3.83 (6,957 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
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It is St Patrick's Day, when everyone, everywhere is an honorary Irishman, a day of celebration and good cheer - but which this year explodes into a nightmare of bloody more

Product details

  • Hardback | 560 pages
  • 164 x 234 x 42mm | 898.11g
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • plans
  • 0246113561
  • 9780246113566

Review Text

Yet another terrorist thriller, true. But the gimmick here - IRA provos take over Manhattan's St. Patrick's Cathedral! - is just grabbing enough to boost DeMille's solid, uninspired narrative to broad-popular-appeal status. A band of 20 Fenians - led by Brian Flynn - has arrived in New York; and though the IRA has had a hands-off policy about America, the Fenians determine to make their mark on St. Patrick's Day and hold the great cathedral as hostage. Meanwhile, however, Brian's old ex-terrorist love Maureen, also in N.Y., has been working to free her Irelandjailed sister through Amnesty International. . . and to settle the Irish problem bloodlessly. So it just so happens that, on St. Paddy's Day, Maureen is standing with the Cardinal and other dignitaries when the terrorists set off gas cannisters in the street and - disguised as priests - hustle the hostages inside, clear the cathedral of visitors (by announcing a fire in the basement), and shut the great doors while a girl terrorist fires on mounted police on the steps. The siege begins; Brian organizes communications for getting his ultimatum out and for getting food in; IRA snipers in nearby buildings cover all entrances; a great green flag is unfurled from the belltower. Among the terrorists: nutsy Megan Fitzgerald, Brian's new girlfriend (who's looking for any excuse to blast Maureen, whom she thinks a traitor)', and 80-year-old John Hickey, psychotic grand old man of Irish terrorism. Mounted against them: a negotiating team of New York police intelligence officers as well as the FBI and a British Secret Services major. The hostages fail in attempts to escape through vents or to use Morse code on a confessional buzzer system. And, worst of ali, crazy Hickey has wired the central cathedral with enough plastique to obliterate the block. Eventually, then, the Fighting 69th Division is called in for a night assault with silencer-ed automatic weapons; and there's a chaotic, explosive finale involving Brian's rocket launchers (fired from the altar) and the good guys' quest to defuse the bomb. . . and mastermind Hickey. Even with less-than-first-rate characters and atmosphere: strong, long, well-sustained suspense. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

6,957 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 27% (1,882)
4 39% (2,689)
3 26% (1,827)
2 6% (451)
1 2% (108)
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