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WSJ on Flynn Berry’s “Trust Her”

Mysteries: Flynn Berry’s ‘Trust Her’

Plus Peter Swanson’s ‘A Talent for Murder’ and Walter Mosley’s ‘Farewell, Amethystine.’

By Tom Tolan

Tessa and Marian Daly, the Northern Irish sisters featured in Flynn Berry’s 2021 novel, “Northern Spy,” return in the equally gripping “Trust Her,” set in the present day. It’s been three years since the IRA interrogated the two in a farmhouse on suspicion they were informers, working with the British in Belfast. (Marian was, and Tessa helped.) Marian stabbed one of their captors in the throat with a hairpin; the sisters then faked their own deaths, fled to Dublin and assumed new identities: Tessa as a newspaper editor, Marian as a member of an air-ambulance service. Each has a child she dotes upon. Tessa admits: “Marian and I have both grown careless of ourselves in certain ways.”

Their comfortable new lives end one sunny afternoon when Tessa is driving alone on a country road. Her car is rear-ended, and two men seize her and bring her to Eoin Royce, an IRA brigade commander whom Tessa knew as a child in Belfast. He demands she work for him now and convert her old MI5 handler to the IRA cause. If she won’t, Eoin says, all her cousins in the North will be killed.

Marian and Tessa make their own plan: Tessa will meet with their old spy-boss, but the sisters will discreetly work to foil Eoin’s goals. Their double game grows more dangerous as other family secrets are revealed and factional rifts become apparent. Read the full review at the Wall Street Journal.

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