HOURS OF GLADNESS by Thomas Fleming

HOURS OF GLADNESS

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Gutsy, bed-pounding Irish-Americans tangle with the IRA, the Mafia, and a homicidal British spy masquerading as a Catholic priest, in a violent, sex-obsessed tale from prolific historical novelist Fleming (Remember the Morning, 1997, etc.). The New Jersey Shore town of Paradise Beach is close enough to Atlantic City to keep the descendants of Jersey City crime boss “Sunny” Dan Monaghan drunk, angry, or in trouble, especially when a family reunion is scheduled. Ex-marine Mick O’Day, now a Paradise Beach cop, haunts the gambling casino, trying to forget about bad deeds done in Viet Nam. The woman who led Mick down a path of betrayal, Trai Nguyen Phac, shares a trailer on the outskirts of town with her wife-beating killer of a husband and her Americanized son. Mick’s mother, Barbara, pines away for her absent husband, while Mick’s uncle, Police Chief Bill O’Toole, has his hands full running a mildly corrupt police department for Uncle Desmond McBride, who invested Sunny Dan’s ill-gotten gains in a commercial fishing business. Desmond’s son, Leo, is an aide for a congressman sympathetic to the IRA; Leo’s wife, Melody, is a promiscuous aide to Senator Edward Kennedy. It’s 1984, and, in an effort to help the boys in Belfast, the variously extended Monaghans have agreed to assist a satanically charming IRA commander and his psychotic henchman get their hands on a pile of surface-to-air missiles. The scheme requires Atlantic City hood “Joey Zip” Zaccaro to spend $1.5 million on a boatload of Cuban cocaine. But then Joey Zip and his psychotic henchman are blown away just as they’re about to carve up the surgically enhanced body of coke-head Jackie Chasen. You could say things were getting out of hand. But high-school history teacher Alex Oxenford, a habituÇ of the local Irish pub, assures us that this is all about a search for the Irish- American soul. A coarse and creaky plot-boiler.

Pub Date: Nov. 17th, 1999
ISBN: 0-312-86781-6
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Forge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1999




MORE BY THOMAS FLEMING

NonfictionTHE GREAT DIVIDE by Thomas Fleming
by Thomas Fleming
NonfictionA DISEASE IN THE PUBLIC MIND by Thomas Fleming
by Thomas Fleming
NonfictionTHE INTIMATE LIVES OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS by Thomas Fleming
by Thomas Fleming