Terry Brankin Has a Gun


Malachi O’Doherty

February 2020

Powerful and expertly crafted Troubles novel exploring important legacy issues.


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ʻA deftly spun tale of dreadful intricacy and bewildering insight into a paramilitary world in denial of its own duplicitous logic.ʼ
June Caldwell

Terry Brankin loves his wife, but it’s a bloody nuisance that a cold-case investigator is trying to pin him for a long past IRA bombing that killed a young girl. His wife Kathleen can’t take it.

He tells her that things were different then. She tells him he must confess. He’d only get two years under the Belfast Agreement and she’ll stand by him, but she leaves him to give him time to mull it over.

But then Kathleen is attacked. Every house in the Brankin property portfolio is petrol-bombed on the same night. Something is going on that’s even bigger than they reckoned.

And Terry thinks it’s to do with the cold case, the bombing and the dead child. He reckons old friends in the IRA are telling him to keep quiet. It’s time to talk to old comrades. And Terry still has a gun.

Fast-paced and thrilling, this powerful Troubles novel explores significant legacy issues of the northern conflict and how past deeds can never truly be forgotten.


About the Author

Malachi O’Doherty was born in Muff, County Donegal Ireland, and grew up in Belfast. He was a teacher to Libyan soldiers, a ghostwriter for an Indian guru, a contributor to BBC Northern Ireland and a regular writer for the Belfast Telegraph. Much of his writing career coincided with the Northern Irish Troubles. He has written numerous books about that period, including Fifty Years On: The Troubles and the Struggle for Change in Northern Ireland (Atlantic Books, 2020) and Gerry Adams: An Unauthorised Life (Faber and Faber, 2018).

Praise for Terry Brankin Has A Gun

‘A masterly debut … from the outset it is clear, from the plain-spoken fluency of his prose, that we are in the safe hands of an insider intent on revealing some of the darkest truths of the Troubles … This propulsive thriller speaks truth to power in a forthright and necessary manner. Terry Brankin may have a gun, but Malachi O’Doherty has a powerful voice and he’s not afraid to use it.’
Bert Wright, The Sunday Times

‘Deftly drawn, powerfully realised, and full of pitch-black humour.’
Peter McGoran, Hot Press

‘This is a superb thriller, as fast-paced and breathless and skillfully crafted as it’s possible to be.’
Anne Cunningham, Meath Chronicle

‘Terry Brankin Has A Gun is well-told, skipping smartly and clearly from the present to several past timelines … The thriller plotline is spare and periodically nerve-wracking, mixed in with broader themes of guilt, destiny, history and the possibility of redemption.’
Darragh McManus, Irish Independent

‘Where this novel really scores is in its depiction of Ulster’s moral maze … This is Belfast noir indeed, with the reader’s feelings turning this way and that’
Jane Hardy, The Irish News


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