ABOVE THE GROUND

Escape from Maze: A gripping true tale of Troubles defiance.

“An enthralling work of history told with intelligence and urgency.” –Kirkus Reviews, November 2023In 1978, the bloody conflict in Northern Ireland, known as The Troubles, had reached a boiling point. Hundreds of members of the Irish Republican Army, determined to drive the hated British out of the province—killing soldiers and police, detonating bombs, while arming themselves with firearms and explosives—had been arrested and incarcerated in the notorious British prison known as the Maze.On Sunday, November 26, 1978, two IRA gunmen kicked in the front door at 8 Evelyn Gardens in Belfast—the home of Maze prison official Albert Miles. They executed Miles in front of his horrified family and vanished into the night. In 1983, at the end of the longest and most-publicized trial in the country’s history, twenty-four-year-old Catholic taxicab driver Kevin Barry Artt was convicted and sentenced to life for Miles’ murder. On his way to the Maze, in manacles and still professing his innocence, Artt prayed for an opportunity to escape.Six weeks later, his prayers were answered—he made a daring and dramatic escape from the Maze, fleeing to California and going underground. For decades, the British government, aided by the US Department of State and FBI, relentlessly sought him while he managed to stay just steps ahead of his pursuers. ABOVE THE GROUND: A True Story of The Troubles in Northern Ireland is a gripping chronicle of one of the darkest periods in Northern Ireland’s history, highlighting themes of injustice, perseverance, and hope through Kevin’s escape and struggle.DAN LAWTON’S short fiction, essays, and columns have appeared in several journals and periodicals since 2001. ABOVE THE GROUND: A True Story of the Troubles in Northern Ireland is Dan’s first work of nonfiction. Dan is a native of Los Angeles, California, and resides in San Diego, where he is a practicing lawyer.

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