Silver’s City by Maurice Leitch
Maurice Leitch: set in the dark days of the Troubles, his novel Silver’s City has been republished.
Thirty-six years after its original publication, the Whitbread Prize-winning Silver’s City has been republished, introducing a whole new generation of readers to the literary voice of Maurice Leitch. Set in the dark days of the Troubles, the tale is dark, gritty and loaded with the tension of the times. Loyalist gunman and hero Silver Steele has been sprung from his 10-year detention in the cages of Her Majesty’s Prison and is now “under the protection” of a hit-man named Galloway. The streets of Belfast have changed during Silver’s incarceration and the men seem to be fighting for a different cause. Roads blocks, checkpoints and helicopter presence are omnipresent but the atmosphere has changed: “It was rare to hear any mention of religion, no matter how oblique, these days. People were wary, had learned the lesson well.” The talk is now of prisoner protests and privileges. Galloway is hardcore, yet Silver is spent. Two strangers, thrown together in a world of bigotry and hatred, with a tenuous link. A timely reminder of hard borders and religious intolerance.