Northern Spy by Flynn Berry

This is a story set in Northern Ireland in the lead up to the Peace Agreement and features sisters, Tessa and Marian. One has been in the IRA for 7 years unbeknownst to her family and the other is drawn in through sibling ties. The extra complication is that Tessa has a baby boy and the ties to him and to be present as a mother are strong.

What is presented well is the setting of Northern Ireland and the constant tensions that this brings about. Tessa works for the BBC and is constantly asked why. She lives in a small village surrounded by fields and one night sees torches walking towards her house although they stop before getting there and she realises that they were digging up an arms cache. And then there is how people behave when a loud noise errupts causing people to dive under tables and hide in cupboards in case it is a bomb. It is very believable.

The story moves along at a pace with the writing having little spare in the description or actions of double agents working for the Peace Agreement although I was a little disappointed with the ending – it seemed a little too easy.

If you are interested in books with mothers as spies you might also like Part of the Family by Charlotte Philby and American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson.

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