Patrick Taylor’s “Pray for Us Sinners” Shows the Horror of Ireland’s Struggles
If you’re Irish-American, chances are you’ve heard horror stories about “the Troubles” in Ireland during the ’70s. However, if you’re not of Irish-American descent, author Patrick Taylor illuminates just how awful that time period was for Ireland.
Taylor’s novel Pray for Us Sinners is set in 1973 Belfast and revolves around two Ulsterman who are on opposing sides. Marcus Richardson is a British Army bomb-disposal officer while Davy MacCutcheon is a Provisional IRA who has been creating bombs since he was a teenager. Although both men are die-hard adherents to their causes, a series of events winds up shattering their deeply held beliefs, leaving them in a crisis of faith and a desire to make an honorable “getaway.”
In the beginning of the book, Marcus is almost killed by a car bomb. He’s promised to be transfer to the SAS but only if he accepts an undercover mission to join the Provisional IRA, infiltrate the group, identify the members of the upper echelon, and expose whoever their bomb maker is.
While Marcus undertakes this mission, Davy is questioning his skills at creating bombs when he sees that they’re being used against civilians, rather than military targets. He makes a request to be discharged, but in order to leave Ireland forever with the woman he loves, Davy has to go on one last mission. In a twist of fate, Davy and Marcus cross paths and wind up entangled in a series of events that leaves them in an abandoned farmhouse a they try to stop a plot to kill Britain’s Prime Minister.
In Pray for Us Sinners, Taylor’s writing allows readers to see the human side of the Troubles, instead of demonizing the people involved. If you love engaging thrillers, you won’t be able to put this novel down!