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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
The Minstrel Boy by Nigel Seed is a brilliantly plotted and well-written terrorist thriller, with a protagonist who is in every way vulnerable and likable. Billy Murphy lives for music and sings in pubs in Belfast. But he soon finds himself caught up in the deadly game of the IRA who are gearing up for an armed struggle for Irish unity. As Billy slowly gets pulled into the orbit of the terrorist organization, he gets shocking revelations. Billy has to tread carefully because the terrorist group he is working for is vindictive. It is a dangerous world filled with betrayals and vengeful people. But can he survive this world and make the right choices, or will he be swallowed by the maelstrom?
The Minstrel Boy is gripping and absorbs the reader from the very first page. The protagonist is an unassuming musician who inadvertently finds himself playing a role in a revolution that he never asked for. The author does an impeccable job in developing the conflict, writing powerful historical hints, and exploring the ruthlessness of the IRA. The tension builds up in Billy’s life; the sense of danger haunts him and this makes the story suspenseful. I loved the way the author portrays the Irish cultural setting and the history of the IRA. The story is filled with strong imagery and locales are described in a fascinating manner. The Minstrel Boy is well-paced and while it isn’t slow, it can’t be said to be explosive, but the author’s gift for character and plot elevates the reader’s experience to a satisfying one. It is a great story written in an arresting narrative voice. It is evocative in style and captures the crimes of the IRA with brilliance, following a group that destroys its own people.