Until the Next Time

Until the Next Time

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by Kevin Fox

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For Sean Corrigan the past is simply what happened yesterday, until his twenty-first birthday, when he is given a journal left him by his father’s brother Michael—a man he had not known existed. The journal, kept after his uncle fled from New York City to Ireland to escape prosecution for a murder he did not commit, draws Sean into a hunt for the truth…  See more details below


For Sean Corrigan the past is simply what happened yesterday, until his twenty-first birthday, when he is given a journal left him by his father’s brother Michael—a man he had not known existed. The journal, kept after his uncle fled from New York City to Ireland to escape prosecution for a murder he did not commit, draws Sean into a hunt for the truth about Michael’s fate.

Sean too leaves New York for Ireland, where he is caught up in the lives of people who not only know all about Michael Corrigan but have a score to settle. As his connection to his uncle grows stronger, he realizes that within the tattered journal he carries lies the story of his own life—his past as well as his future—and the key to finding the one woman he is fated to love forever.

With the appeal of The Time Traveler’s Wife and the classic Time and Again, this novel is a romance cloaked in mystery and suspense that takes readers inside the rich heritage of Irish history and faith. Until the Next Time is a remarkable story about time and memory and the way ancient myths affect everything—from what we believe to who we love.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In his debut novel, screen and television writer Fox has a fresh and fascinating take on an absorbing concoction of myth, belief, memory, identity, reincarnation, and the lasting power of love. On his 21st birthday, Sean Corrigan wakes to his dad handing him a gift: his uncle’s journal. Both the journal and the uncle are news to Sean, who soon learns why he’d never heard of uncle Michael: he fled to Ireland after killing a black civil rights worker and was then killed for working with the IRA. The journal sends Sean on a journey to Ireland that’s more than a trip to the old country to meet the family he never knew and find out what really happened. It’s about peeling away layers of memory and learning “WHO HE IS.” Accelerating chapters alternate between Sean’s present journey and his uncle’s diary and begin to flow together as more is revealed to both men. Although at times the book has the feel of an episode of Lost, it is both entertaining and provocative. Agent: Mollie Glick, Foundry Literary + Media. (Feb.)
Durham Herald-Sun
“A fresh and fascinating take on an absorbing concoction of myth, belief, memory, identity, reincarnation, and the lasting power of love.”
Publishers Weekly
From the Publisher
“A satisfying read about a culture that still believes strongly in the cycles of lives and loves and the inevitable repetition of political and religious intolerance. Recommended for Irish fiction fans.”
Library Journal

“Winding inward and outward like the Celtic knotted roads and stories and layers of lives reincarnated, Until the Next Time is a great escape that also makes you want to follow a road to its origin, and perhaps your own.”
Durham Herald-Sun

