Blood has always been thicker than water for two Northern Irish brothers caught in the Belfast foster system, but a debt of past violence will be paid by not just them, but also by those they left behind.
Ciaran Devine, who made Belfast headlines seven years ago as the “schoolboy killer,” is about to walk free. At the age of twelve, he confessed to the brutal murder of his foster father; his testimony mitigated the sentence of his older brother, Thomas, who was also found at the crime scene, covered in blood. But DCI Serena Flanagan, the only officer who could convince a young, frightened Ciaran to speak, has silently harbored doubts about his confession all this time.
Ciaran’s release means several things: a long-anticipated reunion with Thomas, who still wields a dangerous influence over his younger brother; the call-to-action of a man bent on revenge for his father’s death; and major trouble for Ciaran’s assigned probation officer. Meanwhile, Serena Flanagan has just returned to the force from her battle with breast cancer, only to endure the pitying looks of her coworkers and a mountain of open case files. She will soon discover that even closed cases can unleash terror on the streets of Belfast.
At the start of this searing, deeply affecting psychological thriller set in Belfast from Edgar-finalist Neville (Ratlines), 19-year-old Ciaran Devine (aka the schoolboy killer) is released from prison after serving seven years for the murder of his foster father, David Rolston. Det. Chief Insp. Serena Flanagan always believed that Ciaran, then 12, confessed in order to protect his two-year-older brother, Thomas, who was convicted as an accessory and alleged that their foster father sexually abused Ciaran. Try as she might, Serena couldn't break Thomas's powerful hold on Ciaran. Now Thomas is also free, and Serena hopes she can put the case behind her once and for all. Meanwhile, Paula Cunningham, Ciaran's probation officer, is concerned with the media's rabid obsession with her new charge, as well as Ciaran's utter devotion to Thomas. Lurking on the sidelines is Daniel Rolston, David's biological son, who is set on revenge, certain that the wrong Devine brother confessed. Paula and Serena are soon comparing notes as violence escalates around the brothers and secrets from the past come to light. Neville demonstrates once again that he's a literary force to be reckoned with.
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Those we left behind
Excellent. First time reading this author I'm ordering more right now