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There Will Be Fire: Margaret Thatcher, the IRA, and Two Minutes That Changed History

af Rory Carroll

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1464186,928 (4.33)5
"A race-against-the-clock narrative that finally illuminates a history-changing event: the IRA's attempt to assassinate Margaret Thatcher and the epic manhunt that followed"--
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This is an excellent account of the 1984 IRA bombing of the Grand Hotel in Brighton, England, which narrowly missed killing or injuring Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The story reads like a suspense novel, and was a real page-turner. Though some details of the event remain a mystery due to a lack of information, the author has done an excellent job of weaving the reporting of the time, interviews, and the memoirs, particularly of some the IRA members, into the narrative. Highly recommended. ( )
  jspurdy | Feb 11, 2024 |
Reading Killing Thatcher brought home to me just how much has changed on this island in the quarter century since the Good Friday Agreement was signed, and also just how determined the Brits were to fuck it all up again by voting for Brexit. Cheery!

Anyway, Rory Carroll here produces a fairly tightly focused, journalistic account of the notorious Brighton Bombing in 1984 and the lead-up to it. If Margaret Thatcher—then Tory PM of the U.K., and like her contemporary Ronald Reagan the architect of an awful lot of modern economic and social suffering—had spent a minute or two longer in the bathroom of her hotel suite, she would have been more directly caught in the blast and might well have been killed. Carroll mostly eschews the "what ifs" of the scenario, and only occasionally speculates about the things that are still unknown. (How much did Gerry Adams know in advance, and how much did he greenlight.) He focuses instead on the players involved, the event itself, and the investigative aftermath. Carroll is at his best in describing the brutal horror of the explosion and the destruction it wrought. ( )
  siriaeve | Feb 4, 2024 |
Very Well done & very balanced, terrific job fairly providing all the points of view, wish more nonfiction books would take this approach ( )
  jimifenway | Jul 10, 2023 |
This is the true account of the 1984 attempt on the life of Margaret Thatcher by the IRA. A bomb was planted at the Grand Hotel in Brighton where she was attending a Conservative conference. Thatcher was spared, but five people died and many were injured, some maimed for life. In telling the story, Carroll goes into the history behind the Irish fight for freedom and significant events in this history including the assassination of Mountbatten as well as the hunger strike that resulted in the deaths of some of the IRA prisoners. He recounts the intricate investigation into the Brighton bomb and search for the perpetrators, as well as the background of the bomber and other members of the IRA. Finally, he theorizes how Thatcher’s survival shaped modern politics.

This is a very detailed, yet thrilling account of events in history. I found the story fascinating. I also liked the historical perspective going back to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 (“remember remember the fifth of November”).

I loved Patrick Radden Keefe’s Say Nothing; A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland and recommended it to many friends. I think this book ranks up there with Keefe’s and will certainly recommend it. Researching and writing this book was an ambitious project and Carroll provides a thorough retelling while maintaining reader interest throughout. Don’t let the fact that this is nonfiction scare you…it reads like a novel.

Thanks to #netgalley and #GPPutnumssonsbooks #Penguin ( )
  vkmarco | Mar 3, 2023 |
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"A race-against-the-clock narrative that finally illuminates a history-changing event: the IRA's attempt to assassinate Margaret Thatcher and the epic manhunt that followed"--

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