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The Wild Colonial Boy

by James Hynes

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691293,319 (3.07)1
After years of violence, a tense calm pervades Northern Ireland, soon to be broken by Jimmy Coogan, an IRA veteran gone renegade. Jimmy has stolen ten pounds of plastic explosive, intending to destroy the parliamentary ambitions of the IRA leadership. Into Jimmy's turbulent world come two young Americans: Brian, vain, ironic, but well-meaning; and Clare, a beautiful, earnest college student. In Ireland on an errand for his Irish Republican family in Detroit, Brian is recruited to Jimmy's bloody mission by his cousin Maire, Coogan's sharp-tongued wife. Soon they are all drawn into the unforgiving labyrinth of modern terrorism, borne toward a horrific and fatal climax.… (more)

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It can be hard for anyone who has grown up in a place without armed conflict to understand what it is like to live where bombs, shootings and dead bodies are just part of the landscape. In this novel 3 Americans find themselves in the middle of a plot to explode a bomb in London in protest against the Irish politicians who would accept seats in the British-created parliamentary body. Two of the Americans understand very little about what is going on. They are simply children of families that are sympathetic to the IRA, from afar. The third American is a journalist who thinks he knows enough and is tough enough to hold his own with the meanest of the militants he seeks stories from. As this novel follows their adventure, we get a decent snapshot of life in at least the militant groups of Ireland, the fear, highly conditional loyalties and constant threat of torture and death from friends and enemies alike. As the Americans discover firsthand, it is a different world when there is no one you can trust enough to turn to for help when it matters.

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  JBarringer | Dec 30, 2017 |
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After years of violence, a tense calm pervades Northern Ireland, soon to be broken by Jimmy Coogan, an IRA veteran gone renegade. Jimmy has stolen ten pounds of plastic explosive, intending to destroy the parliamentary ambitions of the IRA leadership. Into Jimmy's turbulent world come two young Americans: Brian, vain, ironic, but well-meaning; and Clare, a beautiful, earnest college student. In Ireland on an errand for his Irish Republican family in Detroit, Brian is recruited to Jimmy's bloody mission by his cousin Maire, Coogan's sharp-tongued wife. Soon they are all drawn into the unforgiving labyrinth of modern terrorism, borne toward a horrific and fatal climax.

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