By Gerald Seymour
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An IRA informer is hiding out on the mountains of County Tyrone, but whilst MI5 must protect him and keep him alive at all costs, the IRA need to find him and silence him - forever.
“‘His code name is Song Bird because that is the call-sign he uses each time he rings through to us for a meeting. He has to use that code name. It keeps in his mind, very clearly, that he belongs to us. He’s in our cage and he sings for us. He believes, and we have encouraged the belief, that if he stops singing, tries to leave the cage, then we will blow him out to his friends. They would most certainly kill him, and hurt him a little bit in the process. But our aim is to keep Song Bird…’
The fear came in tiny shockwaves through Bren. He wondered which of them in London had turned down Belfast.”
Reproduced with permission of Curtis Brown Group Ltd, London (World excluding UK, Commenwealth and Canada)
Reproduced by permission of the publisher Hodder and Stoughton Limited (UK and Commonwealth)
on behalf of Gerald Seymour
Copyright © Gerald Seymour 1992
Word is out that an IRA informer is hiding out on the mountains of County Tyrone, but whilst MI5 must protect him and keep him alive at all costs, the IRA need to find him and silence him - forever.
In the villages and on the mountains of County Tyrone, in the heartland of the Provisional IRA’s most active Brigade, the golden rule is ‘Hear nothing, see nothing, know nothing’. To collaborate with British Intelligence is to invite an inescapable death sentence.
But there is word on the mountain that inside the Brigade is a ‘tout’, an informer. He will be identified, interrogated, tortured, then hooded and shot.
Gary Brennard the MI5 field agent, and Parker, who runs the informer, have to protect their man at all costs: he is the critical asset to hold on to until the stakes are high enough ... and if the innocent step into the crossfire, that’s just bad luck.
There are resonances here of the disappearance of the undercover soldier Robert Nairac, in the story of a woman agent who is uncovered while alone in a bar deep in IRA territory.
Much of what we know about how army and police agents operated inside the IRA was unfloded after the Troubles and this was an early attempt to develop a story about infiltration and dirty triks.
“The pace is relentless…With such writing Seymour deservedly ranks among today’s top thriller authors”
“Mr Seymour wields a controlled, formidable style, suited to the savage loyalties and treacheries which he describes. I found myself not only gripped, but unexpectedly moved”
“The three British masters of suspense, Grahame Greene, Eric Ambler and John le Carre, have been joined by a fourth - Gerald Seymour”
NEW YORK TIMES
Curtis Brown Group Ltd, London (World excluding UK, Commenwealth and Canada)
Hodder and Stoughton Limited (UK and Commonwealth)
TYPE OF PUBLICATION