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A Prayer for the Dying [Kindle Edition]

Jack Higgins
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description



The classic Jack Higgins thriller—now available as an ebook


An ex-IRA soldier must save a priest targeted for elimination to gain absolution for his violent past


Everyone has demons to overcome, but Martin Fallon has more than most. A ruthless hitman and executioner for the IRA, Fallon is haunted by a mistake that led to the explosion of a school bus full of children.


When he’s threatened by the sadistic Meehan brothers, Fallon must agree to one last hit. But this time there’s a witness: a priest named Father De Costa. And when everyone else wants the Father dead, Fallon is determined to protect him, to earn redemption from his life of crime and forgiveness for the blood on his hands.


Editorial Reviews


“Jack Higgins is the master.” —Tom Clancy


'Tough, bitter, superbly written' The New York Times 'A compulsively readable storyteller' Sunday Express 'Higgins is a master of his craft' Daily Telegraph 'A thriller writer in a class of his own' Financial Times 'The master craftsman of good, clean adventure' Daily Mail

Product Details

  • File Size: 559 KB
  • Print Length: 166 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road; Reprint edition (June 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003T0GVI8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,178,211 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Jack Higgins' Best September 3, 2002
I was first introduced to Jack Higgins with 'The Eagle has Landed' and 'Storm Warning', two WWII era stories. I enjoyed his ability to develop characters while keeping the action moving and suspenseful. However, it was this book, 'A Prayer for the Dying' that made me a lifelong fan of his writing. Actually written before he exploded into popularity with 'The Eagle has Landed' this tale is deeper and more moving than any of his books, before or after. Each character, both good and bad, have demons to overcome.
The story is about Martin Fallon, an ex-IRA executionor, who has bailed out on the movement after an tragic miscalculation caused a bus-load of school children to be blown up. We find him in London trying to leave the country and being chased by both his old comrades and Scotland Yard. He is blackmailed into killing one crime boss by another, and is seen by a priest Father De Costa. The story takes Fallon from executionor to hero as he is forced to protect the life of the priest at all costs.
Higgins takes the time to develop each character in this story into very complex people. Beside Fallon and De Costa we're introduced to Jack Meehan, (the crime boss with a twisted sense of fairness), his brother Billy (the original thing from under the rock), Miller (the frustrated Scotland Yard Detective), and Anna de Costa (the blind niece). Each character has wonderful and surprising quirks. A great example: Jack Meehan is an legit undertaker with many non-legit sidelines including prostution, gambling, and drugs. However, he is also VERY protective of the elderly, feeling they are always being taken advantage of. He actually crucifies one of his employees for trying to swindle an 87 year old widower out of 20 pounds.
To go further into the plot would spoil all the great surprises and twists. If you're a Jack Higgins fan you MUST find this book and read it. It's out of print but any good used book store will have it and it's well worth the trouble.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacularly heartwrenching May 21, 2000
I must have read this book five years ago-- probably more like seven. In any case, it wasn't my copy-- we were renting a cabin, and it happened to be on the bookshelf-- I picked it up, and could NOT put it down until I read the whole thing, at the expense of my vacation. Not that I minded, mind you. ;) In any case, Higgins' tragic tale will have you aching over every moment. In fact, this novel is nearly perfect-- except for a couple of sexually explicit scenes, which I skipped quickly over. Due to that fact, this is not for sensetive readers at all, and usually I'm one of those-- but, frankly, after all the books I've ever read, this one was in my life for a mere twenty-four hours, and I remember it as one of the best.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perennial favorite! February 1, 2000
I first read this book about two decades ago. I think I can best describe the book by describing how that first encounter with APFD went. I had borrowed the book from a friend. I read it at one sitting - it's a quick read - and felt compelled to share it with others. In the week for which I had the book, I loaned it to four other friends then read it once more before returning it. Since then, every two years or so, I'd have an urge to read it again and I'd go out and find a copy. The book can almost be called a classic.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whew! What a page-turner! September 26, 1999
By A Customer
Jack Higgins plumbs incredible depths of emotion in this book. I've read 'em all, and in my opinion, APFD is one of his greatest works. It's really incredible how well Higgins blends violence, religion, and passion into the story, without making the book into a cheesy mess. Regardless of what you believe, you'll enjoy this book, and truly hurt for the tragic hero, Martin Fallon. If you're looking for a book that will twist your heart inside out more than once, look no farther than Prayer For The Dying.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloody Marvellous!!!! December 24, 1997
By A Customer
The book will take a grip of you from the first page and it will hold you untill the last one. The book contains many good characters, like Martin Fallon, a ruthless killer whose life is a big black hole. Higgins surely knows how to keep the pace and suspense "at maximum speed". The book contains many spectacular action scenes, described skillfully. The ending is bloody with a twist.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of a kind November 9, 1997
Higgens is marvelous in understanding charachters. A nice story a hitman who's feels finaly guilty after blowing up a schoolbus by accident.The sign of taking innocent children's life leads him for an escape full of suspense.With a priest he was paid to kill, but can't for a spiritual reason and and hunting past leads him to the contridiction of life.Higgens is a fair story teller who burries the reader in violence and thrill but gratefully puts a summer rose of emotions above the grave.You don't have to be christian or an irish dude to read it.It's a cultural suspense in a religious frame.Very good
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Prayer For The Dying May 20, 2013
By Cphe
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
4.5 stars. Read this thriller by Jack Higgins years ago and it's stood the test of time in my eyes. Martin Fallon is an interesting character. An executioner for the IRA, he is haunted by a mistake that he will carry for the rest of his days. He's contracted by the thoroughly evil Jack Meehan to murder a rival in England for the price of a safe passage. When the hit is witnessed by the local Catholic priest Michael da Costa their lives become intertwined.

