About the book: (from the publisher) When his uncle dies, Liam Taggart reluctantly returns to his childhood home in Northern Ireland for the funeral―a home he left years ago after a bitter confrontation with his family, never to look back. But when he arrives, Liam learns that not only was his uncle shot to death, but that he’d anticipated his own murder: In an astonishing last will and testament, Uncle Fergus has left his entire estate to a secret trust, directing that no distributions be made to any person until the killer is found. Did Fergus know, but refuse to name, his killer? Was this a crime of revenge, a vendetta leftover from Northern Ireland’s bloody sectarian war? After all, the Taggarts were deeply involved in the IRA. Or is it possible that the killer is a family member seeking Fergus’s estate? Otherwise, why postpone distributions to the heirs? Most menacingly, does the killer now have his sights on other family members?
As his investigation draws Liam farther and farther into the past he has abandoned, he realizes he is forced to reopen doors long ago shut and locked. Now, accepting the appointment as sole trustee of the Fergus Taggart Trust, Liam realizes he has stepped into the center of a firestorm.
About the author: Ronald H. Balson is a Chicago trial attorney, an educator, and writer. His practice has taken him to several international venues. He is also the author of Karolina’s Twins, Saving Sophie, and the international bestseller Once We Were Brothers.
Genre: Fiction/Contemporary/GeneralBraiding Irish history with mystery, the latest from bestselling Ronald H Balson: THE TRUST… Click To Tweet
My take: In its braiding together of Irish history and mystery, The Trust reminds me of a lower-octane, twenty-first-century version of one of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan novels. Patriot Games comes particularly to mind.
I didn’t form much of an emotional connection with Liam, a fact I understood better when I realized that while The Trust reads well as a stand-alone, it is second of a series. Presumably, had I read its predecessor, I might have resonated more deeply with the recurring characters. Also, some of the dialogue felt more expository than natural. Nonetheless, it is a story peopled with interesting characters and a final twist that is satisfying if somewhat sentimental.
Clean fiction suited to male and female readers alike, I appreciated The Trust for the greater insights it provided of the still-reverberating echo of The Troubles.
Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for providing me this book free of charge. All opinions are mine.
After words: What novel of Irish history have you enjoyed recently?