The Convictions of John Delahunt: A Novel

The Convictions of John Delahunt: A Novel

by Andrew Hughes

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Beautifully observed, seductive, and laced with dark humor, a gripping historical thriller — set in 1840s Dublin — about a man who betrays his family, his friends, his society and, ultimately, himself.

Dublin, 1841. On a cold December morning, a small boy is enticed away from his mother and his throat savagely cut. This could be just one more small, sad death in a city riven by poverty, inequality and political unrest, but this murder causes a public outcry. For it appears the culprit - a feckless student named John Delahunt - is also an informant in the pay of the authorities at Dublin Castle. And strangely, this young man seems neither to regret what he did, nor fear his punishment. Indeed, as he awaits the hangman in his cell in Kilmainham Gaol, John Delahunt decides to tell his story in this, his final, deeply unsettling statement...

Based on true events that convulsed Victorian Ireland, The Convictions of John Delahunt is the tragic tale of a man who betrays his family, his friends, his society and, ultimately, himself. Set amidst Dublin's taverns, tenements, courtrooms, and alleyways and with a rich, Dickensian cast of characters, this enthralling, at times darkly humorous novel brilliantly evokes a time and a place, and introduces a remarkable new literary voice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781605987958
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 06/08/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
File size: 992 KB

About the Author

Andrew Hughes was born in Ireland and educated at Trinity College, Dublin. It was while researching his acclaimed social history of Fitzwilliam Square—Lives Less Ordinary: Dublin's Fitzwilliam Square, 1798-1922—that he first came across the true story of John Delahunt that inspired his debut novel, The Convictions of John Delahunt. Andrew lives in Dublin.

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The Convictions of John Delahunt 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
DarkRavenDH More than 1 year ago
Historical Fiction that reads like Historical Fact! My thanks to my contacts at Pegasus Books, Iris Blasi, Katie McGuire, and Maia Larson, for my review copy of this book. You ladies rock! The year is 1841, the setting Dublin, Ireland. John Delahunt is a young man who might have had prospects of future fortune, but who was undone by his father’s illness and the quack doctors who ended up with the money that he was counting on. He also has fallen for a young lady of gentle breeding, Miss Ellen Stokes. She also loves him, and her father is agreeable, since John Delahunt’s testimony had saved Ellen’s brother, Arthur, from a murder charge. John has been working for shady characters from Dublin Castle as a kind of police informant. The money is nice, and the connections of great value to this lazy but ambitious man. The job is a double edged sword, as John learns when the Castle agents show up at his door with a badly wounded man. This makes Ellen’s father renege on his promise of her hand in marriage. The couple elopes, but has no wealth because Mr. Stokes has disinherited his daughter. John moves from questionable activity to another, and his information no longer has the weight it used to carry with the Castle. So when John is charged with the murder of nine-year-old Thomas Maguire the Dublin Castle Spymasters allow his conviction to stand, and he is hanged before a large crowd on February 5th, 1842. This historical fiction is based on real events from the 1840’s in Dublin, Ireland. The fictional John is a stand in for real people who were caught in the poverty, drug addiction, crime, espionage, and hopelessness that was Ireland at that time. The story is delightfully devilish, written first person by John in his cell in prison. The murderer has a form of gallows humor that makes one shiver even as it makes one laugh. Andrew Hughes is so good at his story-telling that you might begin to believe that John Delahunt was a genuine person in 1840’s Ireland! Many passages in the story will make the reader do a double-take and reread just to be certain that you did not miss anything! It is that good! It is with great pleasure that I give the books five stars plus! Quoth the Raven…
Anonymous More than 1 year ago