on 11 November 2001
I re-read this the other day and I still feel what I felt at the time, that this was the finest thriller published in a ten year span between 1986-1996, which includes a lot of good books. Why this novel never got filmed when the childish Patriot Games did, is beyond me. JIG is so rich in character and plot, and so well-written, it's incredible that it has been overlooked by Hollywood. We've had so many crummy movies made about the IRA - and yet the best thriller on the subject, JIG, slipped through the net. Do yourself a favor and read this beauty again...
on 4 December 2005
A shipment of money, raised in the USA and destined for the IRA, is hijacked by person or persons unknown. The IRA is obviously not going to be happy with this - their best man, Jig, is dispatched to find out what went wrong, retrieve the money, and mete out retribution. He has a contact in the States, but the Brits are sending a man after him, and it looks like another player has headed across the Atlantic as well.
"Jig" is a first-rate thriller, one of the best ever to use the conflict in Northern Ireland as its driving force, and far superior to the bulk of better publicised (and hyped-up) thrillers published since the 1980's. Although the situation in Ireland has undergone significant changes since the writing of "Jig", it remains a compulsive read. Campbell Armstrong writes a fast paced novel in which he builds a number of convincing characters and explores the dynamics of their interaction in sophisticated fashion. It's a timeless classic. This is an intelligent, seriously well-written page turner of a book from a highly skilled author. An exciting, highly enjoyable thriller.
on 12 February 2013
I read this book when it first came out many years ago and have re-read it several times and it is fantastic, I keep checking for a kindle version, hint hint, but not yet...
on 21 June 2012
I planned on reading this book for ages having bought another book in the Frank Pagan series (Jig is the first) and have finally read it. The book is set in London, Ireland and East-coast USA which play the backdrop for an Irish Republican v Loyalist battle over the loss of a shipment of £10m in collected funds and the ensuing chase between the single-minded good guy and the bad guys.
Although the £10m amount dates the book a little, the book otherwise doesn't feel dated at all. The characters are easy to understand and there's a good balance of twists and description for a reader of this genre. The only fault I would raise is that the characters are sometimes a bit too obvious... the American President and his family is evidently based on the Kennedys, the Protestant minister seemingly is supposed to be Ian Paisley.
on 17 September 2007
Jig was first published in 1987 and now, twenty years later, in a new edition, it still stands as one of the really memorable thrillers of the past twenty years. Its hero, counter-terrorist agent Frank Pagan, is on the track of the man known only as 'Jig', an Irish terrorist whose distinction is that he kills only select targets - no random bombings, no innocent bystanders.
Jig is sent to America to track down millions of dollars collected by IRA sympathisers in the US only to be stolen from a hijacked ship in mid-Atlantic. And of course Frank Pagan, dogged, determined, carrying a tragedy of his own, goes in pursuit...This is a novel not only of plot, but of excellent characterization and intelligent insight into The Troubles of the time. People who were lured into reading the mindless Patriot Games would do well to read this book, which is illuminating, tense, a novel filled with unforgettable scenes, betrayals, family ties, and one man's quest to find his nemesis, whom he has come grudgingly to admire. Read it. You won't be disappointed.