Broken English

David Thompson, Author Henry Holt & Company $16.45 (189p) ISBN 978-0-8050-0811-1
This impressive first novel succeeds as an action-thriller but excels even more in showing the grim violence of the present-day ``Troubles'' in Northern Ireland. Former soldier of fortune and IRA killer Martin Burke is suddenly sprung from Belfast's notorious Maze prison. His quasi-mysterious rescuers request only one, seemingly easy job in exchange: to get Catholic dentist Charlie Lynch across the border into the Republic and deliver him to Dublin. Burke will then be given money, a new identity and passage to Canada. But Lynch is killed and Burke, almost caught himself, is on the run again. Trying to extricate himself from danger he slowly uncovers a devilish plot: an extreme Unionist faction with high connections in the Ulster police and the British army plan to kill Prince Charles on his upcoming royal visit, wrecking the Anglo-Irish Accord and unleashing a final, devastating suppression of the IRA and North Catholics. Burke must, ironically, save the heir's life and foil the plot. The book is fast-paced and engrossing, but most effective is the view (seen mainly through the eyes of 11-year-old, street-wise Sean Fitzpatrick) of the daily cycle of hatred and violence in modern Belfast. A stunning, bleak picture that won't be easy to forget. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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