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This long-awaited new collection from the noted Irish writer Bernard MacLaverty examines worlds in collision, relationships fragmenting, innocence coming face to face with real life and real death. A Catholic schoolboy playing football has a theological debate with a Protestant policeman; a chess game in Spain is a catalyst for grief and redemption; in the haunting title story a Belfast man out walking his dog is kidnapped at gunpoint.
When Brother Sebastian, ne Michael Lamb, runs away from a bleak reformatory, taking with him twelve-year-old Owen Kane, the media and the police call it a kidnapping. For Lamb, though, it is a rescue of a formerly abused boy from a place of no hope, a last grasp at an elusive happiness. But as the outside world closes in, as time and money run out, Lamb finds himself moving towards a solution that is as shocking as it is loving. Lamb was produced as a widely praised film starring Liam Neeson in the title role.
Cal is the story of a Catholic teenager growing up in a mostly Protestant neighbourhood in Northern Ireland. Cal drives a getaway car after a Protestant is murdered and is tortured by the memory. His life is complicated by his growing love for the wife of the murdered man. Cal is one of the finest novels to emerge from the Northern Ireland conflict.