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Irene Watson

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The DeValera Deception by Michael and Patrick McMenamin: Book Review
by Irene Watson   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Posted: Wednesday, January 26, 2011

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"The DeValera Deception" by authors Michael and Patrick McMenamin is set in North America during the summer of 1929. After his party has lost an election, Winston Churchill receives a clandestine assignment. British Intelligence, having learned the IRA is about to buy a massive amount of arms in the US for a coup d’état in the Irish Free State, is sending a team of SIS agents to investigate. Churchill is to persuade President Herbert Hoover to stop the arms from leaving the US. But a cautious Churchill assembles his own private team, unaware that the IRA is also plotting his assassination.

The DeValera Deception

Michael McMenamin & Patrick McMenamin
Enigma Books (2010)
ISBN 9781936274086
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader View (12/10)

“The DeValera Deception” is the first in a series of “Winston Churchill Thrillers” by the father-son writing team Michael and Patrick McMenamin. It is set in the era 1929-1939 when Churchill was without power. His was a lone voice warning against the growing power of Nazi Germany.

In the summer of 1929 Germany plotted with the USSR in a secret military agreement to develop new weapons.  Both countries want to dismember the newly revived independent Poland. To distract Britain from helping Poland, the plot includes a conspiracy to put the new Irish Free State at risk by working with arms dealers. It is the intention of the IRA to buy large quantities of arms in the United States.

Winston Churchill is planning a three-month holiday to North America when Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald asks him to take on an assignment to thwart the plans of the arms deal for an IRA overthrow in the new Irish Free State. The plan calls for Churchill to enlist American President Herbert Hoover to prevent the weapons from being delivered to Ireland. British SIS agents are assigned to the project. However Churchill puts together his own unofficial team to gather evidence.

This team includes Bourke Cockran, Jr., a former military intelligence agent, and Mattie McGary a photo journalist working for William Randolph Hearst. The two are attracted to each other even though they often conflict as they travel form New York to Los Angeles in an effort to discover who is funding the IRA as well as the locations of where the arms are amassed.

Cockran has an agenda of revenge to the kill the leader of the IRA team responsible for the murder of his wife in the Irish Civil War. Mattie has secrets of her own. Churchill, Cockran, and McGary are all targets for assassination.

This is a definite page turner. It is a combination of creative historical fact, speculation, and political controversy. Revenge, greed, and power motivate influential men in powerful leadership roles in government, industry, finance, and in the media.

The authors carefully develop characters both fictional and real-life with additional images superimposed into Churchill’s personality to better serve the role played out as the story is unveiled. As a member of English Parliament Churchill is described as: impulsive, a calculating romantic, with a reputation as being a swashbuckler, an opportunist.

This is a novel that includes universal interest, a historical setting with a fictional plot which features all of the elements of the “Mystery Thriller” genre. The authors are steeped in information and details from this era in history and Winston Churchill in particular. The Geneva Plan, IRA, and the politics of Irish freedom are all included in the development of the many-faceted complexities of an intricate plot.

I especially enjoyed the authors’ attention to detail and the note of authenticity when describing unique and well-known locations of interest in each of the various locales mentioned in the narrative.

The reader is soon asking the question, “What if? What if this really happened?” “The DeValera Deception” adds a new dimension of international intrigue, terrorism, conspiracy, and personal revenge to the genre of historical fiction which is entertaining and highly informational.

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