A gripping thriller based on a true sequence of events in which two young Belfast Catholics are recruited as informers and find themselves at the heart of a 'sting' involving the IRA, the SAS and MI5. The Serpent's Tail is the first work of fiction by the man Conor Cruise O'Brien has described as 'The greatist living authority on Irish terrorism.'
The true story of an SAS inspired sting against the Provisional IRA which almost destroyed the organisation. The IRA later admitted that the operation was a brilliant piece of planning by the SAS and the British Intelligence Agency, MI5. Its success was, however, short-lived leading to the sacrifice of many agents and the emergence of a more determined and ruthless IRA leadership.
In the style of Le Carre and Deighton, this book tells for the first time the story of the shadowy world of agents and double agents, the ruthlessness of both sides in the undercover war, the naivety of the British political and military Establishments, how and why the Provisionals took their campaign to mainland Britain, and bombed their way to the conference table and the White House.