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Killing Thatcher: The IRA, the Manhunt and the Long War on the Crown

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The security services had been lax in protecting the Grand Hotel and in monitoring Magee’s movements before October 1984, but dogged and painstaking police work in Brighton, London, Belfast, Norwich and Dublin led to his capture and imprisonment.

He looks at the origins of the Troubles and the difficult background of Magee himself, who was largely brought up in England.The RUC, Garda Síochána, British Army and domestic and overseas intelligence agencies, MI5 and MI6, all kept files on him. As Carroll so vividly describes it, “Like a monstrous guillotine, it sliced through concrete, steel, and wood, all the way to the ground floor. He gives a fascinating account of the investigation into the bombing, an extraordinarily painstaking operation that he narrates with all the pace of a good thriller.

In this fascinating and compelling book, veteran journalist Rory Carroll retraces the road to the infamous Brighton bombing in 1984 – an incident that shaped the political landscape in the UK for decades to come. When he was home secretary in the mid-1960s, Roy Jenkins suggested that the uniformed policeman who was detailed to stand outside his door might come inside and make himself useful as a part-time footman.She came to power in 1979, a few months after her confidant, Airy Neave, had been killed when a bomb exploded under his car in the House of Commons. Carroll looks at the Brighton bombing in detail, following with an analysis of the scene, the aftermath and the manhunt to discover those who was responsible. Overhearing her bodyguards and aides fretting about getting her safely and quickly back to London she told them: “I do not mind where you take me but there is one clear instruction. The Brighton bombing is a magnet for alternative histories, sliding doors theories in which it is possible to enter a world of infinite speculation about what might have followed had the most consequential British politician of her time been murdered that night. Thatcher’s personal conduct, even to her many enemies, was remarkable: she seemed neither shaken nor stirred.

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