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 With bite and brilliance, rising Irish star McNamee burrows deep, to the brutal core of sectarian violence in Belfast, where a young psychokiller is sanctioned for his efforts to raise urban terror to new heights: a chilling, first-rate debut. Victor's dysfunctional family (silent father, bitterly brittle mother) can give no solace when he suffers beatings and false accusations of being the son of a Catholic, but he comes of age as fighting flares in Belfast, giving him ample opportunity to extract his revenge. With his handpicked unit, he quickly gains notoriety by snatching Catholics from the streets and carving them up with the meticulous care and eye of an artiste, before leaving the corpses in provocative poses. His work catches the eye of Catholic journalist Ryan, but no one wants to talk about this particular killer or his work, officially or unofficially. Then Victor is fingered by an informant and jailed, but he has well-placed allies who allow him to kill his betrayer in the man's prison cell and soon regain the streets, where he again takes up his gruesome business in an amphetamine-induced frenzyhe and his gang now honored in graffiti with the name ``Resurrection Men.'' Ryan, meanwhile, after a chance encounter with Victor's girl, Heather, is pulled increasingly into her demimonde by the sinister McClure, Victor's drug supplier, chief adviser, and handler. McClure steers Ryan to one of Victor's victims, still undiscovered, thenbecause the haunted, unstable avenger has become more a liability than an assetsets Victor up for assassination by taking him to visit his stroke-stricken father. The novel's nice guy pales next to his driven, dark-shadowed counterpart, making the bloodletting as rendered the more intenseand the vision of evil unleashing and offing its own demons at will the more profoundly disturbing. An eerie, memorable debut.

Pub Date: Sept. 18th, 1995
ISBN: 0-312-13598-X
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Picador
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1995