Category: Archive

After author’s murder, book’s sales soar

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Harry Keaney

Killing the messenger only magnifies message.

That age-old truism has been proven yet again in the aftermath of last month’s brutal murder in Northern Ireland of Eamon Collins, the IRA operative who wrote "Killing Rage," a chilling exposé of the paramilitary group in which he was once an intelligence officer.

Collins’s battered and stabbed body was found Jan. 27 on a roadside near Newry, Co. Down.

His body was so mutilated that his wife, Bernie, was advised by the RUC not to look at it.

"Killing Rage," which Collins co-authored with journalist Mick McGovern, names former colleagues in the IRA. They include one man who has since defected to the Real IRA and is now living south of the border.

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The book was first published in Britain in the late spring of 1997 and sold 35,000 soft-cover copies before Collins’s murder.

Within 48 hours of Collins’s horrific death, 7,000 copies were sold, according to Ray Hederman of Granta, publishers of the book. Granta has received another UK order for a reprinting of 10,000 copies.

About 2,500 hard cover copies have already been sold in the U.S. Fifteen thousand soft-cover copies and 1,500 hard cover copies are being reprinted for the U.S. — and that before there have been any U.S. reviews of the book.

"One reason for the sales is that it is a very good book," Hederman said. He added that there had been wonderful reviews in Britain and Ireland.

"People see it as a very serious and very important book," he said. "Here is not just a guy who wrote a book and was murdered, here is a guy who wrote a very important book with something to say."

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