The first two books in The Irish Trilogy by Orna Ross, a historical murder mystery series of love, revenge and redemption.
After the Rising
Twenty years ago, Jo Devereux fled Mucknamore, the small Irish village where she grew up, driven away by buried secrets and hatreds.
Now she is back and wants to uncover the truth about what really went on between her family and their friends, the O’Donovans, during the Ireland’s bitter Civil War…
The consequences of that bitter division in the 1920s carried down into Jo’s own life, shattering her relationship with Rory O’Donovan, the only man she ever loved, and driving her to leave Ireland, swearing she’d never return.
Now, Jo’s estranged mother has died, leaving her a suitcase full of letters and diaries that seem answer some questions about the past.
Was her great-uncle really murdered by Dan O’Donovan, his best friend?
And what part did her beloved grandmother play in this conflict?
Jo happy life in San Francisco has been unravelling since her friend Richard died last year. So now, much to her own surprise, she decides to stay on in Mucknamore and see if the letters and diaries bequeathed by her mother might provide the key to unlock the truth.
Over the course of a long hot summer, Jo is astonished to read about her grandmother and great-aunt and their part in Ireland’s fight for freedom.
She draws close again to Rory, who still lives in Mucknamore and is mired in an unhappy marriage.
As she tells him about their shared family past, they realize their love affair was doomed long before they were born.
Now that they know, can there be a second chance at happiness? Rory is urging her to rebel, to forget the past and start over again.
The strength of her feelings frightens her. She has learned how the passion of rebellion sweeps people up but what happens after the rising?
Before the Fall
It’s August in the long, hot summer of 1995 and Jo Devereux can’t believe that she still hasn’t returned home to San Francisco.
Instead she remains in Mucknamore, a small village in County Wexford, a home she swore she would never return to.
The time for her to have her baby draws near so why is she staying on in Ireland, in this crumbling shed at the edge of the ocean, reading the diaries and letters left to her by her estranged mother?
Jo has spent months writing about the death of her great uncle Barney Parle at the hands of Dan O’Donovan during the bitter Irish Civil War.
Now she must consider just who led Dan to his grisly death in the wake of Barney’s murder.
Combing the words of her ancestors with what was left unsaid, Jo is unprepared for her own reaction, as she comes to realise the price she, and Ireland, had to pay for freedom.
But what does it mean for her relationship with Rory, Dan’s great-nephew, her one great love, now again, drawing closer?
Will her mission to redeem the past be the key to her future?
Or is she about to lose everything, all over again?
After The Rising & Before the Fall is a sweeping, multigenerational tale set in the 1920s and 1990s Ireland and 1980s San Francisco.
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