The Abstainer by Ian McGuire – Our Review
Ian McGuire will be familiar to readers of the fabulously grim Scottish whaling epic, The North Water. Once again voyaging into the heart of darkness, he tackles the Fenian riots of 1867 Manchester England. Three Irishmen are to be hanged for treason and murder of a policeman.
Troubled and on edge, the local constabulary fears their deaths will give them martyr status. With the city aflame and divided, James O’Connor, a deeply troubled Dublin policeman has been seconded from Ireland to help infiltrate the Fenian underground as the conflict escalates.
But the Fenians have their own flawed hero to champion them in savagely scarred American, Stephen Doyle – a veteran of the American Civil War.
Moodily atmospheric, this is a brilliant piece of writing – a narrative of obsession and retribution, and a psychological narrative of what happens when you are pushed to the brink and beyond. Excellent!
Review by Nicole @ Great Escape Books