Monday, August 9, 2010

May You Die In Ireland by Michael Kenyon

This first of Michael Kenyon’s books, written in 1965, weaves a tale of spies in the Cold War era.
Oddly enough, the hero, William Foley, is an American who ends up far from home because of a Tail Male - a funny business where property is bequeathed to the first son of the first son of the first son, that is unless the first son happens to die first. In that case, things can get complicated and soon a bachelor-mathematics professor from a small town in Minnesota finds himself in Ireland.

Before he can click his heels, turn around three times, and recite, “There’s no place like home,” he is attacked and robbed of every possession he has with him, including the clothes on his back. While the hotel has managed to provide him with the basic necessities (pants, shirt, shoes), he soon finds himself face to face with the muggers - aka, Russian Spies - who have yet to find what they are looking for. When he discovers an acquaintance has ties to the CIA, Foley finds himself a target not only of the Russian spies and Irish Guardia, but the CIA as well.

But what is suspense without romance? Enter his lawyer’s daughter, a beautiful, caring nurse with no prospects of her own, until a severely beaten Foley shows up on her father’s doorstep.

Kenyon’s characters chase one another through the rolling green hills of Ireland as Foley decides between duty to country and the love of a good woman.

Kenyon’s talent for mystery and sleuth is his hallmark. In these early works, he portrays the police - the guardians of our safety - as not so capable. Instead, his characters find an inner strength that ultimately carry them through the crisis.

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