A second novel from Eickhoff (A Hand to Execute, 1987), this one about an American reporter who allows himself to be sucked into the shadowy politics of the IRA. Pulitzer Prize-winner Con Edwards got his first close look at The Troubles in Northern Ireland in the early 1970's when the IRA's campaign of violence was at its bloodiest and British countermeasures were moat repressive. Provided entree into the IRA by Conor Larkin, a poet and academician who was himself once an IRA warrior, Edwards found himself on the front lines of the undeclared civil war in Belfast and was even swept into a British prison along with Maeve Nolan, an attractive Catholic partisan. The brief prison spell was long enough to do in Edwards's journalistic objectivity. He was angry enough to participate in the successful effort to spring Maeve, who was held and brutalized for months by the British. At the end of the decade, Edwards returns for the funeral of the murdered Conor Larkin and takes up again with Maeve, Larkin's widow. The two begin a search to find Larkin's murderers and their motive--a search that takes them straight back to the tough men of the IRA and the realization that there is a traitor at the top of the organization, someone whose victims include the hope of peace for the island. Tight, unsentimental, and menacing Irish thriller by a thoroughly skillful American.