This novel was first published in 1996 but the second and current edition came out in kindle and paperback in the winter of 2012. It presents a timeless story validated by its occupation, for a short time, of #1 in its genre in the Amazon Kindle store in March, 2013.
THIS BOOK IS #1 IN THE BOYD 'stand alone' series, where each book has a separate stand alone tale involving the Cumbrian detective, Boyd, and his Special Crime Unit.
The timeless Fragile Peace...
A thriller of violent prejudices and divided loyalties. About the province where no-one talks, this story tells it like it is. This Ulster novel reaches to the very roots of sectarian life and death. Written by a member of the security forces, it penetrates behind the media-screen to reveal a human landscape that is unknown, yet startlingly believable. It is a world where sworn enemies may exchange confidences over a game of snooker; where a kneecapping operation turns into a deadly vendetta fuelled by sexual jealousy and where the fate of the United Kingdom could rest in the hands of one punch drunk bruiser with a dangerous addiction. Everything is here, from the glamour of hi-tech intelligence work to the despairing pub-talk of men locked in the past. Trace the origins of these relentless tit-for-tat killings, often starting in childhood and see how the lives of vastly different people may by mysteriously linked forever against the fatally beautiful backdrop of Northern Ireland
The Fragile Peace is an important book if you have any interest at all in the war between the Catholics, Protestants and the British Government in Northern Ireland. The setting of the story is from 1969 to 1995. As the reader, you are not given a tutorial of the war, you are dragged into the middle of it. You are the IRA man, the RUC patrol, the informer, the British Intelligence agent, the anti-terrorist detective and the victim. It is quite evident that the author, Paul Anthony, lived this story in his former life as a member of a Scotland Yard anti-terrorist team. It is a work of fiction, but the book is so vivid and realistic there can be no other explanation. The way the book is written males the reader fell like a part of the story. I highly recommend the book. I highly recommend the book. I read the original edition and I understand it has been rewritten for kindle because Paul Anthony has learned much about writing since he first wrote The Fragile Peace in 1996. The story is powerful. You will not be disappointed.
Mike McNeff, Author of the GOTU series
5.0 out of 5 stars Storytelling at its Best 21 Feb 2013
By Dan - Published on Amazon.com
"The Fragile Peace" is an excellent read. I remember the times recalled by the author very well and anyone reading the book will come to realise the traumas borne in the "troubles" which are still in living memory and therefore, not all that long ago. The characters are believable and are brought to life by some very descriptive writing. An excellent novel with a thrilling climax. Storytelling at its best.
"The Fragile Peace" by Paul Anthony (@paulanthonyspen) is an excellent read, and one I highly recommend. It tells a story of the "Troubles," the decades-long conflict in Northern Ireland between those who wanted the six-county Province to be joined with the Republic to the south, and those who wanted to remain a part of the United Kingdom. Thousands died in this conflict, by bombings and bullets, and thousands more had their lives shattered by the violence. Religion was the key: the "Republicans" were Catholic; the "Loyalists" were Protestant. But if religion was the dividing line, both sides played by much the same rules: tit-for-tat violence, intimidation, murder. The Provisional Irish Republican Army, the "Provos," and other splinter groups of the PIRA and IRA faced off against the British Army, the police of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), and Protestant paramilitary groups like the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR). Before that tentative peace can be found, the Provos take their fight to England in an attempt to turn public opinion sour on the Province. Executions, gunfights and Bombs exploding in London mean the Provos now also have to worry about the Intelligence Service and Special Crime Units on the mainland. Don't worry if you don't know the background going in: "The Fragile Peace" isn't a history lesson or alphabet soup of group names. There is a very human face put on the "Troubles" in the form of Liam Connelly, a Provo soldier, and Detective Inspector Billy Boyd, two men who find themselves on opposite ends of the battle but connected by their love of someone else. Beginning in 1970, the early parts of the book, probably to the halfway point, set the stage for the exciting conclusion in 1995 after a tenuous ceasefire -- a temporary halt to the violence that factions on both sides distrust -- was put in place. I won't spoil the finale with too many details, but it is gripping and I stayed up into the early hours this very morning to finish it.
Those early glimpses of the development of Liam and Billy are seen in vignette, at critical crossroads on their way to finally meeting. Some may find this jumping around in time a bit confusing, but for me it felt just right; the key players are introduced and the missing pieces of information are provided in a very natural way. The motivations of players on both sides of the conflict are muddied; while the "soldiers" of Active Service Units believe they are serving a great cause many Provo leaders earn big money running drug and protection rackets. In a similar way, some RUC and British police fight based on strongly held beliefs of right and wrong while others let ambition and ego color their actions.
The authenticity and sure-handedness of the tale are no surprise given Mr. Anthony's resume: "Working as a detective, he served in the CID, the Regional Crime Squad in Manchester, the Special Branch, and other national agencies in the UK." (from his Amazon.com author page).
Scott Whitmore, Author of 'Carpathia'
If a good suspense/thriller is the type of read you like then you can’t go wrong with Paul Anthony’s “The Fragile Peace”. As I am Irish it was one of his many books that caught my eye. I like a gripping plot, large as life characters and a fast paced read. I got all of this with “The Fragile Peace.”
Good solid thriller - Insightful and balanced viewpoints, telling both sides of the story without prejudice to either party. The plot line was gripping and followed a game of cat and mouse, blackmailing and double crossing. The tension built up, keeping a fast pace as the book reached its climax and the stakes were of epic proportions. It was interesting to see how both sides thought and worked. References to real life events kept the feel of the story very realistic, the prior experiences of the author and his knowledge clearly apparent throughout.
And a review without words from a friend in Cape Verde...
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