Cathedral is a tight well thought out thriller. It feels like it takes place in real time, and we the reader always knows where everyone is and where the alliances lie. It was almost written forty years ago and is still well paced.
The Plot: is a Group of IRA rebels calling themselves the Fenians, take control of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral on St. Patty’s day, they take four hostages, a Cardinal, A Priest, Britt who leads the IRA task force, and a former IRA member that’s trying to talk peace and is also the lead terrorist ex-lover.The Fenians say if the IRA prisoners aren’t released from British rule, then they will kill the hostages and blow up the church at sunrise the next day.
What I liked: Everybody has an agenda, either personally and politically. Half of the people holding the Cathedral are Terrorists that just want to see the Cathedral burn and the hostages to die, while the others could be freedom fighters, and really believe this is the only way to get noticed and there people released. On the outside one want to see the place burn so there careers will benefit, while others are trying to say face or there own ass. It was written in the eighties, but doesn’t feel like it’s stuck in that decade, sure you’ll notice that there’s no cell phones and no non-smoking laws but the language and the weapons don’t feel like there from the eighties. The dialogue is great especially the Irish accents. One scene in book that reminds me of the incredible shootout in the movie Heat. and the last 80 or so pages will have you hooked. The opening is really intriguing.
What I Disliked: there could have been more explaining about why the IRA and the British are at war, the book glosses over it, but I could’ve had more to make me fully invested in the story.
This was my first Nelson Demille book and it will not be my last. I read this because there was a passage in the Stephen King book “Bag of Bones” where the Character a mystery writer named Mike Noonan, Says that “there’s nobody in mystery that does better than Nelson DeMille and Richard North Patterson.”
Recommendations: I would recommend this to readers of Tom Clancy, especially the novel Patriot Games. People who want to read a solid thriller. I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars.