Happy Tuesday everyone! Hope you all had a fab bank holiday weekend and managed to squeeze in some reading along the way! Today I’m thrilled to be hosting the blog tour for Brian McGilloway’s The Last Crossing.
A massive thank you to the fabulous Emily Glenister of The Dome Press for inviting me on the blog tour and for my advanced copy of The Last Crossing.
“Moving and powerful, this is an important book which everyone should read.” Ann Cleeves
“The Last Crossing is a brilliant excavation of the recent past.” Adrian McKinty
Tony, Hugh and Karen thought they’d seen the last of each other thirty years ago. Half a lifetime has passed and memories have been buried. But when they are asked to reunite – to lay ghosts to rest for the good of the future – they all have their own reasons to agree. As they take the ferry from Northern Ireland to Scotland the past is brought in to terrible focus – some things are impossible to leave behind.
In The Last Crossing memory is unreliable, truth shifts and slips and the lingering legacy of the Troubles threatens the present once again.
What Did I Think?
How good is your memory from 30 years ago? I’ll admit, mine’s quite hazy. But then again, I didn’t have an event burnt in my memory like Hugh, Tony and Karen did…
The Last Crossing has a horrifying bone chilling opening, one that underpins the whole book. But this lead me to ask one question throughout – why did Martin Kelly have to die?
The story exudes a lot of political undertones from the Troubles in Northern Ireland and the aftermath of the Good Friday agreement.
The war’s not over
It showed me how from generation to generation, there can still be the dislike for the opposition and authority despite the peace treaty. It had a stark insight as to how in reality the war in Northern Ireland (and beyond) was fought. Hugh’s testimony of his experience, no matter how unreliable all these characters became with their memories, felt a true to life account of recruitment to the cause and the obligation to follow orders from above no matter what.
The story jumps unexpectedly by chapter between past and present which for me took a little getting used to. But once I did, I was immersed into the time travel between the now and the trio’s young adulthood. I loved the way the last sentence of certain chapters is mirrored almost identically in the first line of the next chapter in the opposite time thread.
My introduction to McGilloway’s work was brilliant. This standalone tale is packed with intrigue, heightened with the split timelines and the quest for something whether it be closure or justice for the dead. Tony’s voice was ringing in my ear as I read, the Irish accent that I’m familiar with. This author is definitely one I’ll be hunting out more of!
Who Is Brian McGilloway?
Brian McGilloway is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Inspector Benedict Devlin and DS Lucy Black series.
He was born in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1974. After studying English at Queen’s University, Belfast, he took up a teaching position in St Columb’s College in Derry, where he was Head of English until 2013. He currently teaches in Holy Cross College, Strabane.
Brian’s work has been nominated for, and won, many awards, including Borderlands (shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger), Gallows Lane (shortlisted for both the 2009 Irish Book Awards / Ireland AM Crime Novel of the Year and Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award 2010), and Little Girl Lost (winner of the University of Ulster’s McCrea Literary Award 2011).
In 2014, Brian won BBC NI’s Tony Doyle Award for his screenplay, Little Emperors, an award which saw him become Writer In Residence with BBC NI.
Brian lives near the Irish borderlands with his wife, daughter and three sons.