by Don J. Snyder
Authentic history of the not-long-ago “Troubles” in Northern Ireland mix with a mid-life crisis for an American woman in “Night Crossing,” a compelling read that caught my eye in the library.
It was a 2001 release by Alfred J. Knopf, so this fast-paced, 277-page novel isn’t new. It is, however, one of the few works of fiction that I’ve come across that deals with the subject of abortion in more than a cursory, matter-of-fact, approving way. In real life abortion isn’t an easily made decision, and author Don J. Snyder does a good job of bringing the abortion decision-making process into his story without making it the focal point.
What is the focal point is the conflict that caused bloodshed in Northern Ireland for so many decades. Snyder uses the Aug. 15, 1998 car bombing in Omagh as the jumping off point for what turns out to be a chase-filled drama across the counties in the north of the Irish island. In real life, 29 people died and more than 200 innocents were injured from the blast that was pinned on a splinter group of the Irish Republican Army, a group that opposed disarmament and a peace settlement. But what role did the British government play in the affair?
Snyder hooks his readers early with the thought of complicity in the evil. How it rolls out makes for great reading. — bz