A fast-moving but less than fully satisfying tale of the IRA movement in today's Dublin, featuring the Donnelly brothers--Brendan and Colum. Brendan is a hothead who has taken up with the underground. On one escapade he and his crew shoot up the car of the Minister of Justice, and later one of his crewmen, Liam Daly, is found dead with a hole in Iris head. Suicide or murder? Since young Daly was heard bragging in a pub about the shooting of the minister's car, Brendan thinks it was murder--and by the underground. Who could have ordered it?--Riordan, the famed IRA leader? Moot point, since Brendan becomes disenchanted with the movement and takes a job as a barrel handler in the Guinness stout factory, while older brother Colum, who has loudly jeered the activists from his loftiness as an intellectual (he publishes short stories), is suddenly courted by Riordan, who offers him the editorship of the movement's paper, the Cumas. Quietly, Colum accepts the position without telling Brendan. It seems as if a plot is working out in which one brother will kill the other, but instead--and more mildly as melodrama goes--Riordan is exposed as a Communist organizer wile is taking over the movement for his own purposes. So, in the big shootup at story's end, the villain dies, the brothers emerge victorious, and the novel loses edge or point, lapsing into a rather random slice-of-life. But there's enough lively, venomous talk, in raingray Dublin, to keep you going and to keep you from resenting the sappy pay-off.