xii, 441 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages -427) and index.
Prologue: The treasure room -- I. The clear, clean, sheer thing : -- An abduction -- Albert's daughters -- Evacuation -- An underground army -- St. Jude's walk -- The dirty dozen -- The little brigadier -- The cracked cup -- Orphans -- The Freds -- II. Human sacrifice : -- Close England! -- The Belfast Ten -- The toy salesman -- The ultimate weapon -- Captives -- A clockwork doll -- Field day -- The bloody envelope -- Blue ribbons -- III. A reckoning : -- A secret archive -- On the ledge -- Touts -- Bog queen -- An Entanglement of lies -- The last gun -- The mystery radio -- The Boston tapes -- Death by misadventure -- This is the past -- The unknown.
Documents the notorious abduction and murder of Jean McConville in 1972 Belfast, exploring how the case reflected the brutal conflicts of Northern Ireland and their ongoing repercussions.
"From award-winning New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe, a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions. In December 1972, Jean McConville, a thirty-eight-year-old mother of ten, was dragged from her Belfast home by masked intruders, her children clinging to her legs. They never saw her again. Her abduction was one of the most notorious episodes of the vicious conflict known as the Troubles. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the IRA was responsible. But in a climate of fear and paranoia, no one would speak of it. In 2003, five years after an accord brought an uneasy peace to Northern Ireland, a set of human bones was discovered on a beach. McConville's children knew it was their mother when they were told a blue safety pin was attached to the garments--with so many kids, she had always kept it handy for diapers or ripped clothes. Patrick Radden Keefe's mesmerizing book on the bitter conflict in Northern Ireland and its aftermath uses the McConville case as a starting point for the tale of a society wracked by a violent guerrilla war, a war whose consequences have never been reckoned with. The brutal violence seared not only people like the McConville children but also IRA members embittered by a peace that fell far short of the goal of a united Ireland and left them wondering whether the killings they committed were not justified acts of war but simple murders. From radical and impetuous IRA terrorists such as Dolours Price, who, when she was barely out of her teens, was already planting bombs in London and targeting informers for execution, to the ferocious IRA mastermind known as The Dark, to the spy games and dirty schemes of the British Army, to Gerry Adams, who negotiated the peace but betrayed his hardcore comrades by denying his IRA past--[this book] conjures a world of passion, betrayal, vengeance, and anguish."--Dust jacket.