Library Journal
On Sean Corrigan's 21st birthday, he receives the journal of his late uncle Michael, who Sean never knew existed. To avoid prosecution for a crime he did not commit, Michael had fled New York for Ireland in the 1970s and, drawn into the raging turmoil of Northern Ireland, was ultimately murdered. Urged on by his family and fascinated by Michael's writing, Sean heads for Ireland on a rite of passage and is instantly caught up in the lives of people who knew his uncle and strangely seem to know him as well. The mystery of Michael's murder casts a shadow everywhere. Deeply infused with the violence and political mayhem of 20th-century Ireland, the stories of Michael and Sean and the women they love, told in alternating chapters, illustrate the inextricable relationships among religion, mythology, and persecution. VERDICT Heavy with history, Celtic mysticism, violence, and a somewhat pedantic plot, this debut novel by the producer and writer for the TV series Lie to Me is nonetheless a satisfying read about a culture that still believes strongly in the cycles of lives and loves and the inevitable repetition of political and religious intolerance. Recommended for Irish fiction fans. [Eight-city tour.]—Susan Clifford Braun, Bainbridge Island, WA
Kirkus Reviews
Given a journal belonging to an uncle he never knew existed, Sean Corrigan embarks on a quest across the Atlantic—and lifetimes—in search of the truth about Michael Corrigan, a cop accused of murder who fled to Ireland. Sean falls in with his Irish family, who are privy to an ancient knowledge: that reincarnation is real and, while most of us don't remember past lives, some, by taking belladonna and reaching a hallucinatory state close to death, can remember their former lives. Sean soon learns he is part of a karmic cycle in which bloodshed begets bloodshed and some mysterious debt needs to be repaid. The action shuttles between Sean's narrative and that of his uncle Michael, whose flight from an almost certain murder conviction takes him to the Corrigan family's ancestral land. Both experience uncanny bursts of insight and familiarity—e.g., understanding and speaking Gaelic despite never having learned the language. Michael realizes that his father, whose idea it was that he visit Ireland, has used him as a mule to smuggle cash to persons sympathetic with the Provisional Irish Republican Army. Both Sean and Michael fall for beguiling Irish lasses: Sean for his cousin (not by blood) Anne, and Michael for Kate Ryan, who tends the counter at a grocery store he happens upon. Soon enough, both become embroiled in ancient animosities and conflicts, encountering enemies English and Irish. This intertwining, transgenerational epic of romance and revenge never overcomes its protagonists' naiveté, especially Sean's, whose every paragraph ends in a series of questions illustrating his confusion at what is immediately obvious to the reader. As he seeks pages missing from the journal, Sean spouts trite observations on Irish culture and quasi-philosophical digressions on the implications of reincarnation as Anne clues him in to how this secret knowledge has been encoded in the parables and mythologies of the major religions. Michael's narrative of being caught in the bloody struggle between members of the Provisional IRA, the British and with one another is more compelling. Unfortunately, weak writing and crepe-thin characters, as well as unnecessary redundancy between the dual narratives and uninteresting denouements make for an unrewarding read. A potentially good idea lacking adequate execution.

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Product Details

Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
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Until the Next Time

a novel
By Kevin Fox

Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill

Copyright © 2012 Kevin Fox
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-56512-993-1

Chapter One


JULY 5, 1996

"Read this," my father said as he tossed a leather-bound journal at my chest, trying to catch me by surprise. He did. Not because he woke me up at 6 a.m. but because he was actually giving me something. Aidan Corrigan wasn't exactly a hands-on, doting father. He believed children learned survival skills by surviving. Surviving him, mostly. I looked at the book with its yellow dog-eared pages. It smelled musty.

"What is this?" I was still half asleep, and I was asking the question in a general sense, meaning: "What the hell are you doing in my bedroom before the sun is up with a musty-smelling piece-of-shit book?" He took it literally, as always.

"Wha's it look like? You never seen a book before? It's a feckin' birthday present. What'd you expect, hookers and tequila?" He snarled, always the sentimental old man. I hated the way he slipped into a bogus brogue when he cursed. The only brogue he'd ever heard was secondhand, from his father, Jim Corrigan. And even my grandfather did his best to lose his accent as soon as he got to America. They all did. Back then, speaking with a brogue wasn't sexy or cute, and it didn't win you the hearts of women. If you spoke with a brogue, people assumed you lacked an education, money, and common sense. Most of the time they were right on all three counts.

Unfortunately, my grandfather's brother Sean (whom I was named after and who my grandfather came over to join as a partner in the creatively named Corrigan's Tavern) never lost his brogue. It may have cost him his life. Great-uncle Sean arrived here in 1921 when he was just sixteen, running from the original Troubles, I suppose. He never quite outran them, because on March 18, 1946, the morning after St. Patrick's Day, my father found him in the alley next to Corrigan's Tavern, the victim of an apparent mugging that turned violent. He was barely alive when they found him and only said one thing in Irish before he died. "Ni dhiolann dearmad fiacha," which translates as "A debt is still unpaid, even if forgotten." No one knew what it meant, but the police thought he probably owed the bookies some money. It was definitely possible.

The assumption was that after he locked up the bar, either the bookies showed up for something he owed them or someone pegged him as the owner by his brogue and tried to take the night's receipts. The strange part is that he had the cash in his pocket when they found him, a flask of whiskey by his hand, and his head propped on his coat. You would have thought he was peacefully sleeping off a "bout with the stout" if not for the hole in the back of his head. Maybe whoever tried to mug him was remorseful afterward, but it never made any sense to me.

