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.