The South Lawn Plot [NOOK Book]

Overview

A global thriller with a plot straight out of international headlines…from a newspaper man with history and politics in his veins. Nick Bailey considers himself a hardboiled reporter for London's hungriest tabloid. But even Bailey is left reaching for answers when he gets a midnight assignment to investigate a body hanging from the infamous Blackfriars Bridge. Someone, it seems, is killing priests. It’s the latest twist in a deadly conspiracy, one centuries in the making, that will reach all the way to the South ...
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The South Lawn Plot

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Overview

A global thriller with a plot straight out of international headlines…from a newspaper man with history and politics in his veins. Nick Bailey considers himself a hardboiled reporter for London's hungriest tabloid. But even Bailey is left reaching for answers when he gets a midnight assignment to investigate a body hanging from the infamous Blackfriars Bridge. Someone, it seems, is killing priests. It’s the latest twist in a deadly conspiracy, one centuries in the making, that will reach all the way to the South Lawn of the White House. In this tale of intrigue and bitter religious rivalry, seasoned journalist and newspaperman Ray O'Hanlon sets a conflict that has simmered for four hundred years on a collision course with an American President and a British Prime Minister. Both are battling a present day crisis that threatens global peace. Both are confronting an uncertain future. But it's what is coming at them from the distant past that poses the greatest danger, a threat to their very lives.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Irish Echo editor O'Hanlon's first novel, a shaky assassination thriller, tabloid reporter Nick Bailey gets a tip about the police discovery of a dead priest found hanging off London's Blackfriars Bridge, where Roberto Calvi, a banker implicated in a Vatican financial scandal, died similarly in 1982. Bailey learns that another priest belonging to the same order also apparently took his own life several months earlier. As the journalist pursues his inquiries, the author throws in a number of other story lines, including the schemes of a group of London businessmen in 1607 to realign England politically with Catholic Spain, the threat of nuclear war between the U.S. and China over Taiwan, and a plan to kill the American president on the White House grounds. Readers will wonder how it all turns out, but they may feel cheated by the end. 5-city author tour. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
The South Lawn Plot has everything a good thriller could want – duplicitous politicians and secretive priests, a body dangling under Blackfriars Bridge, and a canny reporter who thinks he has seen it all, but hasn't. A splendid page-turner.” -Benjamin Black, New York Times bestselling author of Christine Falls and Elegy for April

"...a marvelous novel, with a layered, hard-driving narrative, vivid characters, abiding mysteries, and the past that has not passed."-Pete Hamill, New York Times bestselling author of A Drinking Life and Forever

"There's a lot to recommend here….  [A] tangled plot whose strands gradually twine together to create a rope of intrigue that may be too strong to be broken. Throw in MI5, MI6 and a few American agencies and you've got a potboiler. A very satisfying read." -Suspense Magazine

"The South Lawn Plot is an altogether more thought provoking book than most of its genre. Pulse pounding for sure, but also introspective and delighting in its brilliantly assembled plot twists. Most thrillers can entertain, but O'Hanlon's has the added power to surprise and unsettle." -The Irish Voice

"For those who like their history mixed with religion and presented as a murderous puzzle that keeps exploding in our own tormented time, this will be a book to remember and even treasure.” -Thomas Fleming, New York Times bestselling author of The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers

“A far flung thriller set in contemporary times and in England, just after the Gunpowder Plot. A fast-paced page-turner. O'Hanlon takes the reader around the globe, casting his mind to an Irish hillside, the countryside of Essex, the back alleys of London, a Taipei penthouse and the corridors of power at No. 10 Downing St. and 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. What follows is a cavalcade of characters and details that lead, whether from the 1600s or the 21st century, to the American president's residence. It might remind some of "The Da Vinci Code" or the works of Michael Connelly.” -The (Gannett) Journal News.

"With his debut novel, Ray O’Hanlon has placed himself somewhere between Dan Brown and Michael Connelly within the realm of suspense writing....[He] has formed a fascinating world of words; I look forward to his next one."  - Irish America Magazine
 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781934848845
  • Publisher: GemmaMedia
  • Publication date: 3/23/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 346
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)
  • File size: 759 KB

Meet the Author

Ray O’Hanlon is editor of The Irish Echo, the USA’s most widely read Irish American newspaper, based in New York. Over the course of a distinguished newspaper career spanning more than thirty years, he has reported from three continents and has appeared on “CBS’ 60 Minutes,” “BBC World News,” “ABC World News Tonight” and “PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.” In addition to his work as a reporter and editor, O’Hanlon is a frequent contributor to media reporting on Ireland, Irish American affairs and Anglo-Irish relations. His book, The New Irish Americans (Roberts Rinehart, 1998), was the recipient of a Washington Irving Book Award. A native of Dublin and a keen reader of American, Irish and British history, O’Hanlon lives with his wife Lisa and their three children in Ossining, New York.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 31, 2011

    A Bravura Performance!

    Suction is supreme. A quick slurp and we are preening last feathers on the concentric circles of Ray O'Hanlon's vortex. The South Lawn Plot is a bravura performance.

    From the opening sentence, we are plunged into a noirish world of murder, mystery, and mayhem. Nick Bailey, a writer for the Morning Post, a London tabloid, has the tenacity--and world-weary wit--of a hard-boiled detective. So captivated by the city's stories, he seldom leaves town. He's a cynic with a soft spot, but his irony will keep readers entertained even while they are mystified by the eerie events his editor, Bob Henderson, badgers him to explore.

    We learn of a spate of dead English priests, presumably slain by their own hand, but both Henderson and Bailey, along with the Metropolitan Police, doubt that the clerics could have taken their own lives.

