Lies of Silence

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Lies of Silence
First edition cover.
Author Brian Moore
Country Ireland/United Kingdom
Language English
Subjects The Troubles
Genre Suspense, literary novel
Publisher Nan A. Talese
Publication date
August 1, 1990
Pages 197
ISBN 978-0-385-41514-9
Preceded by The Colour of Blood (1989)
Followed by No Other Life (1993)

Lies of Silence is a novel by Brian Moore published in 1990. It focuses on the personal effects of The Troubles, a period of ethnic, religious and political conflict in Northern Ireland from the late 1960s to 1998.


The plot revolves around the protagonist, Michael Dillon, and his wife, Moira Dillon, who are held hostage in their house by terrorists that are members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA). The men force Dillon, an apolitical hotel manager, to drive his bomb-laden car to the hotel he manages in order to kill a leading Protestant reverend, members of the Orange Order, and militant Protestants, all of whom are attending the same function. Various aspects of female psychology are also present throughout the novel, including Dillon's extramarital affair with Canadian writer Andrea and Moira's mental breakdown following the revelation of his infidelity.[1]


Upon its publication, Lies of Silence received positive acclaim internationally. Publishers Weekly described it as "Moore's most powerful, meaningful and timely novel",[2] the Toronto Sun said that "once again Brian Moore proves his astonishing versatility and compelling humanity as a writer," the Irish Independent noted that "the writing is crisp and taut" and that "the moral crises [...] are intensely complex and gripping,"[3] and the New York Times described it as "characteristically first rate... intelligent... brilliant."[4] Lies of Silence was one of six books shortlisted for the 1990 Man Booker Prize.[5]

Lies of Silence is a choice for English comparative study for the Leaving Certificate in schools in Ireland.[1]


External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Exam Centre Leaving cert: Lies of Silence". Skoool. Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  2. ^ Publishers Weekly. Lies of Silence (9780385415149): Brian Moore: Books. Amazon. ASIN B0108EQO3Y. 
  3. ^ Reviews sourced from blurb and pg. 3 of Lies of Silence, Vintage Books 1999 edition. ISBN 978-0-09-999810-5.
  4. ^ Prose, Francine (September 2, 1990). "The Reluctant Terrorist". New York Times. Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Prize Archive 1990". The Man Booker Prizes. Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c "Lies of Silence". Good Reads. Retrieved November 15, 2013.