A compelling debut

    This first novel is a gripping, edge-of-your-seat read. Neville melds an original concept and a riveting plot to create a top-notch thriller. "The Ghosts of Belfast" is one of those rare books that I truly "missed" when I had finished reading it.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Wow!

    I stumbled across this book on B&N and intrigued, read it. I was NOT disappointed. Wow. The story was great, the characters very interesting. I would love to hear more about the main character. He seemed to deserve a better life at the end. The writing really made you see Belfast and Ireland. Hopefully we can expect many more books from this author.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    great haunting war story

    Gerry Fegan believed in the cause of freeing Northern Ireland from the British. He was a soldier who did the assigned tasks willing to die for his belief and committed atrocities against adversaries. He felt no remorse when he killed a civilian as collateral damage is the norm in warfare especially urban guerilla warfare.

    He was able to ignore the greed of his superior officers as long as the cause was just especially with whiskey. However Gerry is not an ordinary soldier as he has always been able to communicate with the dead. While believing in the cause, he could keep the spirits of those he killed in the shadows, but no more. The Good Friday Agreement leaves Gerry free in Belfast living under British Rule and wondering why he believed. Those he followed in combat and went to prison for now serve in Parliament; while they are fat, dumb and wealthy, Fegan feels the guilt of the twelve innocent people he killed; their ghosts demand he do what those fat cats trained him to do: kill his former allies.

    This is a great haunting war story whether one agreed with the IRA or not as THE GHOSTS OF BELFAST could easily have been the ghosts of Saigon or even Baghdad, as the soldier's psyche depends critically on the cause. The story line is fast-paced and filled with action as Gerry begins his new mission while his former friends send an agent to stop him. Readers will appreciate this thought provoking thriller that will have the audience pondering the prime underlying cause and the short and long term effects.

    Harriet Klausner

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastic book!!

    Truly the best book I've read in a long time. A gripping story which will grab your attention and not let it go. I'm so glad to see this is the first in a series. Can't wait to read the next one.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Story

    Also published under the title 'The Twelve'

    This novel is a stunning debut thriller; tension-filled from start to finish telling the fictional story of Gerry Fegan, a former IRA assassin who is haunted by ghosts of his twelve victims.

    I was grabbed from the first pages and I couldn't read fast enough to see the outcome. The tale begins with the central protagonist, Gerry Fegan, driven to the brink of insanity, haunted and tormented day and night by the terrible memories of the twelve people he killed. Since his release from Maze Prison, he spends his waking moments in a state of inebriation in an attempt to seek refuge from the visions and guilt that continually haunt him.

    One day through a vision, he sees a possible way out, eliminate the people who contracted these murders and hopefully banished the ghosts of guilt forever and lead a normal life. One by one, Fegan seeks out the master minds and makes them pay for their misguided decisions, a life for a life, gradually clearing the burden hanging heavy over his shoulders.

    This novel is full of energy creating an escalating sense of tension as you go deeper into it. The author has created a harsh and unrelenting story that dabs into the political and religious landscape of today's Ireland and the fragility of its peace accord. The prose is sharp and emotional. ' Ghosts of Belfast' is a mystery novel with a different spin, brilliantly done and brims with its strong characterization. We see how leaders with self centered ideas manipulate the minds of average people and turn them into puppets, some haunted by their actions for the rest of their life.

    I enjoyed my time spent with this thought provoking thriller.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 29, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent thriller set in Post Troubles Belfast

    This is an excellent thriller with great political undertones regarding the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Gerry Fegan is a compelling character who you want to empathize with, but who also has a dark history which is hard to ignore. It is Gerry's haunting ghosts who deserve your sympathy.

    For anyone interested in an Irish thriller, this books satisfies and intrigues. Neville's second book in this series is also excellent - "Collusion." I also suggest Tara French's great Irish detective novels - "In the Woods" and "The Likeness"

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2010

    Could not put it down!

    Fabulouly written, an absolute must-read, even if you find the seemingly never-ending "troubles" of Ireland depressing beyond words. This imaginatively-written book brings the whole thing to life in a way I never would have thought I would enjoy. I'm starting to find these incredible European books; I should have done it much earlier.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Best first chapter of a book I have read in a long while

    I was absolutely thrilled at finding this book! I am adding Stuart Neville to my list of fav's along with Ian Rankin, Michael Connelly and John Harvey. Can't wait for the next one.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2010

    Remarkable novel!

    Well-written and fast paced. Fegan is a terribly complex and human protagonist, at once brutal and compassionate, driven by anger, shame, guilt,and ultimately love. Given the violence with which he has lived, the ending is surprising but satisfying. The plot is compelling, and leaves the reader with much to think about and discuss. Neville is a novelist I would read again.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 25, 2011

    Interesting details about the modern history of "political" Irleand

    Very good read, some parts are difficult to get through because of the writer's in-depth knowledge of the history and struggles of Ireland's political powers. If I was 15-20 years older it would have been easier for me to follow the story line. But overall, a good read with just to right amount of details to provoke a reader's feelings about the main characters and their thrilling situations. Def. going to read #2 in the series. :)

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2012

    Pick this book up.!!

    This book is a wonderfull mix with paranormal and mafia type hitmen. Ghosts of his past hits haunt him and have him killing those who ordered them dead. I reccomend this, you will not be bored with this one. It is written pretty good and you get the feeling you get to know all the characters, dead and alive. Great read!! Pick it up

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2012

    Excellent! Long time since I read a book quite like this!

    I really enjoyed this book and hope that it is made into a movie! It's fast-paced and well written. Mr. Neville knows how to draw the reader into the characters. I hated to go to sleep at night because I wanted to keep reading. I read my nook during transportation to and from work and on my lunch hour. Finished it in two days - fantastic!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2012

    strong language but an excellent book to read

    kept my interest throughout

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2013

    Good book about life after the years of violence in Irelan

    This is a good murder mystery with some twists and turns that make for good reading. I takes place in post war Ireland and deals with the how the creators of all the violence coped with peace and becoming obsolete.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Dark and Gritty

    This is a very dark, gritty and haunting novel. I was intrigued by the story line and the character of Gerry Fagan. He's a tortured soul trying to find absolution for his past crimes, and that part was interesting to me. The stuff I didn't care for was the excessive amount of cursing that at times seemed unneccesary. It's very violent, and very harsh, and if that isn't your thing then I don't recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2012

    A lot of cussing and violence

    This book was just ok for me. There was a lot of violence (which I expected) but there was also a lot of cussing, which I could have done without. Over all this book was just ok. I did finish it but it wasn't a "I must stay up all night and finish" kind of book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2012

    Great read once you get into it

    I felt a little out of my element when I first started reading,but once I got onto it,it was hard to put down. Not your typical protagonist. I liked the difference.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2012

    what a book!

    i finished it a few days ago, and still i can't get this book out of my head. the image...narrative...characters...all fascinating. i'm from korea, and the political, regional conflicts inside a single nation this book depict remind me of those of my own country's. anyway, this is a good, very good book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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