Author(s): Ian McGuire
From the widely acclaimed author of The North Water comes an epic story of revenge and obsession set in 19th century Manchester
'The Abstainer is truly terrific - a can't-put-down book. It's no less than a tight 'n spare 'n suspense-filled noir novel, masterfully set in 1860s Britain and America. And like all superb historical novels, it seems as modern and as contemporary as this morning.' Richard Ford
The rebels will be hanged at dawn, and their brotherhood is already plotting revenge.
Manchester, 1867: Stephen Doyle, an Irish-American veteran of the Civil War, arrives from New York with a thirst for blood. He has joined the Fenians, a secret society intent on ending British rule in Ireland by any means necessary.
Head Constable James O'Connor has fled grief and drink in Dublin for a sober start in Manchester. His job is to discover and thwart the Fenians' plans whatever they might be. When a long-lost nephew returns from America and arrives on O'Connor's doorstep looking for work, he cannot foresee the way his fragile new life will be imperilled - and how his and Doyle's fates will be intertwined.
In this propulsive tale of the underground war for Irish independence, master storyteller Ian McGuire once again transports readers to a time when blood begot blood. Moving from the dirt and uproar of industrial Manchester to the quiet hills of Pennsylvania, The Abstainer is a searing novel in which two men, haunted by their pasts and driven forward by the need for justice and retribution, must fight for life and legacy.
Praise for The North Water, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2016
'Brilliant, fast-paced, gripping. A tour de force of narrative tension and a masterful reconstruction of a lost world' Hilary Mantel
'Utterly convincing and compelling... A startling achievement' Martin Amis
'Riveting and darkly brilliant... McGuire has an extraordinary talent' Colm Toibin
'A stunning novel that snares the reader from the outset and keeps the tightest grip until the bitter end' Financial Times
'A vivid read, full of twists, turns, period detail and strong characters' The Times
'Terrific - McGuire's use of the pitiless, fearsomely beautiful Arctic landscape as a theatre for enduring questions is inspired' Daily Mail
'McGuire has a sure and unwavering touch... a writer of exceptional craft and confidence' Irish Times