The Torch­bear­ers

Irish Independent - Weekend Review - - FRONT PAGE -

Bair­bre Hig­gins

Mi­nard Press, pa­per­back, 354 pages, €11.44

Burnt-out fund man­ager Ariel Mig­no­let ex­changes so­phis­ti­cated San Francisco for the re­mote town of Pros­per­ous, a hot­bed of re­li­gious fun­da­men­tal­ism in the New Mex­ico desert. Long runs in the wilder­ness and a bur­geon­ing ro­mance with lo­cal po­lice of­fi­cer Mike Ar­gyll help bring peace and a de­gree of hap­pi­ness.

But when Mike is mur­dered in an at­tack that Ariel only just sur­vives, all man­ner of Pros­per­ous’s se­crets, prej­u­dices and un­re­solved atroc­i­ties start to be ex­posed. As the lo­cal po­lice and the FBI in­ves­ti­gate, a man with noth­ing to lose and a tow­er­ing sense of in­jus­tice pre­pares to take re­venge — and Ariel is in his way. Dubliner Bair­bre Hig­gins brings the vi­brant New Mex­ico land­scapes as pow­er­fully alive as she does the in­tol­er­ance and pen­chant for vi­o­lence to­wards non-be­liev­ers some fun­da­men­tal­ist sects ex­hibit.

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