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robtwinem

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I live in Bristol UK literary fiction and crime are my books of choice and when not reading I like to run

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The Silence of the Girls
Pat Barker
Progress: 100/304 pages
Professional Reader 50 Book Reviews 80% Reviews Published

Tour de force

Harry's Game - Gerald Seymour

The passage of time does little to detract from this brilliant tour de force novel set in the blood soaked streets of Belfast in the mid 1970's. Henry Danby government minister is murdered in front of his wife and children by professional hitman Billy Downs....."Others determined the morality. Others turned his work into victories. He did as he was told, expertise his trade mark. The soldier in his army"...... Once his mission is accomplished Downs returns post haste to Belfast losing himself in the working class republican enclaves of the Ardoyne and the Falls. Harry Brown fresh from intelligent work in Aden and Albania is tasked with the job of going undercover in Belfast in order to seek out and eliminate Downs. He is well suited to the venture being a native of the province born and bred in the county of Armagh. His cover is that of merchant seaman Harry McEvoy back in the "auld country" after a long absence. The locals very quickly become suspicious and find his accent somewhat unconvincing. As the hunter and hunted circumnavigate each other they set the scene for the final bloody conflict and it soon becomes apparent that death may well be the inevitable outcome for Harry and his nemesis Billy Downs.

 

Harry's Game was first published in 1975 and in my opinion possibly the best book that the author Gerald Seymour wrote in his long and distinguished writing career. He brilliantly shows Belfast in the mid 70's when the "troubles" was at its highest......"It was the adventure playground par excellence for the urban terrorist"....... You can feel the tension, the hatred, the parochial entrenched attitude of both catholic and protestant inhabitants, as they go about their normal day committing murder and mayhem against their fellow neighbour, all in the name of misguided religious and political beliefs. Highly Recommended