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The Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville

“The best first novel I’ve read in years…It’s a flat-out terror trip.”—James Ellroy

“Not only one of the finest thriller debuts of the last ten years, but also one of the best Irish novels, in any genre, of recent times.”—John Connolly

The Ghosts of Belfast is the book when the world finally sits up and goes WOW, the Irish really have taken over the world of crime writing. Stuart Neville is Ireland’s answer to Henning Mankell.”—Ken Bruen

“Sure to garner attention and stir lively pub discussions.”—Library Journal

“Neville’s debut novel is tragic, violent, exciting, plausible, and compelling. . . . The Ghosts of Belfast is dark, powerful, insightful, and hard to put down.”—Booklist

“Neville’s debut is as unrelenting as Fegan’s ghosts, pulling no punches as it describes the brutality of Ireland’s ‘troubles’ and the crime that has followed, as violent men find new outlets for their skills. Sharp prose places readers in this pitiless place and holds them there. Harsh and unrelenting crime fiction, masterfully done.”—Kirkus

“[Stuart] Neville has the talent to believably blend the tropes of the crime novel and those of a horror, in the process creating a page-turning thriller akin to a collaboration between John Connolly and Stephen King. . . [The Ghosts of Belfast] is a superb thriller, and one of the first great post-Troubles novels to emerge from Northern Ireland.”—Sunday Independent (Ireland)

Fegan has been a “hard man,” an IRA killer in northern Ireland. Now that peace has come, he is being haunted day and night by twelve ghosts: a mother and infant, a schoolboy, a butcher, an RUC constable, and seven other of his innocent victims. In order to appease them, he’s going to have to kill the men who gave him orders.

As he’s working his way down the list he encounters a woman who may offer him redemption; she has borne a child to an RUC officer and is an outsider too. Now he has given Fate—and his quarry—a hostage. Is this Fegan’s ultimate mistake?

Stuart Neville is a partner in a multimedia design business based in Armagh, northern Ireland. This novel, also known as The Twelve in the UK and Ireland, is the first in a series.





My Review

A very well done debut. With praise from the likes of James Ellroy on the cover you couldn’t go wrong.
He was right it does hooks you in also it has a twist of supernatural. There are twelve ghosts, twelve innocents that died over a number of years at the hands of politicians and group members. There was battles and fighting for independence, but the twelve were innocent bystanders that got caught in the trail of fire. One by one the ghosts of the dead want revenge delivered and the twelve responsible taken out.
Everybody pays! There is plenty of vengeance and revenge but will there be mercy?
The main protagonist a hitman and a member of the group is haunted by the twelve ghosts and they will not leave him be until he has turned on his own men and executed all of the twelve guilty ones. He finds love in the form of Marie, she was married to a cop Jack Lennon. Marie also has a child Ellen. As news spreads that he’s responsible for murder of important political figures, will he be able to keep them safe and out of the firing line?
This was a real surprise, it grabs your attention and unravels into a thrilling, well written and page-turning story.
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