An Irish national who thought he’d left politics behind him is caught between the IRA and the British police when he’s suspected of a planting a bomb in a London bus.
One minute Constantine Lindow, just arrived from long residence in Boston to take up a research post at Imperial College, was standing on a West End street corner waiting for Eamonn, the brother he hadn’t seen in years; the next he was lying on the ground covered with debris. Even worse, the following day a pair of Her Majesty’s lawmen spirited him away from his hospital bed to ask him some pointed questions about the explosion; about Eamonn’s IRA connections; and about Con’s own involvement in a churchyard bombing about which he’d been questioned and released 15 years before. Only Commander Kenneth Foyle, head of the Metropolitan Police Force’s Anti-Terrorism Branch, seems to believe Con’s claims of innocence. But Foyle, hemmed in by superiors who want a quick arrest and mi5 colleagues desperate to conceal their own dealings with the real bomber, is soon off the case. By the time Con calls him with a promising theory of how the bomb was set off, it’s too late for Foyle to do anything with the information. And soon enough Con is under pressure himself—from IRA stalwarts back home who demand that he run a dangerous mission for them, and from Eamonn’s comely friend Mary Menihan, who detaches herself from his brother’s memory with indecent haste to become a sidekick full of her own ideas and loyalties. As long as Porter keeps his first novel cutting furiously between Con and Foyle, the thrills come reliably. But Vanity Fair’s UK editor can’t resist tossing in an elaborate cipher, internecine rivalries in the Service, and enough explosives to keep Hollywood busy for a whole summer.
Still, whatever you’re looking for in a thriller is certain to be here, with bells on.