Four Shots in the Night

A True Story of Spies, Murder, and Justice in Northern Ireland


By Henry Hemming

Formats and Prices




$41.00 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around April 2, 2024. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Four Shots in the Night is the story of a political murder: the killing of an IRA member turned British informant. 

The search for justice for this one man's death—his body found in broad daylight, with tape over his eyes, an undisguised hit—would deliver more than the truth. It exposed his status as an informant and led to protests, campaigns, far-reaching changes to British law, a historic ruling from a senior judicial body, a ground-breaking police investigation, and bitter condemnation from a US Congressional commission. And there have been persistent rumors that one of the country’s most senior politicians, the Sinn Fein leader Martin McGuinness, might have been personally involved in this particular murder.

Relying on archival research, interviews, and the findings of a new complete police investigation, Four Shots in the Night tells a riveting story not just of this murder but of his role in the decades-long conflict that defined him–the Troubles. And the questions it tackles are even larger: how did the Troubles really come to an end? Was it a feat of diplomatic negotiation, as we've been told–or did spies play the decisive role? And how far can, or should, a spy go, for the good of his country? Four Shots in the Night is a page-turner that will make you think.

  • “[A]n exciting, at times astonishing read... Hemming’s book is an evenhanded account of the clandestine murders that still haunt so many.”
    The New York Times Book Review
  • “The best book about the Troubles since Patrick Radden Keefe’s Say Nothing. Both unwind painful stories of old political murders. What unites the two books is outstanding reporting and an unflinching focus on the facts at hand.”
    The Wall Street Journal
  • "Gripping, urgent, superbly reported and brilliantly written. Henry Hemming unfolds a true story of violence, politics and spycraft that sits right at the edge of journalism and history."
    Dan Jones
  • “Hemming artfully unspools this complex tale with the skill of a suspense novelist.”
  • "One of the most compelling books I've read in a very long time. An absolutely extraordinary tale of secret intelligence, infiltration and murder, FOUR SHOTS is a brilliantly pieced-together psychological drama that is all the more gripping - and unsettling - for being real rather than fiction. The story is expertly woven together, exploring the characters and motivations of the four main characters into a truly page-turning, compulsive and also profoundly moving narrative. Superb."
    James Holland
  • "Both a sinewy spy thriller and a wider history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, Four Shots in the Night is edge-of-seat stuff: beautifully crafted, shrewdly observed, frighteningly immersive and utterly compelling."
    Jessie Childs
  • "A masterly achievement and a riveting read."
    Peter Taylor, author of 'Operation Chiffon'
  • "Meticulously researched and brought to life with the finesse of a first-class storyteller, Four Shots in the Night is an absolutely gripping tale of murder, The Troubles, and the good and bad that lurks inside us all. I was in its thrall from the first page to the last."
    Charlotte Philby, author of 'A Double Life'
  • "A superb portrait of the Troubles . . . Gripping and revelatory."
    Saul David
  • "If another book has been written that has zoomed in so closely on the relationship between handler and agent, I have yet to find it. A not-so-chance meeting on an isolated Road to Perdition ends in ultimate destruction for one of the parties. What began in silence morphs into staccato, as Four Shots in the Night enter the brain of a once lonesome dog walker. Henry Hemming with sublime clarity peels away an opaque film allowing the reader to stare through a humane window into the horrendous world of espionage."
    Anthony McIntyre, author of 'Good Friday'

On Sale
Apr 2, 2024
Page Count
368 pages

Henry Hemming

About the Author

Henry Hemming is the author of seven books, including Agents of Influence, Agent M, and The Ingenious Mr. Pyke, which landed on the New York Times monthly espionage bestseller list. He has written for The Economist, FT Magazine and The Washington Post, and has given interviews on Radio 4’s Today Programme and NBC’s Today Show.

Learn more about this author