A bomb planted by the IRA exploded at 2:54 a.m. on October 12, 1984. It was the last day of the Conservative Party Conference at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, England. Rooms were obliterated, dozens wounded, five killed. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was in her suite when the explosion occurred. Had she been just a few feet in another direction, flying tiles and masonry would have sliced her to ribbons. As it was, she survived—and history changed.
A reminder of just how much the Good Friday Agreement accomplished ... It’s hard to render an episode in a centuries-old struggle as a caper story, but Carroll lets in just enough history to pull it off, mostly.
Engrossing ... Reads like a political thriller, with deep dives into the backgrounds of the IRA operatives and extensive accounts of investigations by detectives and explosives experts from Scotland Yard and other government agencies ... Keefe is a flat-out master storyteller ... The centerpiece tale here of Thatcher's near-assassination needs little embellishment to be riveting.
A gripping, detailed and richly layered account of the bombing and its consequences ... Understated ... The great virtue of Carroll’s excellent book is that it takes the Brighton bombing back out of these parallel universes and into the real world of conflict in which it happened. He explores, as dispassionately as possible, the mentality that shaped killers like Magee ... Fascinating.