Belfast before the ceasefire. A loyalist working-class neighbourhood in industrial decline.
James is seventeen; he walked out of school with few qualifications, and few prospects. He's on the corner with his mates, watching the Godfathers of the loyalist paramilitaries acting big, being somebody. He's just trying to get by.
James's best friend gets sucked into one of the loyalist organizations, 'for God and Ulster', they tell him, and is soon out on the streets, collecting protection money, growing up. James meets a girl from the other side, and they have a romance of sorts.
But this is no Romeo and Juliet. This is just a tragedy of friends decieving friends, a story about how people use the Troubles, and how the Troubles in the end use them. This is a story of friendship and bonding and being with your own kind and knowing who you are and where you come from. Some of the time.
Victor Gollancz 1998