CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Brady, John.

Toronto. Collins, 1988. 224pp. cloth, $22.95, ISBN 0-00-223282-0. CIP

Reviewed by Barbara J. Graham

Volume 16 Number 6
1988 November

Contemporary Dublin and the grounds of Trinity College become the background for a young student's brutal murder. Enter Sergeant Matt Minogue, whose task it is to discover whether Jarlath Walsh is seriously involved with drugs or is indeed linked to the troubles, the violent terrorism which continues endlessly. A line from Yeats' poem, "Easter 1916"—“Too long a sacrifice can make; a stone of the heart"--provides the basis for the novel's title. This quotation also provides thematic interest and gives depth to what might have been simply a thrilling story.

What have the troubles done to the various players in this drama? Girlfriends, wives, the academics, the playwright, the ordinary people and their families all come to life in vignettes of varying intensity. The novel shows what can happen to the police and military.

The detective hero is quiet and concerned, recovering from physical and psychological wounds and wondering how he will cope with his new assignment. He is an interesting person with whom the adult reader can empathize. For a first novel, this raises high—a good story, characters who reveal the realities of contemporary life in Dublin, and a setting that integrates both.

There is much on which to ponder. Whether young adults will have the patience and empathy to appreciate the political situation and the psychological complexities is open to question. The story-line also has some sophistication, moving from one set of characters and circumstances to another without bridges.

John Brady, originally a Dubliner, now resides in Toronto. Readers will look forward to more of his objective yet sympathetic point of view.

Barbara J. Graham, Board of Education for the City of London, London, Ont.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works