It's a fast flowing story, violent in parts, filled with strong characters but it was the softly spoken, tortured Martin Fallon that made this a keeper for me. It's somewhat dated now but still an excellent read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Kelsey's Mom
This is a quick and easy read. The twists and turns were somewhat predictable, but it's like eating popcorn - you just can't stop. Read more
Published 15 months ago by William D Roberson
4.0 out of 5 stars We enjoy Jack Higgins.
I've found him and read all his books, so after awhile I needed a little break, but do enjoy them very much.
Published 15 months ago by L. Woods
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Another great Higgin's book!
Well written with a great story line.
I couldn't wait for my wife to finish it so we could discuss it!
Published 15 months ago by Robert Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars Riviting
Keeps you wanting to turn the next page. Fine character development; main character flawed but has a strange and deep felt morality.
Published 15 months ago by Thomas A Wittkamp
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written story
I have read other books by Mr. Higgins and have never been disappointed. This was a fast moving story and really enjoyable if you like suspense.
Published 16 months ago by mrsmcg
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read
If one loves dialogue, this is the one to read. You can practically see your characters when readin gthis by how the talk. An amazing study of speech and how it defins people. Read more
Published 16 months ago by D. Davison
4.0 out of 5 stars Movie was better
Bought the book after seeing the movie. I liked the movie much better. I have always liked Jack Higgens books.
Published 16 months ago by William Broadbent Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
Gangsters and hoods make for good stories. This was a really great one. I liked the setting, the intrigue of the unlikely villains business topped it all off really well.
Published 16 months ago by Dennis
3.0 out of 5 stars Lack Higgins A prayer for the dying
Too light ! Not gripping. The plot is predictable and full of re-used characters: the "fighting" priest, the "good" bad man, etc.
Published 18 months ago by Paulo S
4.0 out of 5 stars A good contained thriller
This Jack Higgins novel is confined to a small section of London, but the action moves at the pace of his other thrillers. It's just a little quieter. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Ray Shane
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More About the Author

Jack Higgins is among the world's most popular authors. Since the publication of The Eagle Has Landed--one of the biggest-selling thrillers of all time--every novel he has written has become an international bestseller, including The White House Connection and Day of Reckoning. He has had simultaneous number-one bestsellers in hardcover and paperback, and has been published in thirty-eight languages worldwide. Many of his books have been made into successful movies, among them The Eagle Has Landed, To Catch A King, and The Valhalla Exchange. He lives with his wife on Jersey in the Channel Islands.

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