‘Tan’ by David Lawlor
When David Lawlor asked me if I would like to review his book I was more than happy to as I love discovering new authors. I also enjoy reading historical fiction and am always keen to learn more.
The story begins in Balbriggan, Ireland in 1914. Liam Mannion is accused of a crime he didn’t commit and is forced into exile. He travels to England where he enlists and goes to war in France. Five years later Liam is back in England, with nightmares of his battlefield memories. He finds employment in a Manchester cotton mill but prejudice and illness soon leave him without work. Starving and roaming the streets, Liam is rescued and enlists in a new military force called The Black and Tans, who are heading to Ireland. He is posted to the town he originally fled from.
Whilst Liam has been away, things have changed drastically. His childhood friends have joined the republican cause, while his brother has allied himself to the Crown forces. Liam struggles with his own conflicted feelings about his duty to the ruthless Tans and loyalty to his friends. He also comes face to face with the man who spread lies about him all those years ago.
As soon as I began reading the first chapter I knew that this book was for me and that I was really going to enjoy it. It was exciting from the start and full of action throughout. This is a very believable story and it gives you a good idea about what Ireland was like in those days. Liam really showed his bravery especially when he found himself a bit too close to his enemies. I also like how each chapter has been divided into several sections so that you get to know what is happening in all parts of the story, without having to wait too long.
If you like historical fiction I truly recommend this book. But I warn you, you’ll find it very hard to put down. Reading ‘Tan’ has left me with a thirst for more by this author.
I give this book 5 out of 5.