WITH FRIENDS LIKE THAT. . . . by Michael Fairley


Email this review


Young bank employee Gerald O'Riordan is on his way home to help his widowed Catholic mother in uprising-torn Belfast--when a Special Branch helicopter stops him on the road: he's taken to a prison, beaten, and tortured. . . before his interrogator ""Gabriel"" finds that Gerald is the wrong O'Riordan. And though Gerald is then released, he'll be caught in Catholic/Protestant tensions from that point on. He's questioned by his neighbor Sean and other Provo IRA men. He goes back to work at his bank and during a bomb attack meets Elizabeth Morgan--a Protestant with whom Gerald will share a doomed Romeo-and-Juliet romance. And when Sean is shot dead during an action, the Provos react by kidnapping Gabriel's assistant and standing him up to a kangaroo trial--with Gerald as main witness. Gabriel is incensed and hauls Gerald in for questioning; the Provos are after him again; the Protestant underground is making vile noises in Elizabeth's part of town; when Gerald's bank is robbed, he's drawn in still again for questioning. And finally Elizabeth will be tortured and killed for associating with Gerald . . . who himself will die as a random victim of the Belfast violence. Skin-deep characters, an unshapely all-incident plot--but some of the Northern Ireland horror and brutality does come through.

Pub Date: June 26th, 1981
Publisher: Ashley Books