A New York Times Top Ten Book of the Year - A Washington Post Top Ten Book Of The Year Long - Listed for the National Book Award - TIME Magazine's Best Nonfiction Book of the Year - Best Book of the Decade by EW and LitHub - Winner of the Orwell Prize
A Best Book of the Year: The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Chicago Tribune, GQ, Slate, NPR, Variety, Slate, Minneapolis Star Tribune, St. Louis Post Dispatch, The Dallas Morning News, Buzzfeed, Kirkus Reviews, and BookPage
If it seems as if I'm reviewing a novel, it is because Say Nothing
has lots of the qualities of good fiction, to the extent that I'm worried I'll give too much away, and I'll also forget that Jean McConville was a real person, as were–are–her children. And her abductors and killers. Keefe is a terrific storyteller... He brings his characters to real life. The book is cleverly structured. We follow people–victim, perpetrator, back to victim–leave them, forget about them, rejoin them decades later. It can be read as a detective story. . .What Keefe captures best, though, is the tragedy, the damage and waste, and the idea of moral injury. . .Say Nothing
is an excellent account of the Troubles. –RODDY DOYLE, The New York Times Book Review
An exceptional new book. . .explores this brittle landscape [of Northern Ireland] to devastating effect. . .fierce reporting. . .The story of McConville's disappearance, its crushing effects on her children, the discovery of her remains in 2003, and the efforts of authorities to hold someone accountable for her murder occupy the bulk of Say Nothing
. Along the way, Mr. Keefe navigates the flashpoints, figures and iconography of the Troubles: anti-Catholic discrimination, atrocities by the Royal Ulster Constabulary and occupation by the British Army, grisly IRA bombings in Belfast and London, the internment of Irish soldiers and the hunger strikes of Bobby Sands and others, the Falls Road and the Shankill Road, unionist paramilitaries, the real IRA and the "provisionals, counter-intelligence, the Armalite rile and the balaclava. It is a dizzying panorama, yet Mr. Keefe presents it with clarity.–MICHAEL O'DONNELL, The Wall Street Journal
Patrick Radden Keefe's new book Say Nothing
investigates the mystery of a missing mother and reveals a still-raw violent past. . .The book often reads like a novel, but as anyone familiar with his work for The New Yorker
can attest, Keefe is an obsessive reporter and researcher, a master of narrative nonfiction. . .An incredible story.–Rolling Stone
As the narrator of a whodunit. . .[Keefe] excels, exposing the past, layer by layer, like the slow peel of a rotten onion, as he works to answer a question that the British government, the Northern Irish police and the McConville family has been seeking the answer to for nearly 50 years... Keefe draws the characters in this drama finely and colorfully. . .Say Nothing
is a reminder of Northern Ireland's ongoing trauma. And with Brexit looming, it's a timely warning that it doesn't take much to open old wounds in Ireland, and make them fresh once more.–PADDY HIRSH, NPR
Meticulously reported, exquisitely written, and grippingly told, Say Nothing
is a work of revelation. Keefe not only peels back, layer by layer, the truth behind one of the most important and mysterious crimes of a terrible conflict; he also excavates the history of the Troubles, and illuminates its repercussions to this day.
–DAVID GRANN, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon
Patrick Radden Keefe's gripping account of the Troubles is equal parts true-crime, history, and tragedy. Keefe's incisive reporting reveals the hidden costs of the Troubles, illuminating both the terrible toll of the conflict, and how it continues to reverberate today. A must read.
–GILLIAN FLYNN, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl
"Patrick Radden Keefe uses the old Irish phrase, 'Whatever you say, say nothing, ' to suggest and to say just about everything. Keefe's great accomplishment is to capture the tragedy of the Troubles on a human scale. By tracing the intersecting lives of a handful of unforgettable characters, he has created a deeply honest and intimate portrait of a society still haunted by its own violent past. Say Nothing
is a bracing, empathetic, heartrending work of storytelling."
–COLUM McCANN, New York Times bestselling author of Transatlantic and Let the Great World Spin, Winner of the National Book Award
Patrick Radden Keefe has the rare ability to convey an intimate story that powerfully illuminates a much larger one. Combining the skills of an investigative journalist with the storytelling power of a suspense novelist, Keefe brilliantly represents the menace and intrigue that devastated Belfast during The Troubles, and shows the course of ordinary lives headed toward inevitable and awful collision. By turns gripping and profoundly revelatory, Say Nothing
shines a brighter light on Northern Ireland's tragic past than any history book.–SCOTT ANDERSON, New York Times bestselling author of Lawrence in Arabia
"A shattering, intimate study of how young men and women consumed by radical political violence are transformed by the history they make, and struggle to come to terms with the blood they have shed, Say Nothing
is a powerful reckoning. Keefe has written an essential book."–PHILIP GOUREVITCH, author of National Book Critics Circle Award winner We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families and The Ballad of Abu Ghraib
"Smart, searching, and utterly absorbing, Say Nothing
sweeps us into the heart of one of the modern world's bitterest conflicts and, with unusual compassion, walks us back out again along the road to reconciliation. This is more than a powerful, superbly reported work of journalism. It is contemporary history at its finest." –MAYA JASANOFF, author of the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning Liberty's Exiles and The Dawn Watch
is a piercing inquiry into the nature of political violence and its aftermath, by one of the best reporters in the United States. In this beautifully written book, Patrick Radden Keefe delves into the heart of the IRA, chronicling the worst years of the Troubles and the ghosts that continue to haunt Belfast even now that the fighting is over. Faulkner had it right: 'The past is never dead. It's not even past.'" –PETER BERGEN, author of Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden From 9/11 to Abbottabad
[Keefe] incorporates a real-life whodunit into a moving, accessible account of the violence that has afflicted Northern Ireland... Tinged with immense sadness, this work never loses sight of the humanity of even those who committed horrible acts in support of what they believed in.
, *starred review*
A searing reflection on the Troubles and their aftermath... Masterly.–The Economist