Former paramilitary killer Gerry Fegan is haunted by his victims, twelve souls who shadow his every waking day and scream through every drunken night. Just as he reaches the edge of sanity they reveal their desire: vengeance on those who engineered their deaths. From the greedy politicians to the corrupt security forces, the street thugs to the complacent bystanders who let it happen, all must pay the price.
When Fegan's vendetta threatens to derail Northern Ireland's peace process and destabilise its fledgling government, old comrades and enemies alike want him gone. David Campbell, a double agent lost between the forces of law and terror, takes the job. But he has his own reasons for eliminating Fegan; the secrets of a dirty war should stay buried, even if its ghosts do not.
"The best first novel I've read in years. It's a flat out terror trip." - James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential, The Black Dahlia, American Tabloid)
"Not only one of the finest thriller debuts of the last ten years, but also one of the best Irish novels, in any genre, of recent times." - John Connolly (The Reapers, The Unquiet, The Book of Lost Things)
"A brilliant thriller: unbearably tense, stomach-churningly frightening. This is the best fictional representation of the Troubles I have come across, a future classic of its time. Stuart Neville has finally given Northern Ireland the novel its singular history deserves." - The Observer
"If you read only one thriller on your summer holiday, then make sure it is Neville's stunning debut. It's an astonishing first novel ... Written with a wonderful touch for the politics of the post-Good Friday agreement, it is as fresh and subtle as you could wish for. Awesomely powerful, fabulously written, this novel is simply unmissable." - Daily Mai
"A crime novel that counts among the best brought out this calendar year ... [THE TWELVE] would have been a superior effort had it been just about Fegan's struggle to assert his inner goodness in the face of larger evil, but its narrative power draws further strength from Neville's acute understanding of Northern Ireland's true state." - LA Times
"A rare example of legitimate noir fiction ... Would rattle the composure of a saint." - New York Times
"[A] stunning debut ... This is not only an action-packed, visceral thriller but also an insightful insider's glimpse into the complex political machinations and networks that maintain the uneasy truce in Northern Ireland." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Sharp prose places readers in this pitiless place and holds them there. Harsh and unrelenting crime fiction, masterfully done." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Neville's debut novel is tragic, violent, exciting, plausible, and compelling. [THE TWELVE] is dark, powerful, insightful, and hard to put down." - Booklist
"Neville has the talent to believably blend the tropes of the crime novel and those of a horror, in the process creating a page-turning thriller akin to a collaboration between John Connolly and Stephen King. The Twelve is a superb thriller, and one of the first great post-Troubles novels to emerge from Northern Ireland." - Sunday Independent
"Stuart Neville's blistering debut thriller is a walk on the wild side of post-conflict Northern Ireland that brilliantly exposes the suffering still lurking beneath the surface of reconciliation and the hypocrisies that sustain the peace. Neville ceaselessly cranks up the tension ... but it's his caustic assessments of present-day Northern Ireland, penetrating its sad, confused predicaments, that really hit home." - Metro
"The Twelve is a revenge tragedy in the Elizabethan mode, scripted by Quentin Tarantino and produced by the makers of The Bourne Identity ... But it possesses a profound and wider significance ... The Twelve is an important part of [Northern Ireland's] purging." - Irish Times
"An absolute crackerjack of a debut ... tightly plotted and tautly written ... barrels along at Ellroy speed." - Hot Press
"A dark thriller which refuses to remain within the boundaries which can often confine Northern Irish literature. Neville instead breaks free of the mould, producing a novel which is both honest and refreshing. If you want a thriller which will have your heart thudding from start to finish, you will not be disappointed by the first offering from Stuart Neville." -Ulster Tatler