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Ian Graham's picture

Sins of Omission

By Ian Graham in Arrest Us

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Can former IRA volunteer Declan McIver save an old flame from certain death when she agrees to take part in a risky terrorist operation or is there more to this plot then meets the eye?


Andrew Scorah's picture
Andrew Scorah from Swansea UK is reading Black Order by James Rollins June 13, 2014 - 7:35am

Cracking tale if you like your action to go with a bang!

jorjon21's picture
jorjon21 from Wisconsin is reading Shotgun Lovesongs June 14, 2014 - 7:36am

Great action scenes.  Also a nice twist at the end.

Ian Graham's picture
Ian Graham from Mid-Atlantic USA is reading Open Secret by Stella Rimington June 30, 2014 - 6:41pm

I'm glad you like the ending. Declan's story is full of double crosses just like the real situation between the IRA, their Protestant counterparts, and the British. Troubled times to be sure. 


- Ian

Colin Graham's picture
Colin Graham June 14, 2014 - 7:41pm

Heart pounding! Must read!

Gabe Allred's picture
Gabe Allred June 14, 2014 - 8:37pm

i normally dont like to read much but this held my attention the whole four chapters. well writen except i think at the end of  this paragragh. it should be choking on blood. but thats the only mistake i saw. "Declan watched as the man collapsed onto his partner who was now choking blood"

Sandygentles's picture
Sandygentles June 15, 2014 - 3:57am

Declan makes me wish I was more manly! Love the non-stop action, I literally could not put this book down.

Seb's picture
Seb from Thanet, Kent, UK June 20, 2014 - 3:23am

Very reminiscent of Tom Clancy or Andy McNab. Excellent detailing and well placed in the time period.

Ian Graham's picture
Ian Graham from Mid-Atlantic USA is reading Open Secret by Stella Rimington June 30, 2014 - 6:36pm

Thank you for your kind comments. I'm very glad you enjoyed the story. 


- Ian

Chipped Gears's picture
Chipped Gears from New Jersey is reading the charges against them June 24, 2014 - 8:45am

Well Ian - I like the story.

By way of improvement I'd like to see Declan's personality more developed. I know you're up against the word count  [maybe 6 instead of 7 attackers] but a couple of paragraphs that flesh out the kind of man he used to be would help make him more relatable. What are his regrets? Why has he walked away?

Otherwise, you have a first rate action story here.

Good Luck.

Ian Graham's picture
Ian Graham from Mid-Atlantic USA is reading Open Secret by Stella Rimington June 30, 2014 - 6:39pm


It's always a challenge fitting Declan into a short story format because he is actually a rather deep character. With the focus of the competition being on crime I thought more action and less emotion would be better, but perhaps not. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. 


- Ian

Adam Jenkins's picture
Adam Jenkins from Bracknell, England is reading RCX Magazine (Issue 1 coming soon) June 25, 2014 - 3:16am

This is a good, action-packed story, though it is clear that the word count is not your friend on this one. Declan is an archetype, and he never transcends that because we don’t get to see any more of his personality. My presumption is that he is a character created for a novel or series of novels, rather than a short story. He certainly has a lot of potential as a character, coming across as a cross between McNab’s Nick Stone and Jimmy Dove from Blown Away. There is a lot to work with in terms of his past and his relationship with Meaghan.

You do a great job of condensing the story into something that fits with the contest criteria while still having a complete arc. It just feels like both the story and the characters need a bit more room to breathe. The end twist of Meaghan being arrested doesn’t have the emotional weight it should have, and that’s because we barely see anything of her in the story, or of Declan’s presumably conflicted feelings towards her.

While I think you are better off building on this to create a longer story, I do think possibly the only way you could get this to feel more of a short story is to start at Chapter 3. We don’t need the introduction other than a few nods to McGuire which can be covered in dialogue (as can his reluctance to get involved when he’s been out of the game). Chapter 2 shows off his skills, but we’ll get to see those anyway as he takes down seven men on his own. It would at least allow you some character development, and more tension between Declan and Meaghan, especially if O’Connell lasts a little longer.

As it is though, it’s well written and flows fast. The action is well written and easy to read, and that’s not an easy trick to pull off. Thumbs up from me.

Ian Graham's picture
Ian Graham from Mid-Atlantic USA is reading Open Secret by Stella Rimington June 30, 2014 - 6:48pm

Thank you so much for your comments.

Declan is definitely a character that belongs in longer pieces. My novel "Veil of Civility" was his first full-length outing and has received a lot of great reviews on Amazon. I have a few short stories with Declan and it's always a challenge to fit him into that format, especially when there is a ceiling on the word count. 

This story marks the first time either McGuire or Meaghan have appeared "on screen" and there is a lot more to both of their stories that I can't wait to get into!


- Ian 

Grant Williams's picture
Grant Williams from Wichita, KS is reading Friday July 9, 2014 - 5:49am

This was a fun well written piece.  You do an excellent job of putting action into words.  There were (as mentioned above) some emotional ties that could have been developed more, but given the word count crunch, I imagine you wanted to focus more on the action.  Well done and good luck.

Dylan Mackey's picture
Dylan Mackey from Memphis, Tennessee is reading Wake Up Dead by Roger Smith July 17, 2014 - 11:29am

This is a smart and well-thought out story.

Really liked the settings and the dialogue, which gave an authentic air to the story.

And I agree with Adam Jenkins - this really seems like something you could expand into a full-fledged novel.

Nicely done.