Say Nothing - Patrick Radden Keefe

Say Nothing

By Patrick Radden Keefe

  • Release Date: 2019-02-26
  • Genre: True Crime
Score: 4.5
From 253 Ratings



Winner of the Orwell Prize

"A masterful history of the Troubles. . . Extraordinary. . .As in the most ingenious crime stories, Keefe unveils a revelation — lying, so to speak, in plain sight."Maureen Corrigan, NPR

From award-winning New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe, a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions

In December 1972, Jean McConville, a thirty-eight-year-old mother of ten, was dragged from her Belfast home by masked intruders, her children clinging to her legs. They never saw her again. Her abduction was one of the most notorious episodes of the vicious conflict known as The Troubles. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the I.R.A. was responsible. But in a climate of fear and paranoia, no one would speak of it. In 2003, five years after an accord brought an uneasy peace to Northern Ireland, a set of human bones was discovered on a beach. McConville's children knew it was their mother when they were told a blue safety pin was attached to the dress--with so many kids, she had always kept it handy for diapers or ripped clothes.

Patrick Radden Keefe's mesmerizing book on the bitter conflict in Northern Ireland and its aftermath uses the McConville case as a starting point for the tale of a society wracked by a violent guerrilla war, a war whose consequences have never been reckoned with. The brutal violence seared not only people like the McConville children, but also I.R.A. members embittered by a peace that fell far short of the goal of a united Ireland, and left them wondering whether the killings they committed were not justified acts of war, but simple murders. From radical and impetuous I.R.A. terrorists such as Dolours Price, who, when she was barely out of her teens, was already planting bombs in London and targeting informers for execution, to the ferocious I.R.A. mastermind known as The Dark, to the spy games and dirty schemes of the British Army, to Gerry Adams, who negotiated the peace but betrayed his hardcore comrades by denying his I.R.A. past--Say Nothing conjures a world of passion, betrayal, vengeance, and anguish.


  • Absorbing

    By philistene
    I most read fiction and memoirs, but this book took me in. Equally fascinating and horrifying. I learned a lot. Highly recommend.
  • Say Nothing

    By RN grammy
    Excellent but painful history of the “troubles” in N. Ireland. If we could only talk to each other, listen and have compassion!
  • Amazing Read

    By Auggie's Man
    I had to keep reminding myself that it was true. The sadness. The lives lost. The lives ruined. And the mental tricks that people used to say they weren’t involved/responsible/there. Sickening. The lengths the U.K. government went to to hide their extra-judicial actions. All made for an incredibly sad story but one that was brilliantly told.
  • Too many gaps

    By mr sterling
    This book was fascinating on one level but disappointing on another. It skipped around too much. Started out with a missing mother of ten then shifted to two sisters then to Jerry Adams. The author would have done better by spending another year or two editing and adding background. Half baked
  • Compelling

    By done1810
    This is the best book I’ve read in a very long time. Even if you have just a passing interest in The Troubles you will find this informative and entertaining. It reads like a novel. Patrick Radden Keefe is a master storyteller.