I mentioned a few updates ago that a few people have actually read The Undiscovered Country, and it was, in the main, their encouragement that led me to embark on this publication project. So I thought rather than just have me write about the book in these updates I would ask a few of them to compose reviews of the book to share their thoughts. Kind people that they are most of them didn't even need much bribing! So, in the first of what I hope will be a short occassional series, the first review is in!
I'm overwhelmed and honoured beyond words to be able to post this from my friend and connisseur of crime Marty Sandler, Pultizer-nominated and Emmy-winning historian, author of Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans in World War II; Resolute: The Search for John Franklin and The Queen’s Ghost Ship; The Letters of John F. Kennedy; Apollo 8: The Mission That Changed Everything (and many more!).
"It’s 1920 and in a river in Ballykennedy, Mayo, West of Ireland, the body of a child is found. At first it appears to be a tragic accident. But one man, a World War 1 veteran, recognizes violence when he sees it. So begins the hunt for a murderer. So also begins a book as intellectually penetrating as it is gripping and relentlessly powerful.
The Undiscovered Country marks the arrival of Aidan McQuade, an exciting and important new voice in fiction writing. A veteran of humanitarian operations in Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and Angola, McQuade builds on perceptions gained from years of working in war and conflict to bring us a compelling mediation on murder and morality in the margins of a brutal war in the far west of Ireland. In doing so he has created a story certain to delight readers with its Hemmingway-like clarity and its insight into issues that go well beyond the ordinary mystery/crime novel.
Above all else, The Undiscovered Country is a book characterized from first page to last by a dialogue at once McQuade’s own but reminiscent of the late Robert B. Parker. One is struck also by it’s mordant wit and it’s fierce intelligence as it follows the travails of its main characters, ordinary people confronting a horror that they would rather turn away from but can’t.
Finally, a word of caution. This is a book that you will find almost impossible to put down. This will not be the last that we’ll hear from Aidan McQuade. And we’ll all be much better off because of it."
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