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The Marching Season

The Marching Season

Titel: The Marching Season
Autoren: Daniel Silva
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    Daniel Silva
    The Marching Season is a work of fiction. Obviously, it is drawn partially from real events. However, all characters and locales either are products of the author's imagination or have been used fictitiously. Any resemblance to any persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
    Copyright © 1999 by Daniel Silva
    All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States by Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto.
    Random House and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.
    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Silva, Daniel.
    The marching season: a novel/ Daniel Silva. p. cm.
    ISBN 0-375-50089-8 I. Title. PR6069.I362M36 1999b 823'.914—dc21               98-53464
    Random House website address: www.atrandom.com
    Printed in the United States of America on acid-free paper
    First Edition
    Book design by Caroline Cunningham
    For Ion Trewin, for friendship
    and faith, and as always,
    for my wife, Jamie, and my children,
    Lily and Nicholas
    The current period of violence in Northern Ireland, known as "the Troubles," erupted in August 1969. Broadly speaking it is a conflict between Republicans, who are predominantly Catholic and who want the North to unite with the Irish Republic, and Unionists, or Loyalists, who are predominantly Protestant and want to maintain the union between Ulster and the United Kingdom. Each side has produced a veritable alphabet soup of paramilitary groups and terrorist organizations. The most famous, of course, is the Provisional Irish Republican Army, the IRA. It has carried out hundreds of assassinations and thousands of bombings in Northern Ireland and on the British mainland. In 1984 it nearly succeeded in blowing up Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her government at a hotel in Brighton, England. In 1991 it fired a mortar into Downing Street, the seat of British power. The Loyalists have their gunmen and bombers too—the UVF, the UDA, and the UFF, just to name a few—and
    4 Foreword
    they too have carried out appalling acts of terrorism. In fact, of the 3,500 people killed since the Troubles began, most have been Catholics.
    But the violence did not begin in 1969. Catholics and Protestants have been killing each other in the north of Ireland for centuries, not decades. Historical markers can be difficult to fix, but Protestants regard 1690 as the beginning of their ascendancy in the north. It was then that William of Orange defeated King James II, a Roman Catholic, at the Battle of the Boyne. To this " day Protestants celebrate William's victory over the Catholics with a series of noisy and sometimes confrontational parades. In Northern Ireland this time is known as "the marching season."
    On May 22, 1998, the people of Northern Ireland voted to accept the Good Friday peace accords, which call for power sharing between Catholics and Protestants. But memories are long in Ulster, and neither side has been willing to declare that the civil war is truly over. Indeed, the period since the election has seen several acts of heinous terrorism, including the bombing of Omagh, which killed twenty-eight people—the bloodiest single act of terror in the history of the Troubles—and the arson fire in Ballymoney in which three Catholic children burned to death. Clearly, there are men of violence on both sides of Northern Ireland's sectarian divide—Catholic and Protestant, Republican and Unionist—who cannot forget and are not prepared to forgive. Some of those men are actively plotting to destroy the peace agreement.
    It might happen something like this. . . .
    Eamonn Dillon of Sinn Fein was the first to die, and he died because he planned to stop for a pint of lager at the Celtic Bar before heading up the Falls Road to a meeting in Andersontown. Twenty minutes before Dillon's death, a short distance to the east, his killer hurried along the pavements of Belfast city center through a cold rain. He wore a dark green oilskin coat with a brown corduroy collar. His code name was Black Sheep.
    The air smelled of the sea and faintly of the rusting shipyards of Belfast Lough. It was just after 4 P.M. but already dark. Night falls early on a winter's night in Belfast; morning dawns slowly. The city center
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