(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Dispatched to the United States by his mentor, Padraic Finn, Jig is given the name of a single contact, a defrocked priest, Father Joseph Tumulty, to aid him in his search. Jig is followed and hunted by a Scotland Yard agent, Frank Pagan, himself a victim of Irish terrorism, who, although hating Jig’s objectives, admires him for his concern for the safety of innocent bystanders. Pagan disrupts the contact between Jig and Tumulty. Left essentially on his own, Jig discovers the identity of three of four shadowy fund-raisers.

In the process, other key figures in the plot emerge, including the Northern Irish Protestant leader, the Reverend Ivor McInness; a former United States senator and IRA supporter, Harry Cairney; and Cairney’s physically lovely but venomous young wife, Celestine, whose true identity is not revealed until the conclusion. As the tale moves toward its end with large doses of extreme, but necessary, violence, Jig discovers that a trap has been set to frame him and at the same time discredit the entire Irish Catholic struggle against Protestantism and English domination in Northern Ireland. First separately and then together, Jig and Pagan become involved in a complex cat-and-mouse game that moves at whiplash speed toward an emotionally shattering conclusion.

This is an exceptionally readable book that propels the reader from one surprise to another to a satisfying, if not wholly unanticipated, conclusion. JIG is a superior example of its genre and is deserving of popularity.