By (author): Luke Francis Beirne

Bloody Sunday (1972) catapulted the Irish “troubles” onto the world stage, exacerbating suspicion in US intelligence circles that the IRA might turn to the Soviets for guns. South Boston native Raymond Daly, just off a CIA stint in Laos, is sent to Ireland to re-establish a line running guns to the IRA. He deftly earns the trust of gunrunner Slowey, a tough money-making South Boston native, who introduces him to an IRA splinter group operating near Blacklion, a town bordering on Northern Ireland.

Ray begins to manipulate Aoife, an Irish woman, in order to gain the trust of the community and embed himself in the organization. After the British Special Air Services raid a safehouse, Ray finds himself involved in executing an informant and his wife. But he also finds himself getting soft on some of those he was sent to infiltrate and becoming more like his cover, “an Irish American gunrunner with a romantic attachment to the Cause,” and less like an obedient CIA operative.

Events spiral, culminating in a shootout with the British army that compels Ray to make a Faustian decision on his future and that of Aoife and the others he was assigned to manipulate.

Inspired by complex, real-life political events with far-reaching consequences, Luke Beirne plays with and destabilizes the traditional spy tale. He also ponders the diabolic power invested in intelligence operatives.


Luke Francis Beirne

Luke Francis Beirne was born in Ireland and grew up in Western Canada. His first novel Foxhunt, a Foreword Indies 2022 Best Fiction prize finalist, was compared to an early Le Carré thriller. Ghostwriter of more than a dozen genre novels, he has contributed to many publications such as Honest Ulsterman, Hamilton Arts & Letters, and Strange Horizons, including the award-winning story “Models.” Luke holds a Master’s in Cultural Studies and Critical Theory from McMaster University. Blacklion is his second novel. He lives in Saint John, New Brunswick.


“Mr. Beirne’s writing is good, really good?I used to read a lot of Frederick Forsyth, and Blacklion very much recalls the type of story Mr. Forsyth would spin.? James Fisher The Miramichi Reader

“Luke Francis Beirne’s fury novel Foxhunt was a beautifully written slow burn of a literary intrigue novel, and his second novel Blacklion is just as intensely readable.” All Lit Up

“Highly atmospheric? very cinematic?” – CBC Fredericton, NB

“The strength of Beirne’s writing lies in a ? believable portrayal of basic human emotions: trust/distrust, love/hate, violence/the longing for a normal life ? Beirne achieves a certain Hemingway quality for his protagonist and associates ? a fine effort in a genre where the bar has been set extremely high by le Carre, Greene, Deighton, and others.” Ian Thomas Shaw, The Ottawa Review of Books

About Foxhunt

“A cold-war thriller rather like early le Carré. . . . eerily pertinent given recent news.” Simon Lavery, Tredynas Days

“Foxhunt is wonderfully written and, as already mentioned, is a slow-to-medium-paced read. It is also a very cerebral and well-placed story within the historical context of the beginnings of the Cold War. I highly recommend Foxhunt as a noir-ish literary mystery-intrigue novel.” James Fisher, The Miramichi Reader

“Against a seamless historical and literary backdrop, Foxhunt balances compelling intrigue with vulnerable human emotions.” Foreword Reviews

“A remarkable first novel by a brilliant young writer.” David Adams Richards


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246 Pages
8.50in * 5.40in * .70in


September 01, 2023


Baraka Books



Book Subjects:

FICTION / Thrillers / Espionage

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