    Along the way, Bailey becomes enamored of a bright and attractive police woman, Detective Sergeant Samantha Walsh, and happily finds his affections returned. What a pair. The keen sexy copper and the mordant newsman. Their quips are better than the banter of Nick and Nora Charles. Together, they and the reader begin a journey that eventually teases out the startling truth of a centuries-old conspiracy. The book is set in modern times--our own twenty-first century-but a dozen intervening chapters are set in the Protestant England of 1606, where a Roman Catholic plot was hatched to see the English throne "once again in union with mother church." Cryptic and fanatic holy men have kept this dream alive for 400 years, and the "South Lawn Plot"-a brazen plan to assassinate the American President, the British Prime Minister, and other dignitaries-is inextricably tied to those ancient enmities as well as to the death of the several modern priests.

    The South Lawn Plot includes a grand sweep of history, revealing the author's intimate knowledge of journalism, government, religious hierarchies, international relations, and high finance, as well as the machinations of spies, assassins, and arcane operatives. It includes, too, generous portions of satire of people whose idiosyncrasies and strivings for power are laughable. Nor does it matter whether O'Hanlon is characterizing people from the seventeenth or twenty-first century; his insights are uncanny.

    He seems to have given us a cast of thousands. Yet he has made each character a natural part of the narrative. DeMille couldn't have pulled it off better. Ray O'Hanlon is a gifted stylist, and the brightness, ease, and clarity with which he tells this intriguing story deserve five stars.

    The South Lawn Plot is a winner and richly merits all the accolades it will receive.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2011

    A genius piece of fiction.

    Forgive the cliché but The South Lawn Plot can only be described as a page turner - and a damn good one at that. That age old description applies to this novel in spades and once in, you can't get out.

    In a mish mash of seemingly unrelated locations, settings and characters, the slick and assured narrative moves the story along with ease and aplomb, weaving the intricate structures together. From 17th Century England, where two conspirators make plans that will shock and resonate around the world centuries later, to an imminent war between China and Taiwan - everything is related and significant. A multi billionaire industrialist, an international hit man, a Fleet Street hack and an ex I.R.A. operative all play their parts as they are inextricably drawn into this apocalyptic web of worldwide conspiracy.

    The author Ray O'Hanlon is a newspaper man himself, and it is evident as you read, that he knows his way around the world of top notch journalism and a good story. The eponymous plot itself is a work of pure genius and will have you guessing and presupposing right up until the very end. This is a remarkable thriller that transports the reader to places and situations beyond their normal comfort zone. Above all, like Tom Clancy and the eminent John le Carré, Ray O'Hanlon knows his stuff, and delivers it word by word, page by page with an expert hand upon this remarkable thriller.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2011

    Pulitzer Recommended

    I worked a lot of the back stories in this fascinating novel that weaves plenty of fact into breathtaking fiction. I'll bet my Pulitzer Prize you'll like this and you'll be guessing until the very last page.
    Jim Mulvaney

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2011

    Bor-ing

    If you're looking for a thriller, this isn't it. If you're looking for a soporific, you'll love it. Even if it had been free, I would have felt cheated.

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  • Posted June 24, 2011

    Summer 2011's #1 page-turner!

    Summer's here and what better way to enjoy the season than to stretch out on the deck or on a beach towel with a cool drink and good book. That alone should be the cue to order or download a copy of Ray O'Hanlon's highly entertaining debut novel "The South Lawn Plot." A veteran journalist, O'Hanlon brings a new style and flavor to the thriller genre and the result is a superb read that leaves you yearning for more. "South Lawn" is a blend of history, international affairs and some good old fashion suspense. It's almost two books in one with parallel plots centuries apart. Yet the fiction is interwoven and comes to a nail biting end. In a nod to his own profession, O'Hanlon's protagonist is a tenacious journalist with the instincts of a bloodhound. The other characters - from a 17th century mercenary and an attractive female London cop to an enigmatic photographer/assassin and a diplomat with a dark past - are equally compelling. O'Hanlon brilliantly meshes their respective destiny into one and that's where the plot thickens.

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  • Posted May 30, 2011

    A Thrill Ride of a Book!

    I highly recommend this very imaginative book. O'Hanlon tells a terrific tale, mixing actual and fictional (though totally plausible) events, with characters from all over the globe. The writing style is crisp and literate; Clearly the author is a keen reader of history and a thoughtful observer of current events. In true thriller style, he keeps you in suspense until the very end. Enjoy!

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  • Posted May 27, 2011

    WONDERFUL DRAMA, BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN

    Ray O' Hanlon is not just a good journalist but also a literary craftsman. The South Lawn Plot held my attention to the last syllable. It is an amazing literary achievement. The trick is not to rush through it to see what happens next but rather to savor the wonderful, meticulous writing, and enjoy the global perspective. It's a gem of a book. Sean6

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  • Posted March 24, 2011

    A complex, exciting and unexpected debut thriller that will intrigue the reader. A complex, exciting and unexpected debut thriller that will intrigue the reader.

    A highly enjoyable and thought provoking read through the aspects of many-layered story-lines.
    As one reviewer has observed: "The South Lawn Plot is that rare thing, a thriller that can be read as literature".
    The "Plot" involves, among other adventures ... a reporter, and his mentors and mates from a London Tabloid; various Catholic Priests (one hanging from the fabled Blackfriars Bridge); a spy cabal and the ultimate plot against the British and U.S. Governments.
    A thinking person's journey through many well told historical facts wound round the drama. I wouldn't have missed it .. Highly Recommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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