Right now, neither did my father. He was still staring at me, waiting for me to say something about his sudden awareness of my birthday—a birthday I had forgotten myself. Well, maybe I hadn't quite forgotten it, but I certainly hadn't remembered it yet. Like I said, it was early, and last night's birthday celebration had only ended a couple of hours ago. My body's alcohol content was probably still over the legal limit, since I had been drinking to celebrate both being legal and to forget that my girlfriend, Sarah, had dumped me two weeks before. She was already dating some guy from Princeton, and I had seen her sticking her tongue in his ear at Conti's Pizza the night before. That's when the drinking started. Not that I ever liked her tongue in my ear—I just liked the idea of it in someone else's ear even less.

The way my father was staring at me was giving me a headache. To avoid the look, I opened the book, glancing through it as he lit his cigarette and flicked ashes on the floor, just like he always did right before he made an excuse to leave in order to avoid talking about anything real.

The pages of the book were worn and water-stained. The first page was headed "Notes for Dr. Sorenson," but Dr. Sorenson's name was crossed out, and next to it, someone had written "the Next Time" so that it now read "Notes for the Next Time." Every few pages was a dated entry. Inside the front cover was a name: Mike Corrigan.

"It's a journal," I muttered.

"Really? And your mother thinks you're stupid ..."

"Who's Mike Corrigan?"

He shrugged before I even finished asking, taking a long drag on his cigarette, as if he couldn't speak without smoke coating his vocal cords.

"You were named after him and your great-uncle. He was Michael Sean, and your great-uncle was Sean Michael. Names don't come from nowhere, boyo. He was my brother." As he said this, he stood up and was out the door before I could ask the question that kept repeating itself in my head: "What the fuck are you talking about?" I had no Uncle Mike. My father had no brother.

Shows you how much I knew. Shows you how easy it is to hide the past and change history when people refuse to remember. As I opened the journal once more, a newspaper clipping fluttered out. Dated December 10, 1973, it was a terse report concerning an American fugitive, Michael Corrigan, who was killed by MI5, the British Security Service. They thought he was working with the Provos, the Provisional IRA.

I felt like I was reading fiction as I went on, trying to focus on the faded type: "a former New York City police detective assigned to a joint federal task force investigating subversive groups up until the time he was arrested, accused of murdering a Negro civil rights worker in rural Pennsylvania. He fled from prosecution to Ireland earlier this year."

So. I had an uncle. I had an uncle who was an NYPD detective and killed by the British while working with the IRA, after he killed a black civil rights worker and fled the United States to hide in Ireland. And I had his journal in my hands. Fuck.

I started to read.


Excerpted from Until the Next Time by Kevin Fox Copyright © 2012 by Kevin Fox. Excerpted by permission of Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. 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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Meet the Author

Kevin Fox is a producer and writer for the Fox TS series Lie to Me, and his professional screen- writer credits include the film The Negotiator. He splits his time between coasts, living in both Los Angeles and New Jersey. This is his first novel.

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Until the Next Time 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
lovestoread17 More than 1 year ago
For Sean's 21st birthday he is given a very unusual gift from his father a journal written by his Uncle Michael who he did not even existed as he was dead before Sean was even born. This along with a paid airplane ticket and a nice bank account of money. After Sean finishes reading the journal he realizes he must head to Ireland to find out the truth about his uncle. He is taken on a journey and learns that his Uncle was accused of shooting a black civil rights leader in cold blood and then fleas to Ireland. He will discover that his Uncle joined the IRA and was later killed as a traitor. I found the story to be confusing as it goes from the present, to the past with people being reincarnated to other people. His language leaves much to be desired and think all of it was not necessary. When Sean investigates his Uncle Michaels past he learns more about his heritage, the relatives and the dangerous situations they faced. I was not impressed with the book as I found it too confusing and hard to concentrate on the different characters I found it too hard to read so not enjoyable to me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The back and forth from past to present makes this book interesting and captivating. A bitter sweet ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book. Great characters. You will fall in love with the characters in this book. They are not all nice people mind you. But they all have their reasons for what they do. Also, Ireland itself becomes a character. You will not be disappointed with this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago