cover image The 13th Apostle

The 13th Apostle

Dermot McEvoy. Skyhorse (Perseus, dist.), $24.95 (595p) ISBN 978-1-62636-561-2

McEvoy’s (Terrible Angel) choice to often interrupt a good historical novel about the Irish revolt against English rule that began in 1916 with scenes from 2006 featuring the grandson of one of the leads can prove distracting. But that aside, the author presents an engrossing blow-by-blow account of Michael Collins’s efforts to bring independence to Ireland. Much of the story is told from the vantage point of Eoin Kavanagh, a fictional character, who joins Collins as a 14-year-old and rises through the ranks to become the charismatic leader’s right-hand man. Kavanagh helps develop a sophisticated intelligence network to gather information about the British, but inevitably, his role becomes a violent one. Some aspects of the 2006 sections are puzzling, as when Kavanagh’s grandson and wife speculate about a potential movie about Collins—10 years after a major Hollywood production—but the natural drama of the rebellion comes through strong and clear. (Feb.)