Set in a small country village in Northern Ireland, Hill's first novel follows the fright-streaked days and nights of a...

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DEATH GROWS ON YOU

Set in a small country village in Northern Ireland, Hill's first novel follows the fright-streaked days and nights of a mother who--with her two young boys--flees in terror from Belfast, where she has been marked for probable death by the IRA. Belle Johnston left husband Sam after he joined the UDR (Ulster Defense Regiment) and after her brother John was killed by a car bomb meant for Sam. That was the last straw that broke the marriage--following interfamilial conflict and the burden of John's more-than-brotherly love. Left in Belfast with her two boys, Belle fingered an IRA bomb-planter, and she is now on their terror list. With the children, she flees to her childhood home and village, but she fearfully senses the violence beyond the peaceful lanes. Violence will indeed come, but so will love, as Belle is attracted to schoolmaster Pat Quinn while ""the soldier,"" Sam, is stationed nearby. It is soon obvious that the men are of two different political persuasions--and for Belle there is only one way out. Amid conspiracy and plots, a bomb, and gunfire--as well as a terrible tragic murder by one whose sulfurous tirades reflect the poisonous hatreds of the Troubles--Belle makes her choice and clears the slate in a showdown night and day of fevered implausibilities. Some elements here are mere iceberg-tips (the roots of incest, the marital fits and starts), but, still, a fast-paced, appropriately jumpy-nerved tale of a woman on the run and of love amid the Troubles.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1990

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Michael Joseph/Viking

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1990