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The Undiscovered Country

By Aidan McQuade

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'Why should people care about a murder during war time?' Two men attempt to solve the killing of a young boy during the Irish War of Independence in 1920.

Publication date: August 2020
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About the book

This is a book about murder most foul. It’s about murder in wartime, when one more corpse should really pass unnoticed amidst all the other carnage.

This is a book about trying to do the right thing, when you have not the first clue about how you really should go about that. And it’s a book about war, about what war excuses, and about what war forces young people to do.

This is a book that has been born out of my unique perspective gained from growing up in South Armagh during the Troubles, and decades spent as a humanitarian and human rights worker dealing with the consequences of violence and injustice from Afghanistan to Angola.

I started writing this book because, in spite of the bloodshed that still disfigures so much of the world, too many people, particularly political leaders, still seem to have such a glib view of war as to be ready to blunder into it at the earliest convenience.

This book is an important one because it seeks to put a human face to the savage complexities of war and its consequences.

It is set during the Irish War of Independence in 1920 in a part of the West of Ireland from which all British administration, including the Constabulary, have been driven. Two members of the IRA on police duty find the body of a young boy, apparently drowned. But one of them, a veteran of the First World War, recognises violence when he sees it. So, in spite of a complete lack of detective experience, the two set out to see if they can find some measure of justice for the murdered child.

Neither of them realise just how dangerous their task will become.

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