“This winning mystery stands on its own” (Booklist) — Emery’s eighth novel now in trade paper
It’s 1989. The Troubles are raging in Ireland, bombs exploding in England. In this prequel to the Collins-Burke series, Father Brennan Burke is home in New York when news of his sister’s arrest in London sends him flying across the ocean. The family troubles deepen when Brennan’s cousin Conn is charged with the murder of a Special Branch detective and suspected in a terrorist plot against Westminster Abbey. The Burkes come under surveillance by the murdered cop’s partner and are caught in a tangle of buried family memories.
From the bullet-riddled bars of Belfast to an elegant English estate, Ruined Abbey combines a whodunit with a war story, love story, and historical novel, while exploring the eternal question: what is fair in love and war? It all starts with a ruined abbey.
This eighth book is a prequel for Emery's Collins-Burke mystery series (the first, Sign of the Cross, won an Arthur Ellis Award in 2007). It is a historical and political story that begins in April 1989, when Father Brennan Burke, a priest in New York City, rushes to London to deal with a crisis in his Irish family in England. When his cousin Conn is arrested for the murder of a policeman and is suspected of being part of a plot by the Irish Republican Army to blow up Westminster Abbey, Brennan, his sister Molly, and his brother Terry try to find the truth to prove his innocence. Along the way, Emery offers views of the violent history between England and Ireland, and roots of the Troubles, as seen through the eyes of the republican Burke family and recounted in authentic dialogue laced with Gaelic. As the richly developed characters re-examine events from their own past, they discover IRA ties much closer than they knew. True to the Irish tradition of great storytelling, this is a mesmerizing tale full of twists that will keep readers riveted from the first page to the last.