The Bombmarker - Stephen Leather

First Chapters - Stephen Leather The Bombmarker
The Bombmarker - Stephen Leather book cover

Ten years ago, Andrea Hayes was the best master bombmaker in the business. Young, beautiful and deadly, she was the favourite of her Irish Republican masters. Then it all went wrong. Four children were killed when disruption was all that was intended. It all became too much and she turned away from her trade.

Now, a new Andrea Hayes lives a safe suburban life, with her loving husband and young daughter, safe in the knowledge that her past is another country. But then her daughter is kidnapped by persons unknown and the past has come knocking.

As Andrea gets blackmailed into returning to her craft and building a bomb that dwarfs any planted by the IRA, a faceless mastermind is working behind the scenes to pull off one of the most daring scams in history.

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The advent of the peace process in Northern Ireland put paid to a lot of thriller plots involving the IRA, but I think I've managed to come up with a new twist in The Bombmaker. It's a kidnapping story, which I'd wanted to write for some time, but I didn't want to do a straightforward kidnapping-for-money tale. I'm especially proud of the ending - a real race against time with a three-way Mexican standoff.

There's a couple of SAS characters in the book that I like -Crosbie and Payne - who I think will return in later books.