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A blackly comic tale of two 11-year-old psychopaths who go on a murderous rampage in their small Northern Irish town

Pearse Furlong and May-Belle Mulholland are two normal 11-year-olds meeting one summer in small town Antrim, Northern Ireland, in the early 1980s. They have little in common except a shared experience of violent, abusive parents. They form an unlikely alliance, and as their games and shared fantasies spin out of control, their friendship becomes something much darker, with theft, arson, sickening brutality, and eventually murder all lying ahead. A veteran of 20 years of reporting on children who kill, as well as many of the biggest stories during The Troubles in Northern Ireland, award-winning journalist Neil Mackay has created a shocking, pitch black debut novel. Through blackly comic and often visceral prose, he not only demonstrates his deep understanding for his subject but also an extraordinary empathy for children damaged by society’s neglect. In Pearce and May-Belle he has created an unforgettable folie à deux and a coruscating satire on the brutality that many prefer to ignore.

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