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Summary

The instant New York Times best seller

A Reese's Book Club Pick

A producer at the Belfast bureau of the BBC, Tessa is at work one day when the news of another IRA raid comes on the air. As the anchor requests the public's help in locating those responsible for this latest attack - a robbery at a gas station - Tessa's sister appears on the screen pulling a black mask over her face.

The police believe Marian has joined the IRA, but Tessa knows this is impossible. But when the truth of what has happened to her sister reveals itself, Tessa will be forced to choose: between her ideals and her family. 

©2021 Flynn Berry (P)2021 Orion Publishing Group

Critic reviews

"You'll devour Northern Spy.... I loved this thrill ride of a book." (Reese Witherspoon)

"A chilling, gorgeously written tale.... Berry is a beautiful writer with a sophisticated, nuanced understanding of this most complicated of places." (New York Times

"Thrillingly good.... Flynn Berry shows a le Carré-like flair for making you wonder what's really going on at any given moment." (Washington Post

"An elegantly wrought story about the perils of not being what you seem.... Nerve-shredding suspense." (Daily Mail

What listeners say about Northern Spy

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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Seems to have little grasps of the conflict

Disappointing book. Lack of substance or any real grip. It is so unbelievable, especially at the end. It’s hard to fathom that readers could find it plausible. I’m from Ireland and also surprised the narrator couldn’t find out how to say two towns correctly in Dublin, it would seem like a simple thing to get right.

2 people found this helpful

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Voice without any enthusiasm

I thought the performance of the reading was too boring. There was too little emotion and drive in the voice for me to be able to commit to the story and listen.

I couldn't finish the book

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it!

I don’t know if the history is accurate, but the story is intriguing and keeps you connected throughout the whole book. It made me want to go and read more about the conflict and the story behind it, the ideologies and beliefs.
What I loved particularly about this book is that the main character Tessa is always a mother first, a sister and only then a citizen, which made it easy to connect to her and live through the story together.

1 person found this helpful

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Grippingly Tense

It's almost impossible not to inhale this story about two sisters and their dangerous lives in Northern Ireland.

The performance by the narrorator, Catherine Rees, is brilliant. Her Northern accent really helped to immerse me in the story. She doesn't overly dramatically read the tense scenes in a way that takes me out of the story.

It's unbelievable to me that this book was written by an american author and not someone from the North or even the Republic. You never feel out of place for a moment, you are completely in Tessa's shoes as she makes every decision.

If you're looking for a gritty story about the real gory politics of the conflict in Northern Ireland then this book is not what you're looking for, however, if you're looking for a riveting psychological thriller about sisterhood and motherhood then please give this book a listen.

It's a really great book, my first of the Reese's book club books that I've listened to. If her picks are all as good as this one I'll be reading her recommendations every month.

1 person found this helpful

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Horrendous do not read

obviously written by someone who has never lived through the conflict. Complete one sided nonsense. Do not under any circumstances read this absolute bigoted rubbish.

1 person found this helpful

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Disappointed with the audiobook

I found the story fine, but the mispronunciation of at least four place names in the Audio version was frustrating and lazy!

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Poor narration

The narration was flat and dull. I was not invested in any of the characters.

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Really enjoyed

Loved the narration of this book and hugely enjoyed the story. I'm of the age to remember The Troubles (albeit from the mainland) and I found this novel fascinating. Highly recommend it for believable characterisation, good pace and an evocative setting. A really human story that rings true.

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Not worth it

This story Jumped about and story end wasn’t good. Disappointed, as recommended by reese weatherspoon.

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Brilliant Narrator

Loved listening to this book. The narrator had a very calm voice and kept me interested throughout