In 1991, Maire Anne McCartney is recruited for a one-off IRA mission as a honey trap. She is told there will be no violence. But she has been lied to.
To save herself, eighteen-year-old Maire must flee across the border alone, and start a
Years later, human rights lawyer Anne-Marie Gallagher is appointed Minister of State for Security and Immigration. At the same time, the police in Belfast receive an anonymous tip-off. The password is verified from the Troubles and the co-ordinates lead DCI Jon Carne to a field. And a body.
The new Minister receives a message and realises that the new life she has crafted is at risk of being uncovered.
And when Carne’s investigation brings Anne-Marie to his attention, she must decide where her allegiances lie.
I've not really read a political thriller before and while I did enjoy Woman of State overall, I must say that it did take me quite a while to engage with. I can't quite put my finger on why, but it felt a little bit slow moving for me at first.
However, once I did start to become more involved in the story, I found that the plot was brilliantly clever and full of secrets and betrayal. The characters were well-developed and most of their dialogue felt realistic. Anne-Marie goes from being a naïve young girl, to an MP who will go to any lengths to keep her secrets hidden. The changes she has gone through are slowly divulged as the book flicks between past and present, revealing details about Anne-Marie and the events that led up to where she is today. Although intrigue was maintained as things were gradually revealed, I did feel like it was dragged out a little bit.
The ending was good and I liked that there was still some uncertainty about what Anne-Marie was going to do next and what would become of her and Carne.
Overall, I'd give this book 3.5 out of 5. It was a clever political thriller with a good plot and cast of characters. It took me a little longer that I would've liked to get immersed in, but it was still an enjoyable read and I'd definitely consider reading more by Simon Berthon.
Woman of State is published by HQ on July 13th
This book was provided for free in exchange for an honest review.