In West Belfast in the late 1960s, Brendan O’Hara and his teenage son, Seamus, are drawn to the nationalist cause and join the IRA. Their obsession divides them from other members of the family, especially Seamus’ mother, Ruth, and his gentle younger brother, Patrick. Ruth copes with her isolation through a close friendship with Linda, Brendan’s sister-in-law, and a passionate and over-protective relationship with Patrick.
The family leave Belfast so that Brendan and Seamus can take part in the mainland campaign, where Brendan and Seamus become ruthless executioners of informers. Betrayed by an unknown informer, Brendan is arrested and sentenced to twenty years.
Seamus escapes the attention of the authorities and tries to put his past behind him. But he is horrified when, on his deathbed, Brendan makes him swear an oath to kill the informer who put Brendan behind bars. But Seamus discovers he has a personal connection to the informer. Tormented by guilt but bound by his oath, can Seamus avenge his father without destroying himself?
Book one of the “Furies Trilogy”
From the first page, the author’s extensive research for this installment was obvious. Jacobsen’s accurate period detail and believable characters brought the story to life in a brilliant manner.
As I read this book, my heart was breaking. Following a group of strong characters who face the hardships of political and religious persecution is never easy, but the author makes it hard to look away. Dark secrets tear a family apart as they are brought to light and those that seemed the weakest turn out to have the greatest fortitude. With each page the tension, suspense and uncertainty kept me enthralled.
I have never had so many mixed emotions throughout a novel about the characters involved. I would like a character one minute, then hate them the next. The story line was compelling and flowed with ease. I highly recommend this to those that like mysteries, thrillers, and historical fiction.
Amazon: Place of A Skull
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