In Pray for Us Sinners, Patrick Taylor’s thrilling series set during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, a British Army bomb-disposal expert goes undercover to try to identify the source of the bombs being used by the Provisional IRA
In Belfast in 1973 the Troubles are raging. Two Ulstermen. Two sides. On one, British Army bomb-disposal officer Marcus Richardson; on the other, Davy MacCutcheon, Provisional IRA armourer who has been constructing bombs since his teens. Both men are committed to their causes until events shatter their beliefs, leaving each with a crisis of faith and an overpowering need to get out—but with honour.
When he is nearly killed by an exploding car bomb, Marcus welcomes the offer of a transfer to the elite SAS—provided that he first accept an undercover mission to infiltrate the Falls Road ghetto, join the Provisional IRA, identify their upper echelon, and expose their bomb-maker.
When Davy’s devices are used for civilian disruption rather than military targets, the bomb-maker begins to question what he’s doing. His work is being used to maim and kill innocent people. His request to be discharged is countered by an order that he go on one last mission. Success will bring Davy redemption and permission to leave Ireland with Fiona Kavanagh, the woman he loves.
When the paths of the two men cross, Davy realizes that he can use Marcus’s expertise in plastic explosives. A runaway series of events leaves both men in an abandoned farmhouse in the middle of a plot to kill the British prime minster. Can Marcus find a way to thwart the plan and escape with his life?
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 1974
Lieutenant Richardson raised his head above the top of a low wall. Droplets trickling down his Plexiglas visor distorted his view: narrow, red-brick terrace houses, two boarded up; black stains above the sashes where fires had raged after a riot; a green, white, and gold tricolour hanging limply from a distant upper-storey window, proclaiming the Republican sympathies of the neighbourhood. The deserted neighbourhood.
The citizens had been cleared out because, at the far end of the street,
“Pray for Us Sinners is written with heartfelt urgency to explain Ulster rather than demonize the place and the population. A deeply felt thriller and a very valuable one.” —The Globe and Mail
“Taylor has written a compelling story. Tension grows as it moves from one side of the conflict to another. What is clearly brought home to the reader is the suffering and hardships this conflict brings to the civilian population.” —Historical Novel Society on Pray for Us Sinners