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Warren A. LewisTop Contributor: Historical Fiction Books
4.0 out of 5 starsA Devlin Thriller
Reviewed in the United States on February 20, 2018
I guess it is just me, but I seem to spend the first third of each Liam Devlin book trying to figure out what is going on, who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. Then suddenly it all comes together and the last 2/3 are great. No different here. Perhaps part o the confusion is that Russian assassin Cuchulain goes underground as a priest for twenty years before he re-emerges to murder the Pope. Along the way he shows so much compassion for some people you wonder if he is making a change. Really a great book once you are solidly into it.
Before Higgins' characters-from Dillon, Roper, Ferguson, etc., began repeating the same tired cliche' phrases, locales and enemies, his books had real plots and a certain originality. Let alone Liam Devlin, a masterfully imagined "wee bit of a man", who made each of his books the most compelling of the entire Higgins library. This is not to say that "Confessional" did not have repetitive moments, as some of that is the unique charm of the stories. Just that in the last say 10 years, the books-while still entertaining, are not much more than an exercise in "let the intern cut and paste the dialog". Rant over, "Confessional" is a truly wonderful example of Higgins' best work. I had not re-read it in years, and it was as entertaining as ever.
An interesting plot intricately woven with Irish and British wit. The protagonist seems to get overshadowed by a sympathetic slant by the author, cleverly portraying the antagonist, a deepcover Soviet assassin. Even at the climax the reader is taken on a rollercoaster of intrigue and emotions. An excellent read!
5.0 out of 5 starsHighly Excellent Character Portrayals
Reviewed in the United States on January 8, 2018
All the characters seem to have written themselves in a very sympathetic manner. I was forced to like everyone except for two country bumpkins and two skinheads; very minor characters.. I really got involved with the characters in this book. The book isn't particularly long, but that just signifies that there is no chaff. Satisfying read.
A book of characters. Some with character, some without. Set on a mission of a lifetime of evil, th main character could not completely abolish the good within. The twists and turns made this a great story, if a harsh one.
Reviewed in the United States on November 17, 2018
the slow build up, the taught suspense, depth of characters all added upto an excellent book. devlin is a lovable character. surprisingly the good qualities shown by the villain of the piece, just goes to show hat everyone cannot be classified as white or black, there are so many who are greys
Reviewed in the United States on September 4, 2020
This review might be somewhat biased because this is actually my favourite book. For me, the action is perfectly paced and everything happens in a logical manner. It is an entertaining read, Kelly is such a multi-dimensional character and Devlin's wit is captivating. A very good read if it is your cup of tea.
4.0 out of 5 starsProbably one of his last decent ones.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 27, 2013
I've read Jack Higgins Novels man and boy and he's still one of my favorite novelists-still just-ish. If you're reading this review you're probably a seasoned Higgins fan and know what I mean when I say you know exactly what you're getting every time you pick up a Jack Higgins novel, a kind description of his work post 1979 would be somewhat formulaic. This is the one which set the template for most of his modern body of work. Liam Devlin in a race to stop a KGB assassin. Like most of his Novel's it very violent although somewhat tweed in that respect by modern standards and very exciting in a really accessible way. Confessional is well crafted fast moving and well worth a read. If you're new to Higgins however do yourself a great service and start with something like the Eagle has Landed or some early Sean Dillon stuff.
Excellent ,gasp a minute fast paced thriller written with panache and bravado.Itleads the reader through a maze of Irish politics ,Russian ingenuity and double dealing to a love story of lost childhood mixed together with Fergusons department for British intelligence and manipulating politicians as well as old friends like Liam Devlin.Un- put- downable.