A lowering, chill story of the ""troubles"" relies as much on the scene it sets with considerable effectiveness as the story it has to tell. For it is to the ""certainty, the nullity, the watchfulness"" of life in a small town in Ireland that Lily returns from London, after suspecting that her younger brother Paddy has been involved in a murder or ""execution"" of the IRA. Paddy too comes back to this short-term refuge, but watching him, ostensibly to see that he doesn't break down, in Hugh Ward. Lily, unaware of Ward's real (homosexual) interest in Paddy, is attracted to him. As the Guards make their rounds and suspicious intensify, inquiries increase, Ward and Paddy take to the bogs; and finally Lily, in an attempt to help Paddy to escape the persuasive, destructive Ward- who is more dangerous than his pursuants- is indirectly responsible when he is shot down.... Broderick is an accomplished writer and his story of lives which are death-directed by more than the circumstances in which they are involved, is acute, spare and somber.