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Running with Crows - The Life and Death of a Black and Tan Paperback – 3 Feb 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 298 pages
  • Publisher: FeedARead (3 Feb. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1782991867
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782991861
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 117,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'An excellent and well researched book ... an interesting and enjoyable read ... throws new light on the life and death of an Irish Black & Tan' - Royal Irish Constabulary Forum

'A well written and entertaining story ... an enjoyable read' - Irish Volunteers Commemorative Society

Book Description

It is 1921. In Ireland a war of bloody reprisals wages between republican volunteers and Royal Irish Constabulary. The RIC, their ranks augmented by Great War veterans - dubbed the Black & Tans - face daily ambushes and sieges. Outrages are perpetrated by both sides in this struggle for an independent Ireland. Meanwhile, in Dublin's Mountjoy Gaol, Constable William Mitchell awaits execution for the murder, in the sleepy Wicklow town of Dunlavin, of respected magistrate Mr Robert Dixon.

Who was Mitchell and did he in fact kill the magistrate? What political machinations make Mitchell's execution a foregone conclusion? Who is the sinister character whose life runs in parallel to Mitchell's and whose path briefly crosses his - with fatal consequences?

DJ Kelly's latest research-based novel reflects the true, yet hitherto untold, story of the only member of the British crown forces to be executed for murder during the Irish War of Independence.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I turned the first "virtual page" of my new Kindle, I was drawn into this sad but true story, of a man born in Victorian times, in the hated tenements of Dublin. Life was filthy, overcrowded, disease-ridden malnourished children. That made me think that already he was a victim of his era. You could comment that he was just a product of that time. As he tried to raise above it all, he would be put down by life's hard knocks but he still tried to do the right thing. Rosie, the first love of his life, stayed in his memory until his dying day.Well researched, skilfully and sympathetically written by the author D.J. Kelly, you feel as though you were there with him throughout his life up to the last fateful moments. If you had an ancestor born in Dublin, who served in the British army or the Royal Irish Constabulary, then this will interest you and grab your attention until the last page. I would recommended this book very highly.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have quickly become a fan of D J Kelly's work. Having read 'A wistful eye' I decided to give 'Running with the crows' a go. What amounted to Mitch's life story was a gripping and compelling tale. The detail and description came across in a way where I could visualize what was going on in Mitch's life. Again , like A wistful eye, the author puts the story across in a way where you can form your own opinion regarding the main character, and indeed the events in the story. Again, respect has to be paid to the extraordinary amount of research that must have gone into this book. As with another historical book I have read, I liked the footnotes at the end that detailed post trial what happened to the main characters that featured in this book. Once again, there are a couple more books by this author that are only available in print that I would love to be available digitally. Please get them uploaded.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really liked Running with Crows, The author writes with clarity throughout and shows her protagonist, William Mitchell, in all the facets of his character, in an empathetic and fascinating way. Yet, still, is distanced from him. All the characters are well rounded and the dialogue defines each of the central figures in the book. The settings are meticulously described: from Dublin, to Bermondsey in London, to his part in World War, One at the Battle of the Somme - and then as a Black and Tan in the 1920s. It is an obviously well researched book. My only problem with Running with Crows is the pace; sometimes, although I know it's necessary to detail the story for the background, I found the pace slowing almost to a standstill, Evwn so, this is one book I would recommended
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.

It was obvious from the start that the author had researched every aspect in writing it,
from life in areas of Dublin and South London to what it was like for soldiers in India at
the turn of the century.
It covered various points of Irish history I was not aware of, which I found very interesting.

A thoroughly enjoyable read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book having read 'A Wistful Eye' by the same author. I had heard of the black and tans but had never really asked about who they were and had always thought they were an unauthorised group of vigilantes in Ireland. Reading this book taught me a lot about conditions in Ireland but at the same time presented a sympathetic view of how a person raised in poverty could unwittingly become involved in petty crime and end up charged with a capital offence. It follows the life of a boy raised in the slums of Dublin and Bermondsey through his career in the Army in India and the first world war to his final job in the Royal Irish Constabulary. Having previously read Roy Farran's 'Winged Dagger' (uncensored 1945 edition) and also Len Deighton's 'Winter' I found certain similarities: The former on how the British Govt. placed ex military personnel in positions for which their training was unsuited, (perhaps they still do - using young soldiers to 'police' troubled areas? and in the latter book I could not help making comparisons on how someone could become a member of what is now seen as an 'evil' organisation.)

The research into the 16th Lancers was also of impressive, (I assume it was researched!) and the subject's period of service with the Royal West Sussex reg in India was also of special interest to me, I would have liked more on both! Perhaps I will get that in the author's next book?
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An excellent story of the the life and times of William Mitchell and the people he meets through his life as a young man. From growing up in Dublin, the families move to Bermondsey, London. and his life of petty crime. Follow his adventures as a soldier in India that ended in a dishonourable discharge. He enlists as a soldier to fight in World War, taking part in the Battle of the Somme. On his return to England where he met his future wife whom he fooled into believing he was wealthier than he was by engaging in criminal activity. Under pressure by his wife he decided to earn an honest living and applied for the job of temporary policeman with the Royal Irish Constabulary. As I understand, many of the Black and Tans, of English and Irish origin, as they were known were former soldiers hewed from the trench warfare of the first World War. Their treatment of prisoners at the time of the Anglo-Irish war (the 'Tan' war) in 1920 was brutal. William 'Mitch' Mitchell was found guilty of the murder of a magistrate and was hung for his alleged deeds. DJ Kelly's narrative had me hooked. This book, should you have an interest in historical fact should appeal to you.
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