Detectives Beyond Borders' greatest hits: The Assassin
The novel is, for the most part, an exploration of the solitary psyches of an assassin and his co-conspirators. It does, however, contain a passage or two that are, one might say, more relevant today than ever. The first may be especially so in the United States:
"Unity was always McShiel's programme, because it did not necessitate taking sides on any definite question. ... As it was impossible to impose a budget on the community sufficiently large to provide emoluments for all the politicians simultaneously, it was obviously impossible to unite them. But the programme was attractive, as it allowed of unlimited intrigue."Political questions in the United States tend to be less urgent than they probably were in the early years of Irish independence. The cry here is less for unity than for its relative, bipartisanship. This cry tends to arise when one party loses control of Congress or even of Congress and the White House together. Parties in control tend not to discuss bipartisanship as much.
Back to Liam O'Flaherty:
"`Man, man, there are thousands waiting to rush out, waitin' for their chance.'"Seems to me that McDara, the novel's protagonist, and quite possibly O'Flaherty as well, is one disillusioned or at least disappointed revolutionary. Or maybe revolution is just a more complicated affair than we outsiders can know.
"`To loot,' said McDara calmly, `That's not force. There's no reason in that. That's mob anarchy.'"
How does politics find its way into your favorite crime stories or maybe into your less favored ones?
© Peter Rozovsky 2009