Acts of Allegiance
- 296 Pages
- September 11, 2018
- ISBN: 9781628729535
- Trim Size: 5.5in x 8.25in
Longlisted for the 2019 International DUBLIN Literary Award
A propulsive tale of espionage, betrayal, loyalty, and love, set during the Troubles in Northern Ireland—for readers of The Goldfinch and classic le Carré.
Marty Ransom, son of the Captain and heir to a hilltop estate near Waterford in independent Ireland, lives a comfortable, boring life with his tennis-playing, Anglican wife, Sugar, and a job in the Department of External Affairs. Among their closest friends are an Anglo-Irish couple, a banker who was Sugar's childhood flame and his alluring diplomat wife, Alison. But Marty is a man divided. While his father fought with the British Army and found respectability in marriage, Marty's closest childhood friend was his cousin Iggy, the rebel son of a working-class Irish patriot whose gift for tinkering with radio parts has grown into a bomb maker’s skill.
When Marty is lured into keeping tabs on the growing IRA activities in Ireland's troubled North, he finds himself walking a tightrope of conflicting yearnings and loyalties, balancing between nations, lovers, and parts of his own past, never knowing whom he can trust. But after Bloody Sunday escalates the violence and the British mount a desperate operation to take out a notorious IRA bomber, he must choose, and risk putting everything he loves mosthis wife and young familyas well as his own life, at risk.
"A wonderful brew of a book about politics, family, violence, love, betrayallife, in other words. Peter Cunningham has written a winner."John Banville
"Masterful . . . This is an intricately structured novel. It is also a timely novel . . . It's a sharp reminder of what evil can be done in the name of good."Irish Times
"Robustly entertaining . . . There is something of a blood brothers yarn in the opening chapters. . . . It kicks into life and is still twisting and turning with major narrative developments in the last pages. A satisfying read."Irish Examiner
"An exciting tale of espionage, infidelity, family secrets and betrayal . . . It's a satisfying read that fans of the spy genre will enjoy. . . . Most interesting of all is the fact that there is a true story somewhere at the heart of this bookthe author discovered, only as an adult, that his own father had been a spy providing information on possible IRA operatives."Independent
"Acts of Allegiance is that rare find that manages to combine literary lyricism with a satisfyingly propulsive, airtight plot. It is a crackling tale of espionage, state secrets, and betrayal, taking us on a devastating tour past the landmark events of the Troubles; through Bloody Sunday and sinister figures. . . . Yet at its heart, this is a reflective novel centered around one man's conflicted self and search for his father. . . . An intriguing excavation of how the personal and the political can tragically collide."Totally Dublin
“[This] crafty sectarian spy saga balances meaty themes with [a] page-turner grip.”—Sunday Independent
"When I began to write my latest novel, Acts of Allegianceabout an Irishman who spies for the British, but in the modern eraI realized this was a novel I had been destined to write. I could not avoid confronting what had happened to my father, and what he must have gone through for the sake of something he believed in."Peter Cunningham, quoted in "How My Dad Spied for the British Army" in the Irish News
"Lovely and intense, a moving portrait of human nature tucked into a thriller. . . . A drama of good versus evil—plus all the gradations between."Woven Tale Press