Excerpt from So Say the Fallen by Stuart Neville, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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So Say the Fallen

The Belfast Novels

by Stuart Neville

So Say the Fallen by Stuart Neville X
So Say the Fallen by Stuart Neville
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2016, 336 pages

    Jun 2017, 336 pages


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Gary Presley
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Print Excerpt

Reverend Peter McKay had presided over that funeral too. One of the hardest he'd ever done. Grief so raw it had charged the air in the church, made it thick and heavy. McKay had heard every sob trapped inside the walls, felt each one as if it had been torn from his own chest.

Roberta reached out to the picture of the smiling child, touched her fingertips to the face. McKay moved his hand from her shoulder, down her arm, until his fingers circled her slender wrist.

"It's maybe best you don't touch anything," he said. "For when the police come."

Then Roberta's legs buckled and she collapsed to her knees beside the bed. She reached for her husband's still hand, buried her face in the blanket, close to where his legs should have been. McKay watched as her shoulders juddered, listened as her keening was smothered by the bedclothes. The display of grief quietly horrified him, even though his rational mind knew hers was a natural and inevitable reaction. But his irrational mind, that wild part of him, clamoured, asking, what about me? What about me? What about us?

McKay kept his silence for a time before touching her shoulder once more and saying, "I'll make the phone calls."

He left her to her wailing and exited into the hall.

Such a grand place. Mr. Garrick had built it for his new wife when they first married seven years ago. Six bedrooms, half of them with bathrooms, three receptions, a large garage that held Mr. Garrick's modest collection of classic cars. An acre of sweeping lawns and flower beds. Enough money to pay for a gardener and cleaner to look after it all.

They should have had a long and happy life together. But that was not God's will, Mr. Garrick had once said after he and Reverend McKay had prayed together.

God had no part in it, McKay had almost said. But he held his tongue.

McKay seldom thought of God any more, unless he was writing a sermon or taking a service. Reverend Peter McKay had ceased to believe in God some months ago. Everything since had been play-acting, as much out of pity for the parishioners as a desire to keep his job. No God. No sin. No heaven. No hell.

Reverend Peter McKay knew these things as certainly as he knew his own name.

He went to the telephone on the hall table, picked up the handset, and dialled.

Excerpted from So Say the Fallen by Stuart Neville. Copyright © 2016 by Stuart Neville. Excerpted by permission of Soho Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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