Patrick Radden Keefe’s new book “Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in North” is nauseating yet critical material, detailing the absence of winners in the quaintly labeled “troubles”of Northern Ireland, not even haughty Margaret Thatcher nor master of prevarication Gerry Adams. The list of those having lost is enormous and remains growing — those who gave their lives over to an eventually corrupted solitary idea of saving/freeing being in conflict with the political powers who deliberately deluded the those doing the fighting by keeping to themselves from the beginning that compromise, at best, would be the outcome.
No one should righteously pretend to have any answers for solving this quagmire because there are none. A segment of the UK situated at the top of the Republic of Ireland is obviously an anomaly. From a distance, it makes no sense. Could the majority Protestants surrounded in the North not enjoy the same or even a better life if joined with the rest of the heavily Catholic population of Eire? Or would such bring forth an implosion of cultural identity as well as a never-ending cycle of recriminations? Is the hatred between the two now too hardwired? But then what will happen if/when the Catholics out-number the Protestants up north? Multiple questions, few if any answers.
Built around the December 1982 abduction of mother-of-ten Jean McConville from her apartment in Catholic Belfast, Keefe seemingly determines the killer although some of the evidence remains disputed. That mystery is the backbone of this book but overall coverage of this conflict is also thoroughly presented.