James Lucas, a teacher tormented with guilt over the death of his best friend Connor, chances on an IRA memoir in a rare bookshop. He discovers that his great-grandfather, Joseph Conlon, was assassinated only minutes before the truce that ended the Anglo-Irish War. According to the book, Joseph led a police murder squad that carried out a series of atrocities during the conflict. Finding some historical anomalies in the writer’s account, James questions its veracity. The shame he feels over his part in Connor’s untimely death becomes inextricably entwined with the need to prove his great-grandfather’s innocence and effectively rewrite the past: by vindicating Joseph, he might go some way to alleviating his own guilt.
Despite being warned off by his Irish family, James plunges headlong into an investigation that will see him travel from Yorkshire, across Ireland and ultimately to the streets of Glasgow where he comes face to face with a sinister gang with links to the Orange Order. In the course of his quest he will piece together evidence and discover that Joseph had become embroiled in a sectarian split that developed amongst his men with the arrival of the hated Black and Tans.
With his loved ones in danger, James has to ask himself; how far will he go to reveal the truth?
Finn Dervan was born in London but moved to the North East of England as a child. He attended a Roman Catholic secondary school in North Yorkshire before studying History at the University of Leeds. After completing his degree, he worked in London for a while before returning to York to train as a teacher. He has been writing and teaching for the last fifteen years. Finn is of Anglo-Irish heritage and when he is not in York, he can be found on the West Coast of Ireland, where he has a second family home. He was inspired to write this book after chancing on a long-kept family secret about his great-grandfather which pitched him into an investigation that uncovered a terrible truth.