This story starts with the life of a man whose family were deeply involved in the conflict in Ireland in the early years of the Twentieth century. A close companion of Michael Collins, a prominent figure in the IRA at the time, he escaped to France following Collins' death. He marries a French woman and they have a son, Sean, but his wife dies and Sean's father returns to Ireland leaving the child in France to be raised by his grandmother. Educated to be a priest, Sean loses his faith before ordination and studies maths and chemistry at university where he meets Ulster-born Elsa. When Elsa becomes pregnant with Sean's child, she returns to Northern Ireland where Sean occasionally visits her and their son. Once qualified as a lecturer, Sean secures a position in Dublin where he meets and marries Maria. Despite his marriage and young daughter, he continues to visit Elsa in secret but when she marries an Ulsterman, he discovers that his wife and Sean are still lovers. A jealous man, he wreaks his revenge on Sean who, following a series of unfortunate events, is eventually persuaded to 'work' for the IRA. In time, Sean and Maria split. In a effort to rekindle their marriage, Maria becomes pregnant for a second time but for Sean, there is nothing left to save and they break up for a final time. Glyn is the daughter of parents who were killed in an accident when she was young, leaving her to be brought up by reluctant relatives. When we meet her, she is a semi-alcoholic teenager who catches the eye of a wealthy barrister. He takes her home and eventually, they marry but it doesn't last and she goes to live in Paris where she meets Sean. He is back lecturing at the university and Sean and Glyn start living together, dividing their time between Paris and Brittany. Sean's line of work takes him away occasionally, ostensibly to pick up and discuss manuscripts he translates for an agent. When his daughter comes to spend some weeks with them in summer, he is away when Glyn receives a call from the girl's mother, Sean's estranged wife. There is a family emergency and Glyn is required to bring Frances to London, which she does. This action has consequences.
On the Edge: A Post WWII Novel of Murder & Suspense by Peter Lovesey
- Hardcover: 281 pages
- Publisher: Chivers (June 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0754076865
- ISBN-13: 978-0754076865