In 1972 Belfast, a woman named Jean McConville was taken from her home and never seen again, leaving behind her ten children; her body was eventually found in 2003. Journalist Patrick Radden Keefe uses this incident to highlight the larger story of Northern Ireland during the Troubles, focusing on figures like the Price sisters, Gerry Adams, and more. There is a local connection too, as Boston College became involved in the McConville murder investigation. This is a gripping work of nonfiction.
“[Keefe] incorporates a real-life whodunit into a moving, accessible account of the violence that has afflicted Northern Ireland… Tinged with immense sadness, this work never loses sight of the humanity of even those who committed horrible acts in support of what they believed in.”
—Publishers Weekly, *starred review*
“If it seems as if I’m reviewing a novel, it is because Say Nothing has lots of the qualities of good fiction, to the extent that I’m worried I’ll give too much away, and I’ll also forget that Jean McConville was a real person, as were–are–her children. And her abductors and killers. Keefe is a terrific storyteller. . .He brings his characters to real life. The book is cleverly structured. We follow people–victim, perpetrator, back to victim–leave them, forget about them, rejoin them decades later. It can be read as a detective story. . .What Keefe captures best, though, is the tragedy, the damage and waste, and the idea of moral injury. . .Say Nothing is an excellent account of the Troubles. —RODDY DOYLE, The New York Times Book Review