From Publishers Weekly
McNamer (My Russian
; One Sweet Quarrel
) returns with a haunting novel of love, friendship and faith set in a world where none of those values triumphs. Brothers Neil and Aidan Tierney grow up on the prairies of pre–WWII Montana, and after Pearl Harbor Neil becomes a B-29 pilot in the Pacific, and Aidan joins the FBI and is assigned to covert duty in Argentina. Upon their return in 1946, Neil establishes a life, but Aiden is dying of a mysterious disease and embittered by what he saw and did during the war. His threats to go public with bureau business call back to his life Roland Taliaferro, also an FBI agent, whose alcoholism has put his career on the rocks. In short order, Aiden is found dead, an apparent suicide by shotgun. Neil suspects a coverup, but he has no way of disproving the official report. McNamer gradually reveals the truth of the matter, drawing in characters whose connections initially appear ancillary. McNamer's insight into her damaged cast generates a deep emotional response that builds toward a reunion and revelation that bring satisfaction, if not peace. (Aug.)
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As boys, brothers Aidan and Neil Tierney ride the Montana prairie on horseback, yearning for adventure. As men, they find it: Neil pilots a B-29 over Japan, while Aidan hunts Nazis in Argentina for the FBI. But although they both return from the war, Aidan proves a casualty nonetheless. Sickened by a mysterious ailment, suffering almost more from disillusionment, he won't survive 1946. Spanning the years 1927 through 2003 and employing richly layered, interlocking points of view, McNamer teases out the surprising truth behind Aidan's death, portraying an era of idealism and of myopia and paranoia. If the high plains and deep valleys of Montana seem an unlikely place to play out the cynical spy hunting of the J. Edgar Hoover era, modern-day echoesallegations of profiteering in Iraqremind us that no place on earth is too remote to be touched by the prevailing winds. This loses a bit of pace in the middle, but the powerful ending rewards the time spent getting there. Elegant and assured, with a joy in language that shows on every page. Graff, Keir