Ciaran Devine, who made Belfast headlines seven years ago as the “schoolboy killer,” is about to walk free. At the age of twelve, he confessed to the brutal murder of his foster father. But DCI Serena Flanagan, who was the officer to take young, frightened Ciaran’s confession, has silently harbored doubts about his guilt all this ti...
Ciaran Devine, who made Belfast headlines seven years ago as the “schoolboy killer,” is about to walk free. At the age of twelve, he confessed to the brutal murder of his foster father. But DCI Serena Flanagan, who was the officer to take young, frightened Ciaran’s confession, has silently harbored doubts about his guilt all this time. Juvenile detention has left Ciaran ill-prepared for life on the outside; with the strength of a man, the maturity of a child, and seven years’ worth of prison life under his belt, Ciaran is both vulnerable and dangerous. Meanwhile, Flanagan has just returned to the force from her battle with breast cancer, only to endure the pitying looks of her coworkers and a mountain of open case files. She will soon discover that even closed cases can unleash terror on the streets of Belfast.
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“In the world of modern crime fiction, Stuart Neville is a supernova. I buy his books the day they’re released because I can’t wait to see where he takes me next. And I’m never disappointed. ”
“Neville’s novel is a coldly lucid assessment of the fragility of the Irish peace ... A rare example of legitimate noir fiction. ”
—The New York Times Book Review
“Stuart Neville has a lock on dread ... Full-bodied and credible. ”
“A must read. ”
“His best novel since his debut, [The Ghosts of Belfast]... Flanagan is a compelling character, professionally capable and hard nosed but emotionally vulnerable in her private life, although it’s young Ciaran Devine who is the most haunting character. ”
–Declan Burke, The Irish Times
“[A] gripping tale of two brothers and one policewoman in Northern Ireland fighting to come to terms with peacefully living in a land still torn by the divisions of religious intolerance, and the deep scars it has left on its people. ”
–Herald Scotland, Pick of the Week
“Psychologically astute. ”
“Stuart Neville has been masterfully capturing the mean streets of Belfast in a series of thrillers, each arguably more powerful than the last. His latest, Those We Left Behind, in which he ups his game by about 10 notches, is a robust police procedural that also impressively plumbs his varied characters’ psychological vulnerabilities. ”