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As a person living in Belfast I found this book horrendous. I know it's fiction but the depiction of Andersonstown was ludicrous nor do we have soldiers on our border! There was also reference to an actual Estate Agents, I don't think they would take too kindly to what was said about them!! Besides the very off beat depiction of Belfast & Northern Ireland, it wasn't even an intriguing read.
I read this book as it was a Reese Witherspoon book club pick but it was honestly so disappointing and does such a disservice to Northern Ireland. What Berry writes is not representative of how NI is today, if she wanted to capture the current realities of NI she could have written about the ongoing collapses of Stormont and power sharing, Brexit, a hard border in the Irish Sea and the push for reunification. If Berry really wanted to write about the IRA then why didn`t she set it in the nineties, prior to the Good Friday Agreement?
The result is that Northern Spy reads like it was written by an American who read very little about the troubles, spent two weeks in NI and came back with this god-awful book.
What a poor poor lazy book. Whilst reading it I had to ask myself when this was set, was it the 1970s or 1980s because the authors descriptions of IRA operations in Belfast make the place seem like the war zone that it might have been 30 years ago but certainly not now. What the author does dangerously is weave so much very good description of places and landmarks alongside lazy writing about terrorists robbing service stations which would give those people who don't know better the impression that all of this information can be relied upon. Either very little research was done by the author or they were happy to write in this sensationalist manner to sell the book. I pray that Ms Witherspoon doesn't bring this one to the screen
It was an entertaining story, but for me it was marred with geographical inaccuracies. Travelling south from Greyabbey to meet someone in Ardglass would involve aferry, which wasn't mentioned. I fully understand that authors can take liberty with such, but perhaps using made-up names rather than actual placenames would be more appropriate. Also, I very seriously doubt that a police detective from Northern Ireland would be permitted to attend a hospital in the The Republic of Ireland.
Just recently got back into reading and spotted this as the April pick for Reese's book club. I read it in about 3 days and overall really enjoyed it, however there were a few plot points which I personally thought didn't make a lot of sense once I'd finished the book. I would however definitely recommend this, and it was also a good way to gain a bit of insight into and understanding of the Northern Ireland conflict.
Thoroughly intriguing book and I found the characters while and almost stepping out from the page. I think I read it in two days! The ending was a little two neat for me, but I like endings that leave some things unknown. That said it’s definitely worth reading and uncovered the beauty of Northern Ireland and its realities. As a thriller I’m sure you’ll love it.