A determined Garda intelligence man goes mano a mano against a former IRA assassin back in Ireland to investigate an old friend's disappearance. Chagrined that Fergus Callan's slipped through his net at Shannon Airport without even noticing it, Inspector George Keerins redoubles his efforts to bring down Callan, leaning on his chief informer Archie, a whining rocker with the Rambling Boyos, even though he suspects he's just missed nailing Callan twice because Archie's been feeding him bad information (whose?). Meanwhile, Callan, fresh from visits to his mother and his militant first wife Maire--after four years in prison, she's climbed high up in the Provos--realizes he has problems of his own: the old buddy who'd vanished resurfaces in a way that spells setup, and the Brits (in the person of seedy undercover agent John Amber) and his old mates in the IRA seem to be competing with the Gardai for the honor of bagging him. It's only a matter of time before Keerins and Callan come face to face -- but their bleakly understated nonconfrontation is only one of a dozen small, sharp surprises Joyce (Off the Record) has waiting up his sleeve. Basically a good-guy/bad-guy manhunt, but the details of the characters' behavior and the tone of nervous, weary suspense are just about perfect.