Excerpt Chapter One "The tea has got cold. The younger man, Private Harding, cleared his throat. He made no move to rise. He shook his head. We could use some air.
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Start your review of Cathedral Write a review Shelves: crime-mystery , spy-vs-spy , thriller , terrorism , reread In the early 80s a group of Irish terrorists seize St. Patricks Cathedral and take hostages during New Yorks St. Patricks Day parade.
Its hard to believe that this never got adapted into a movie starring Bruce Willis. Maybe its because this isnt the story of a single action hero trapped with a group of bad guys. In fact, this is more like The Taking of Pelham One Two Three than Die Hard with its depiction of how political agendas and public relations creep into a hostage situation. While the book does feature the idea the terrorists are unknowingly playing into the hands of a British intelligence officer who is trying to discredit the IRA with America Which makes this yet another fictional story about a terrorist plot that is some type of false flag operation.
DeMille fans should recognize some early versions of characters. The slimy Major Martin is the kind of arrogant double-dealing prick that DeMille usually creates as spies in his books. Probably the best character is IRA veteran John Hickey who uses Irish charm and bullshit to cover a nature of pure evil. Hickey is a devil delighting in the desecration of a holy place even as plays the good Catholic.
He likes to crack jokes and sing Irish folk songs while quietly doing everything he can to make sure that things end with the maximum body count. Unfortunately one of the weaker characters is Brian Flynn, the leader of the terrorists. However, while trying to make him somewhat sympathetic, DeMille creates a muddle around the character in which his true motivations get lost throughout the story.
There are also some real story issues. Yet by the ending this has shifted to the idea that Martin had planned every detail to the point of being able to stroll into St. So why would Flynn, or even Hickey who hated the British, go along with this plan if they knew they were doing exactly what Martin wanted?
And once Burke warned all the officials that Martin was working against them, why would they bring him back in and listen to his advice? While creating a believable scenario in which politics play a large part, he also delivers some great action although it does seem to take too long to finally get to the final showdown.