The troubles in Northern Ireland have been over for twenty years, but for Jack McCallan they are just beginning.
Inheritance is a timely and electrifying thriller of political violence by a veteran newsman who has covered Northern Ireland for years. When Bob McCallan, a retired policeman from the Northern Irish force, is suddenly killed in a gas explosion, he leaves his son, Jack, an unexpected fortune. But with this legacy comes a key to a deadly past, one which many would rather forget.
If you want my advice, don't do anything. Let it drop, Jacks' father's best friend advised. He was whispering as if someone might be listening. "Go about your life as if this hadn't happened. You don't need to know any more than you know now. You're a wealthy young man with a great future. Leave the past where it is."
As Jack probes his father's life and death, he finds himself on a twisting, perilous path that started twenty years before and leads to a surprising, shocking conclusion. An engrossing thriller that never lets up, Inheritance marks the debut of a brilliant storyteller with a bright future ahead.
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BBC journalist Keith Baker mines his longtime Northern Ireland beat to create a saga of personal and political revenge. Inheritance, his first foray into fiction, opens with a murder so brutal it effectively brings to an end decades of terrorism and guerrilla warfare between the IRA and British government forces. The year is 1997. The victim is an IRA bigwig. We readers are the only witnesses to the crime, and even though we don't know whodunit, or why, we do know something is amiss. Twenty years later--the novel's "real time"--the female chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, recalls it this way: "'There were all sorts of allegations about Miller's death, claims from one side or another about double-dealing and conspiracy. In the end, no one knew what to believe, other than that someone was stirring the shit in a big way. Some people even claimed the whole thing, from start to finish, was part of some sort of bizarre MI5 plot. And I must confess I wondered about that myself. Had the dirty tricks department been mixed up in it all somehow? I don't think we'll ever know."
Jack McCallan wants to know. He's at loose ends careerwise, recently recovered from combat wounds that let him retire from the army as a hero. He takes a beautiful married woman as his mistress and a makeshift job as gamesmaster at a spa for stressed-out executives. Then his father, Bill, put out to pasture from a high command post in the Royal Ulster Constabulary, is fried when his mobile home explodes, an accident that the new, improved Police Service attributes to alcohol-induced carelessness. As he settles his father's affairs and takes possession of the small fortune bequeathed him, Jack stumbles on bits of evidence that suggest Bill was keeping a guilty secret that may have led to his death. Jack resolves to follow the trail as it branches, leading both to present danger and betrayals concealed in the past.
Baker's plot twists and turns nicely, galloping along at a pace brisk enough to sweep up most any reader eager to be thrilled: heroes are revealed as villains, illusions as realities, allies are shown to be betrayers as the novel's stack of corpses mounts. A sense of Northern Ireland's war weariness and lingering paranoia hangs like ground fog over the 20-years-hence peace and prosperity that the author first posits, then threatens. His characters are mostly credible, and the scenario whereby political expediency and personal greed collaborate to create an economically desirable cease-fire is ingenious. Baker's political imagination outstrips his ability, or willingness, to create a technologically, socially, and intellectually believable future, though, leaving the reader feeling occasionally unmoored. --Joyce ThompsonAbout the Author:
Keith Baker, formerly Head of News and Current Affairs, is currently Chief Editorial Advisor for BBC Northern Ireland. This is his first novel.
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Book Description William Morrow 1998-07-22, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: Like New. FIRST EDITION/PRINTING/FULL NUMBER LINE - The pages of this books are clean and unmarked. There is very little shelf wear. Bookseller Inventory # 105717
Book Description William Morrow, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110688153216