A SIGH FOR A DRUMBEAT by Patrick Doncaster


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Ignorant, rather tragic Frank Emmett Cavanagh, of Belfast, becomes unwittingly a tool of the Nazi-dominated Organization responsible, in the post-Dunkirk period, for sabotaging the British war effort. Frank, mesmerized by the beauty of Kassie, sister of rabid anti-English Connelly, is offered protection by the Organization, and ignorantly serves as their agent in bombings, and in setting fires which he loves. A kindly friend is killed- another factor in his growing hatred of England -- and then he learns that Kassie is in love with an English soldier. His poor confused mind becomes further confused when, after a German bombing, he is caught on the discovery of another fire plot and offered freedom and escape, in exchange for turning informer. Franky's brief glimpse of reason vs. unreason is lost when he sees Kassie again -- and the Organization kills him just as escape seems imminent. The story is given direction and depth by the parallel but contrasting problems; the conflict of issues is heightened by the conflicts in Franky's untutored mind. Irish background novels are not easy to sell; the fact that this deals with Ireland in relation to larger issues may override that difficulty, to a small degree.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1948
Publisher: Dutton