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Monday, July 20, 2015

Collusion by Stuart Neville

Audiobook:  Apparently, this is the second volume to feature Ulster cop (another Catholic among Protestants) Jack Lennon.  I wish I had read Ghosts of Belfast first, because at times I felt a wee bit lost as Jack meanders through a tangled web of conflicting loyalties and conspiracies between the assorted Irish terror groups, gangs, Special Branch, and cops. His own loyalty is suspect as he had a child by Marie, the daughter of Michael McKenna, a well-known IRA boss. To make matters worse, the “Traveler,” a troubled killer is taking out people under the direction of a Bull O’Kane boss’s daughter and Lennon has to join forces with Gerry Fagen, another IRA killer. I’m sure I got much of the loyalties mixed up and labeled some as IRA who perhaps weren’t.  It’s a very corrupt and confusing world with many different agendas and personal nightmares.
Jack has been rejected by his family who felt he was putting them all at risk by joining the “peelers” following the death of his brother for being a squealer even though Jack knows he wasn’t but was taking the fall for someone else. Jack is very much alone in the world and there is virtually no one he can trust.  People are still sorting themselves out after the Troubles, focusing on making money rather than killing each other, yet the killing continues just with different motives.  "Belfast was starting to grate on him, with its red-brick houses and cars parked on top of one another. And the people, all smug and smiling now they'd gathered the wit to quit killing each other and start making money instead."

I love the Irish accent of Gerard Doyle, but sometimes the colloquialisms baffled me.
Sorting out the different groups, UVA, SAS, UDF, IRA, MI5, and the cops groups is its own nightmare for the non-Irish reader.  Heaven only knows how awful it must have been for the people who lived through it.

Now I’m off to listen to Ghosts of Belfast.
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