The story opens and closes with Declan Osborne in jail, being interrogated by British officers. In between, we learn of the sequence of events that has led him there. Set in Ireland at the time of the Black and Tans, Declan is a young man who sets out to join the cause full of doomed idealism.
Patrick McGinley (1937 - present) is an Irish novelist, born in Glencolumbkille, Ireland. After teaching in Ireland, McGinley moved to England where he pursued a career as a publisher and author. His strongest literary influence is his Irish predecessor; author Flann O'Brien, who McGinley emulates most noticeably in his novel The Devil's Diary. McGinley is the author of eight novels including: Goosefoot (1983) Foggage (1983) The Trick of the Ga Bolga (1986) and most recently The Lost Soldier's Song (1994).