September 3, 2011

A Prayer for the Dying by Jack Higgins - a solid 5 out of 5

A Prayer for the DyingA Prayer for the Dying by Jack Higgins

This book was short, but it was mighty.

Ex-IRA soldier using the name Martin Fallon, is pushed into performing a contract hit (on a very bad mobster by another very bad mobster) in exchange for a new passport, new identity, and a trip on a ship out of England for a new life. His soul carries wounds from an IRA bombing gone bad. A priest witnesses his contract killing, but Fallon can't bring himself to kill the priest even though he has seen his face. What follows is a painful journey for Fallon and the characters affected by his actions.

Higgins created characters that resonate and, though the book was written many years ago, those characters are true to life and the story has a timeless quality. The writing is nearly flawless and, though short, this book carries the weight in your heart that a longer work would carry. I finished it last night and haven't been able to get the story out of my mind - now that is the mark a truly great work.


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