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The Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville
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The Ghosts of Belfast (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Stuart Neville

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4203025,247 (4.02)40
Member:kraaivrouw
Title:The Ghosts of Belfast
Authors:Stuart Neville
Info:Soho Crime (2009), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library, 2012
Rating:*****
Tags:Stuart Neville, crime fiction, Belfast

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The Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville (2009)

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Violent and compelling. Makes me want to understand more about all sides of the conflicts in Northern Ireland--and it appears that there were as many sides as people to interpret them. ( )
  KRoan | Jul 25, 2014 |
This is one of the best debuts by an author I have ever read. As the reader you always feel as if you are right there with the narrator. I could not put this book down.
The book is about a former IRA foot solider and killer Gerry Fegan, who has served time in prison of some of his actions but who is haunted by the victims of those he killed. He realizes the only way to end this torture is to go after those who are responsible for him have killed these twelve people.
I can not recommend this book enough, it is fantastic!
P.S. Some scenes are rather gruesome. ( )
  zmagic69 | May 4, 2014 |
The Ghosts of Belfast is the story of Gerry Fegan an ex-hitman for the IRA. After leaving Maze Prison Gerry starts drinking and is nearly drunk every night, and he starts to see the ghosts of twelve people he has killed and they want vengeance on those who were responsible. All Gerry wants is to sleep aand have some peace so he plans the murders. This is a well written and informative book about the IRA. The characters are well thought out, there is alot of violence and brutal murders.
I highly recommend this book. Thank you to Net Galley and Soho Crime for allowing me to read and give my honest review of this fine novel. ( )
  druidgirl | Jan 26, 2014 |
The Troubles may be over and peace in Northern Ireland reached, but Gerry Fegan's troubles are far from over. During the tumult he was one of the IRA's most ruthless henchmen, killing twelve people - and now their ghosts literally haunt him. He's always had a talent - if you can call it that - for seeing the dead, but these ghosts have haunted him for seven years, keeping him awake with their screams, something only the drink can quiet. When he converses with a prominent politician, McKenna, in the bar in which he frequents, he finally discovers what the ghosts want. They don't want his remorse; they want him to kill the people who gave him the orders that resulted in their deaths.

Sometimes fiction can be a better teacher than the history books. I knew nothing of the Troubles in Northern Ireland before reading this novel, and the IRA was a far-off entity of freedom fighters who occasionally made American news. On the surface, Ireland has changed greatly: it's prosperous and there are more opportunities than ever before. Because no one beyond Fegan is sure who's responsible for the murders, Fegan's mission threatens to upend all the shady deals between the Unionists and the Republicans that tenuously keep peace in place. But there's no stopping Fegan once he's figured out what his ghostly companions want.

Complicating matters is Davy Campbell. An undercover agent, Campbell a man who's been on the inside so long he can't imagine ever getting out. But his handlers - whom I gathered to be British intelligence - disagree. In a way, Campbell and Fegan are one in the sense that they're both compromised men who made their living off the Troubles. In their scenes together I could feel the sympathy between them. Despite Campbell's apparent betrayal to the cause, he gets a reprieve from Neville's cold eye, for Neville's portraits of the politicians and people in power in this novel is unforgiving.

Marie McKenna, niece to the murdered McKenna, is Fegan's love interest and all the more interesting because Neville plays her as more of a lifeline for Fegan, the life jacket thrown to a man drowning in his efforts to reach redemption. His hopes for happiness and healing rest solely with her and her daughter, Ellen, though it's Ellen, through her childhood innocence, who helps him the most. She's the Ireland Fegan fought for.

The writing is taut and stripped of all banality. I really felt for Fegan - for who hasn't done things they regret? - and hoped fervently that he would find some measure of peace, if not actual happiness. Whether he gets that in the end, or has traveled too far into the abyss, is something to be pondered long after reading. ( )
  stacy_chambers | Aug 22, 2013 |
Fast, paced, action filled revenge tale which made for a quick easy read except the ending was too clean considering the messiness of the main character throughout the rest of the novel. ( )
  revslick | Jun 13, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
A crime novel that counts among the best brought out this calendar year... "The Ghosts of Belfast" would have been a superior effort had it been just about Fegan's struggle to assert his inner goodness in the face of larger evil, but its narrative power draws further strength from Neville's acute understanding of Northern Ireland's true state and how, in just a few short years, "the North had become the poor relation, the bastard child no one had the heart to send away."
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stuart Nevilleprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Doyle, GerardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gontermann, ArminTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
'The place that lacks its ghosts is a barren place' John Hewitt
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For Ellen Emerald Neville
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Maybe if he had one more drink they'd leave him alone.
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Published in the USA as The Ghosts of Belfast Published in the UK as The Twelve
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Former IRA killer Gerry Fegan finds himself haunted by the ghosts of twelve of his innocent victims and comes to the conclusion that he must kill the men who gave him his orders so many years ago.

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