The Guns of Heaven

Overview

On a visit to Northern Ireland, newspaper reporter Sam Briscoe meets with a mysterious IRA leader and agrees to deliver an envelope to his supporters in New York City. It’s a decision with grave consequences - not just for Briscoe, but for his 11-year-old daughter as well. Because the bloody Irish conflict is about to come to the streets of New York, and Briscoe is the only man standing in its way...
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Overview

On a visit to Northern Ireland, newspaper reporter Sam Briscoe meets with a mysterious IRA leader and agrees to deliver an envelope to his supporters in New York City. It’s a decision with grave consequences - not just for Briscoe, but for his 11-year-old daughter as well. Because the bloody Irish conflict is about to come to the streets of New York, and Briscoe is the only man standing in its way...
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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
Nostradamus he isn't; but award-winning journalist Pete Hamill's 1983 pulp noir classic, The Guns of Heaven -- reissued with new cover art by Hard Case Crime -- has disturbing similarities to the events of 9/11. American reporter Sam Briscoe, after visiting relatives in Northern Ireland and inadvertently getting involved in an international IRA gun-smuggling plot, must deal with a group of sadistic terrorists who have not only kidnapped his daughter but also have plans on blowing up a historic Manhattan landmark.

While visiting his 72-year-old uncle -- a staunch IRA supporter -- in Northern Ireland, Briscoe gets the once-in-a-lifetime chance to talk face to face with an enigmatic IRA leader known only as Commander Steel. In return for the exclusive interview, Briscoe agrees to deliver an envelope to an Irish tavern owner in Queens upon his return to the States. But shortly after Briscoe hands over the envelope to its intended recipient, Irish-born Jack McDaid, McDaid and his bar are blown to smithereens by a bomb; and Briscoe becomes entangled in a bloody conflict that could mean the death of him, his daughter, four prominent Irish-American politicians, and thousands of innocents…

As with every Hard Case Crime release since the imprint's 2004 inception, The Guns of Heaven is an utterly readable and thoroughly enjoyable pulp noir gem. As timely as it is timeless, this unearthed crime fiction classic featuring hard-nosed reporter Sam Briscoe will enthrall, enlighten, and, above all else, entertain. Paul Goat Allen
Library Journal
Hamill joins the fabulous Hard Case Crime line with his 1983 novel of Sam Briscoe, a newspaper reporter visiting Northern Ireland. Sam foolishly offers to deliver an envelope from an IRA boss to the group's supporters in New York City. Not the smartest move, for Briscoe soon finds himself up to his eyebrows in Belfast boyos. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553227536
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/1/1984

Meet the Author

A journalist of legendary stature, Pete Hamill served as editor-in-chief of both The New York Daily News and The New York Post, and has written for countless publications. At the same time, Hamill has pursued a career as a fiction writer, winning high praise for novels such as Snow In August, Flesh and Blood, and Forever, and has been nominated for an Edgar Award.

Biography

Throughout his colorful career as a writer, New York City has been a constant backdrop and inspiration for Pete Hamill -- from his success at several New York newspapers and magazines to his look back at A Drinking Life to his latest sweeping novel about a man gifted with immortality in the city he calls home: Forever.

Born in Brooklyn in 1935 as the first of seven children to Irish immigrant parents, Hamill attended Catholic schools throughout his childhood. More in tune with the city streets than the schoolroom, he dropped out at 16 to labor in the Brooklyn Navy Yard as a sheet metal worker, and from there signed up with the U.S. Navy, where he was able to eventually complete his high school education. The G.I. Bill of Rights helped him gain admission to Mexico City College in 1956-1957, where he was a student of art and design.

While Hamill fell in love with Mexico (and would eventually come to consider it his second home), his interest in design brought him back to New York to study at Pratt Institute. However, in 1960, he made the fateful career move that would change his life: taking a job as a beat reporter for The New York Post. Hamill's pavement-pounding work made him a crafty chronicler of city life -- from the grimy streets of the crime beat to the chaotic uprisings of the 1960s -- and he graduated to columnist. Soon after, he made the slightly scandalous move to the Post's rival paper, The New York Daily News. Perhaps one of Hamill's most intriguing achievements in New York journalism is the fact that he served as editor-in-chief of both papers -- the city's two most notoriously competitive dailies.

Hamill's nonfiction books have resonated with readers craving more than a few column inches. His 1994 memoir, A Drinking Life, was, as Publishers Weekly noted, "not a jeremiad condemning drink... but a thoughtful, funny, street-smart reflection on its consequences." Turning his attention to other lives, Hamill has also written tributes to idols Frank Sinatra (1998's Why Sinatra Matters) and Mexican painter Diego Rivera (1999's Diego Rivera).

Hamill has also enjoyed critical and commercial success as a fiction writer. His 1997 novel, Snow in August, was an instant New York Times bestseller. On the gritty coming-of-age story, the Times observed, "Mr. Hamill has told versions of this story many times, in fiction and journalism. But in his new novel...Mr. Hamill adds magic. Hamill is not a subtle writer, but his gift for sensual description and his tabloid muscularity fit this page turner of a fable."

2002's Forever brings Hamill's street smarts and near-encyclopedic knowledge of New York City together with his gift for spinning a story. Perhaps his most ambitious work yet, the novel traces the history of Manhattan through the eyes of a man who has watched it unfold for the better part of two centuries -- thanks to an otherworldly wish he is granted. It's likely Hamill's secret wish as well.

Good To Know

Since the 1950s, Hamill has had a keen interest in Mexico and considers it his home away from home. As a reporter, he covered the events in Tlatelolco in 1968, the Olympic Games that followed, and a major earthquake in 1985. For six months in 1986, he served as editor of The Mexico City News.

He is married to Japanese journalist Fukiko Aoki and has two grown daughters -- one a poet, the other a photographer for the Arizona Republic in Phoenix.

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York, and Cuernavaca, Mexico
    1. Date of Birth:
      1935
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Education:
      Mexico City College, 1956-1957; Pratt Institute
    2. Website:

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