In 1985, off the northwest coast of England, an audacious hijacking by Irish Protestant paramilitaries culminates in the disappearance of one hundred pounds in gold bullion. En route to Ireland, the sea-going barge capsizes & sinks under mysterious circumstances. Only three survive.
Sean Dillon, master of disguise and steady Higgins hero (Angel of Death, etc.), returns for another go against political mayhem in the author's latest action-fest. A 1985 hijacking of gold bullion, masterminded by Irish Protestant terrorist Michael Ryan, ends with the ship that's carrying the booty sinking off Ireland. Ryan and his niece Kathleen flee to America while their presumed henchman, seemingly a sailor but actually a disguised Dillon, then an IRA enforcer, ostensibly returns to sea. Ten years later, Ryan is sprung from an American medical prison by a Mafia lawyer intent on retrieving the bullion. Soon the gold is the object of desire of the mob, a retired IRA chief of staff and British Intelligence, for whom Dillon now works. The cheeky, pint-sized Dillon tends toward occasional stage Irishness, and the other characterizations aren't much deeper, but readers riveted by Higgins's mastery of plot and pace won't mind at all. Winding up with a jaunty noir bounce, this is splendid high pulp-in other words, vintage Higgins. BOMC main selection. (June) ~ FYI: Two Sean Dillon novels, On Dangerous Ground and Eye of the Storm, will air later this year on Showtime as TV movies, starring Rob Lowe as Dillon. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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June 01, 1997
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Excerpt from Drink with the Devil by Jack Higgins
RAIN SWEPT IN from Belfast Lough, and as he turned the corner there was the rattle of small-arms fire somewhere in the darkness of the city center followed by the crump of an explosion. He didn't even hesitate but started across the square, a small man, no more than five feet five, in jeans, reefer coat, and peaked cap, a seaman's duffle bag hanging from one shoulder.
A sign said Albert Hotel, but it was more a lodging house than anything else, of a type used by sailors, and constructed originally by the simple expedient of knocking three Victorian terrace houses together. The front door stood open, and a small, balding man peered out, a newspaper in one hand.
There was another explosion in the distance. "Jesus!" he said. "The boys are active tonight."
The small man said from the bottom of the steps, "I phoned earlier about a room. Keogh is the name." His voice was more English than anything else, only a hint of the distinctive Belfast accent.
"Ah, yesýMr. Keogh. Off a boat, are ye?"
"Something like that."
"Well, come away in out of the rain and I'll fix you up."