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The Truth Commissioner by David Park
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The Truth Commissioner (2008)

by David Park

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http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2222971.html

the book is quite engaging in a masculine sort of way - there are four alternating viewpoint characters, the two IRA men who shot a young informer many years ago, the informer's police handler, and the titular Commissioner who is drawn into this particular story by his own complex family dynamics. I found a number of details a bit jarring, particularly with regard to the internationally appointed commissioner himself (I guess that's a realm I move in more than the author does), but it's a fine character study of four men coming to terms with the damage they have done to themselves, to each other, to the women in their lives and to the long-ago victim. There are no winners, and perhaps that is the moral. ( )
  nwhyte | Dec 31, 2013 |
A wonderful book. Set during the Peace Process that followed the Troubles, it brings together 4 characters, each with more frailties than strengths, all trying to forge a new life, but hauled back to face their pasts in relation to one incident in a farmhouse a long time ago. Henry Stanfield, the Commissioner is jaded and lovelorn, under pressure to bring in the "right result". James Fenton (no, not the poet James Fenton) is a retired RUC Inspector, trying to assuage his guilt of the past by helping Romanian refugees. Francis Gilroy, ex senior volunteer, is now the Minister for Culture. Danny, is trying to build a new life in America. None wants this particular stone unturned, and would rather let sleeping dogs lie. But this dog is about to wake and rattle everyone's cage.

I don't know if this book is credible to people who went through the Troubles but for someone, like me, who didn't, its very compelling ( )
  Opinionated | Dec 16, 2012 |
Wonderful characterizations! As i came to the end of each chapter I couldn't bear to part with the character - but by two pages into the next chapter I was equally engrossed. Add to that, an intimate knowledge of the incestuous war that has plagued my island home (so personal that an SA style Truth Commission would be swallowed in bile and bitterness) and you have a wonderful social commentary on the fragile society that is now Northern Ireland. Great book. Love to know the outcome to Michael Madden's back story though. Francis Gilroy = Martin McG anyone??? ( )
1 vote liehtzu | Apr 21, 2011 |
Enjoyed this book, but wouldn't read it again. It is set in post-Troubles Northern Ireland, and having lived through The Troubles and the subsequent Peace Process, I found some of the characters more believable than others. The insights into the minds of men who found their place in the world turned upside down - terrorist turned politician, policeman no longer welcome in the 'new' police force, etc - were interesting, but overall the story didn't really grip me as much as I would have liked. ( )
  yfulton | Jan 3, 2010 |
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David Parkprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vlek, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
"Henry Stanfield, the newly arrived Truth Commissioner, is troubled by his estrangement from his daughter and struggling with the consequences of his infidelities. Francis Gilroy, veteran Republican and recently appointed government minister, risks losing what feels tantalisingly close to his grasp. In America, Danny and his girlfriend plan for the arrival of their first child, happily oblivious to what is about to pull him back to Belfast and rupture the life they have started together. Retired detective James Fenton, on his way to an orphanage in Romania with a van full of supplies, will soon be forced to confront what he has come to think of as his betrayal, years before, of a teenage boy." "In a society trying to heal the scars of the past with the salve of truth and reconciliation, four men's lives become linked in a way they could never have imagined. In a community where truth is often tribal and partial, the secret they share threatens to destroy what they have each built in the present. David Park pieces together these individual stories to create a powerful tale that transcends both time and place."--BOOK JACKET
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In a society trying to heal the scars of the past with the salve of truth and reconciliation, four men's lives become linked in a way they could never have imagined. In a community where truth is often tribal and partial, the secret they share threatens to destroy what they have each built in the present. Originally published: 2008.… (more)

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