The year is 1925. In the borderlands of a newly partitioned Ireland, a doctor new to Northern Ireland begins a search for a missing patient, a young girl who has fallen pregnant.
Meeting a wall of silence, she enlists the help of a local, a former IRA volunteer recently released from jail. Their enquiry brings them into contact with a community still suffering from the wounds of civil war. More worrying for them, they find they are beginning to rattle skeletons that some powerful people would prefer went undisturbed.
As they slowly begin to unravel the truth of the girl’s fate, they find that the traces they are following lead to some crimes more monstrous that they ever previously considered.
“Some Service to the State is a superb book with dialogue that would not be out of place on the stage of the Abbey Theatre. Mick McAlinden is a former IRA man caught on the wrong side of the border and the wrong side of history: a law student who ends up working in an abattoir. Aidan McQuade has created a character whose travails highlight the thwarted dreams and the tragedy of partition for so many people in post-revolutionary Ireland.”
- Ronan McGreevy, journalist and author of Great Hatred: the Assassination of Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson.
“Like Graham Greene, Dennis Lehane, and Louise Penny before him, McQuade takes the humble crime story and uses it like a scalpel to probe and expose the darkness in human souls and human society.”
- Martin W. Sandler, National Book Award-winning author and historian.
“The sparring sparky dialogue is a delight and never fails to vivify the darkness. McQuade shows prodigious skill in shining a spotlight on the scandal of mother-and-baby homes and in brilliantly imbuing the past with his own potent blend of heart, soul and wit.”
- Rosemary Jenkinson, multi-award winning playwright and author of Marching Season.