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22nd Jul 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Those We Left Behind by Stuart Neville

It tells the story of two brothers who both served time for a terrible crime

Rebecca McKnight

Stuart Neville’s Those We Left Behind is a book we won’t be leaving behind any time soon (and we mean that in the best possible way).

It’s a novel that leaves an impression and one that we would highly recommend, if disturbing thrillers are your kind of thing.

Set in Belfast, Northern Ireland, it tells the story of two brothers who both served time for a terrible crime.

Ciaran is just out of prison having confessed to the murder of his foster father seven years previously and eager to reunite with his older brother Thomas, whose sentence was mitigated by his sibling’s statement.

Throw in a detective who is convinced justice wasn’t served, a man determined to get revenge for his father and an intriguing sub-plot – and you’ve got yourself quite the narrative.


Those We Left Behind is dark and at times quite brutal but it is a book that you won’t be able to put down.

It’s packed with emotion (making it different to other works in this genre) and there’s plenty of action to keep the plot moving.

While all of the characters are deeply flawed, you can’t help but want to find out what really happened on that dreadful night and you soon realise that justice, and the truth, isn’t always black and white.