“Collusion,” Toner said, his voice dropping to a low, angry hiss. “Everyone talks about collusion, how the cops and the Brits and the Loyalists were in it together . . .
Look, collusion worked all ways, all directions. Between the Brits and the Loyalists, between the Irish government and the Republicans, between the Republicans and the Brits, between the Loyalists and the Republicans”
Stuart Neville’s Collusion is the story of three deadly forces converging, two stone-cold killers and a cop. (Actually, there is one stone-cold killer and one haunted assassin who set the whole thing in motion.)
In the first book, The Ghosts of Belfast, former IRA assassin Gerry Fegan set out to rid himself of the ghosts of those he had murdered during The Troubles.
Fegan systematically killed the politicians and others who ordered the killings.
And now one person caught in all that seeks revenge. He hires The Traveler to kill Fegan. Along the way, The Traveler mercilessly kills others connected with the Ghosts murders.
The Traveler pursues two witnesses, a woman and her little girl.
The child is the daughter of the cop (Jack Lennon), and the woman is Lennon's former wife, Fegan’s lover, someone Fegan wants to protect.
So three forces converge. They converge violently and, oddly enough, in collusive ways.
As with the first book, the second ends in massive violence. We learn that the child has special powers. The author leaves us with the possibility that the most deadly of the murderers got away.
I appreciate Stuart Neville’s Jack Lennon books. They are violent, character-driven, and deeply set in the time after The Troubles. They show how thug-driven the Irish war with the British and between the Loyalists and Republicans actually was.
After the war, the thugs and the corruption remained.
I plan to read more of the books in this series.