NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Winner of the Orwell Prize
"A masterful history of the Troubles. . . Extraordinary. . .As in the most ingenious crime stories, Keefe unveils a revelation — lying, so to speak, in plain sight."—Maureen Corrigan, NPR
From award-winning New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe, a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions
In December 1972, Jean McConville, a thirty-eight-year-old mother of ten, was dragged from her Belfast home by masked intruders, her children clinging to her legs. They never saw her again. Her abduction was one of the most notorious episodes of the vicious conflict known as The Troubles. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the I.R.A. was responsible. But in a climate of fear and paranoia, no one would speak of it. In 2003, five years after an accord brought an uneasy peace to Northern Ireland, a set of human bones was discovered on a beach. McConville's children knew it was their mother when they were told a blue safety pin was attached to the dress--with so many kids, she had always kept it handy for diapers or ripped clothes.
Patrick Radden Keefe's mesmerizing book on the bitter conflict in Northern Ireland and its aftermath uses the McConville case as a starting point for the tale of a society wracked by a violent guerrilla war, a war whose consequences have never been reckoned with. The brutal violence seared not only people like the McConville children, but also I.R.A. members embittered by a peace that fell far short of the goal of a united Ireland, and left them wondering whether the killings they committed were not justified acts of war, but simple murders. From radical and impetuous I.R.A. terrorists such as Dolours Price, who, when she was barely out of her teens, was already planting bombs in London and targeting informers for execution, to the ferocious I.R.A. mastermind known as The Dark, to the spy games and dirty schemes of the British Army, to Gerry Adams, who negotiated the peace but betrayed his hardcore comrades by denying his I.R.A. past--Say Nothing conjures a world of passion, betrayal, vengeance, and anguish.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Investigative journalist Patrick Radden Keefe’s Say Nothing delivers an engrossing and evenhanded survey of the deadly terrorist activity that locals in Northern Ireland called the Troubles. An ongoing sectarian battle rooted in the 1922 civil war, the Troubles escalated during the ’70s and ’80s with deadly bombings and targeted assassinations. A precarious cease-fire took hold in the ’90s, but Keefe’s reporting makes it clear that some emotional scars remain. Paced with the breathless intensity of a thriller, this excellent book portrays the human cost of this devastating conflict with compassion—and without taking sides.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I most read fiction and memoirs, but this book took me in. Equally fascinating and horrifying. I learned a lot. Highly recommend.
This non fiction reads like a novel. It makes sense of a time I understood only from the evening news of my childhood. I highly recommend
Excellent but painful history of the “troubles” in N. Ireland. If we could only talk to each other, listen and have compassion!