Review: Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland, by Patrick Radden Keefe

say nothing patrick radden keefeRating: ★★★★★

Genres: Non-Fiction, History


In December 1972, Jean McConville was kidnapped from her home, in front of her children, and never seen again. The criminal investigation for this disappearing would unleash several decades later the release of the tapes of Project Belfast, a secret oral archive of the Troubles.

Say Nothing is a fantastic book – and one of the best non-fiction I’ve read all year. You definitely don’t need to be too knowledgeable about the violent conflicts during the Troubles in Northern Ireland to pick this up at all, and this fascinating read has it all: drama, violence, twists, betrayals and so much blood spilled for an ideal. It’s for those reasons a great pick also for people who, like me, are more used to reading fiction.

The book is a bit over 400 pages long on the edition I read, but it could definitely have been read in a day! The narration is so gripping I had to refrain myself from googling the people in the book so I would know what happened to them. But after I finished, I’m not even sure how long I spent looking up their names. It was also an enlightening and eye-opening read for the bloody years of war in Northern Ireland and the terror that the IRA brought onto so many people for the ideal of a united Ireland. Although the blurb talks mostly about the Jean McConville disappearance, the book uses that as a plot device, and my impression is that the story was in fact about Dolours and Marian Price, Brendan Hughes and Gerry Adams; about the roles they played in the conflict and later in ending it.

A truly engrossing read, I highly recommend it!

9 thoughts on “Review: Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland, by Patrick Radden Keefe

  1. Great review! I really want to pick this one up, even moreso knowing it’s good without much prior knowledge and is very suitable for fiction readers even at 400+ pages. I’m determined to get to it this year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have added this on to my to-be-read list, thanks for the review. One of the best books I have ever read about The Troubles, if you want to find out more, is Making Sense of The Troubles by David McKittrick and David McVea – I originally borrowed it from the library when I was younger, then bought the new edition and read it again more recently.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: The Sunday Snuggle: Weekly Wrap Up W1/2020 | Naty's Bookshelf

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