The Bombmaker – Stephen Leather

Readers Digest Select 2001

Ten years ago Andrea Hayes was the IRA’s most brilliant bombmaker.  Then, sickened by an incident that went horrifyingly wrong, she gave it all up.  Now she lives a safe suburban life, her true identity hidden from even her husband and daughter Katie.  But when Katie is kidnapped, Andrea realises that her past, chillingly, has come back to haunt her.  The tension mounts page by page in this superb new thriller.

After a slow start, I finally managed to get into this story and it only took me a few days to read it.  It takes place over nine days from when Katie is kidnapped to the final fiery conclusion.

Andy is a bombmaker of the highest skills and is coerced into making a massive fertiliser bomb after her daughter is taken.  She must make the bomb in order to keep her daughter alive.

There is also a side story to this, the Chinese consortium, and it was rather confusing to start with, because the link to the story was unapparent, and it wasn’t until the final scenes that the link was made, which is a shame, because it could have been introduced a lot sooner and would have made more sense to the reader.

Andy and Martin, Andy’s husband, have a close link which is told through this tale, even though Martin was unaware of Andy’s past and he seemed to be rather accepting rather quickly.  I guess if you love someone enough, you would willingly look over the fact that she was a killer.

Apart from some small plot points, I enjoyed the tale, although I wouldn’t have called it a thriller, I didn’t get a thrill or feel any tension with the story, a Suspense would have been a better title.  Well worth a read.


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