Delighted to share my review for the first book in a four part series.. Stones Corner: Turmoil by Jane Buckley.
About the book
Be warned! Stones Corner Turmoil is a gruelling read. It’s harsh but importantly truthful and objective. If you love a terrific thriller with individual stories that form a cataclysmic ending then this book is for you! At the same time, learn what everyday life was REALLY like in Derry during those dark, harsh times.
Caitlin McLaughlin is just like any other teenage girl: during the week she works at the Rocola shirt factory in Stones Corner, Creggan where she has become secretary to her boss’s dishy nephew James. At the weekend she likes music and trips into the city with her best friend, but this is Derry 1972. A simple trip to the shops can lead to life-changing injuries or death and staying at home can be just as dangerous when the British Troops raid house to house .
Robert Sallis is a private with the Royal Fusiliers recently posted to the city. He’s repelled by the way some of his fellow soldiers behave; wary too of civilian feelings running high against the occupying army. Accidentally separated from his patrol in Creggan, he’s discovered by Caitlin hiding in her family’s garden. He expects the worse but having seen enough violence too close to home, she doesn’t give him away. Instead she prefers to daydream about her charming boss who has made his feelings for her plain. A Catholic girl from the Bogside and the Protestant heir to a big local employer….
In her youthful innocence, Caitlin believes their love can overcome the triple obstacles of politics, class and faith. Meanwhile Robert, newly recruited to British undercover forces, is closing in on a terrorist strike in the heart of the city centre.
My review for the book 28th December 2021
The author gives a warning in the blurb about what a reader can expect in her debut novel set in Derry, Northern Ireland during one of the darkest years in the province’s history. The book delivers the reasons for that warning with chilling effect, bringing home the reality that this was a part of the United Kingdom, experiencing civil war within the last 50 years. The ripples of this violent outcome to the separation of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and its issues of belief and inequality, spread devastatingly outwards from the province; at times devastatingly.
When extremism on both sides of the divide are intent on winning, those innocents caught up in the turmoil are at the greatest risk, and when an outside force such as the British army are brought in, it adds fuel to the fire. The author creates that atmosphere of everyday fear and loss with great skill.
At the heart of this turmoil are young men and women who are vulnerable to manipulation by the fanatics, and imprisoned by age old segregation between religions and class.
Inhumane treatment of individuals, bombings resulting in mass casualties of innocents, illicit love affairs, revenge, espionage and poverty all combine to break the spirit of those who can see no end to the deprivation and conflict.
The author has created characters that will haunt you and some who inspire. Despite the environment, good people try to find comfort in their lives, falling in love across the divide and working to bring peace and stability. As the story moves forward they all come together centred on an event which will impact all of them and the future of the city.
This intiguing thriller delivers a great deal in terms of the writing, characters, storyline and expectations and I highly recommend the book. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series soon.
Also by Jane Buckley
About Jane Buckley
Jane Buckley has been an avid reader all her life and if the opportunity had existed when she was younger would have loved to become a journalist. She began writing her first novel in 2017 but put the manuscript away in a drawer for a couple of years.
Jane used the lockdown period to finish the book – now ‘Stones Corner: Turmoil’ – and describes the writing experience as her ‘salvation’ during the pandemic.
Jane lives just outside Derry, Northern Ireland. She is married to John and has two daughters Cassie who lives in Oxford and Maggie who lives in Auckland NZ with grandchildren Charlie and Alba.
Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. Sally.