• A New York Times Bestseller

  • Recipient of the 2019 Orwell Prize for Political Writing

  • Shortlisted for the Kirkus Prize

  • Longlisted for the National Book Award

  • Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction

  • Currently in development as a limited dramatic series from F/X and the producers of “American Crime Story” and The Hunger Games

“Meticulously reported…Keefe’s outsider perspective is what gives ‘Say Nothing’ its exacting and terrifying lucidity…Keefe’s narrative is an architectural feat, expertly constructed out of complex and contentious material, arranged and balanced just so…This sensitive and judicious book raises some troubling, and perhaps unanswerable, questions. Does moving forward from an anguished past require some sort of revisitation and reckoning? Or are certain memories so perilous that they’re better left buried and ignored?”

Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times

“If it seems as if I’m reviewing a novel, it is because SAY NOTHING has lots of the qualities of good fiction… Keefe is a terrific storyteller. It might seem odd, even offensive, to state it, but he brings his characters to real life. The book is cleverly structured. We follow people — victim, perpetrator, back to victim — leave them, forget about them, rejoin them decades later. It can be read as a detective story…I wondered as I read if Keefe was going to carry it off. He does… SAY NOTHING is an excellent account of the Troubles. It might also be a warning.”

Roddy Doyle, The New York Times Book Review

“A gripping and profoundly human explanation for a past that still denies and defines the future…Only an outsider could have written a book this good. Irish or British writers are tainted by provenance... I can’t praise this book enough: it’s erudite, accessible, compelling, enlightening."

Melanie Reid, The Times (UK)

“Extraordinary. Powerful. Panoramic… If Keefe had only focused on McConville’s kidnapping and murder, SAY NOTHING would have been a mesmerizing true crime story. But instead, McConville’s disappearance is ‘merely’ the mystery at the center of a web of disturbing stories. Smoothly wound together, they compose an epic account of the Troubles in Northern Ireland…I kept thinking of COMMON GROUND, J. Anthony Lukas’ Pulitzer Prize-winning book about the Boston school desegregation battles of the 1970s. That’s about the highest compliment I can pay to any work of reportorial non-fiction. Like Lukas, Keefe is a storyteller, who captures the complexities of a historical moment by digging deep into the lives of people on all sides of the conflictAt the end, as in most ingenious crime stories, Keefe unveils a revelation—lying, so to speak, in plain sight—that only further complicates the moral dimensions of his tale.”

Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s “Fresh Air”

“SAY NOTHING is a harrowing but absorbing account of the murder of Jean McConville by the IRA in 1972, and of its intricate aftermath. Keefe's meticulously researched and finely written book reminds us of the horrors of our very own Thirty Years War, and of the sacrifices that had to be made to end it.”

John Banville, The Irish Independent

“Compulsively readable, equal parts true-crime thriller and political history. The book often reads like a novel, but as anyone familiar with his work for The New Yorker can attest, Keefe is an obsessive reporter and researcher, a master of narrative nonfiction.”

—Andy Kroll, Rolling Stone

“Breathtaking in scope and ambition...Keefe has produced a searing examination of the nature of truth in war and the toll taken by violence and deceit. The result is a lyrically written work that will take its place alongside the best of the books about the Troubles...An unrelenting, epic work.” 

Toby Harnden, The Sunday Times (UK)

“A harrowing story of politically motivated crime that could not have been better told.”

Kirkus (Starred Review)

“Keefe blends threads of espionage, murder mystery, and political history into a single, captivating narrative, deftly turning a complicated and often dark subject into a riveting and informative page-turner that will engage readers of both true crime and popular history.”

Library Journal (Starred Review)

“A real-life whodunnit…moving, accessible…The author’s dogged detective work enables him to plausibly name those who literally pulled the trigger. Tinged with immense sadness, this work never loses sight of the humanity of even those who committed horrible acts in support of what they believed in.”

Publisher’s Weekly (Starred Review)

“Masterly reportage. A searing reflection on the Troubles and their aftermath…The discerning skill with which Keefe gets inside these characters’ minds may unsettle some readers, but it is also his book’s strength. He shows how people who in peacetime might just have been strong-willed or colorful types came to condone or perpetrate the unspeakable.”

The Economist

“Meticulously reported, exquisitely written, and grippingly told, Say Nothing is a work of revelation.”
David Grann, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon

“Equal parts true crime, history, and tragedy. A must read.”
Gillian Flynn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl

“The year’s most gripping nonfiction title is an account of Northern Ireland’s Troubles that doubles as an unforgettable murder mystery…a nonfiction smash comparable to David Grann’s Killers of the Flower MoonSay Nothing is as much a thriller as it is a meditation on morality and radicalism.”

—Entertainment Weekly

"Say Nothing is a potent work. There is character and plot and pace to the narration. Keefe, over his seven visits to Northern Ireland for the book, developed a real feel for the place and the people.”

—The Irish Times

"Exceptional...Keefe is a talented writer for The New Yorker and an unaffiliated Irish-American...Say Nothing renders his ambivalence into fierce reporting. Whereas previous histories of the Troubles...could take on numbingly encyclopedic qualities, Mr. Keefe presents the conflict through narrative....Keefe’s greatest contribution in Say Nothing is to separate the romance of Irish nationalism from the horror of political terrorism."

—The Wall Street Journal

"Assiduous journalism...However small the Troubles may have been, Northern Ireland remains a laboratory of protracted communal violence, relevant to conflicts on any scale...Keefe’s fine, searching book shows that a political agreement formally resolving a conflict marks only the beginning of a long, agonizing, and fitful process of reconciliation."

—Foreign Affairs

"Keefe’s sweeping, switchblade-sharp narrative explores the terror and abiding grief at the heart of sectarian violence. To his credit, Keefe doesn’t attempt a traditional history of Ireland’s woes. Instead, in Say Nothing he has produced a nonfiction masterpiece."

—Los Angeles Review of Books

"As a cautionary tale, Say Nothing speaks volumes — about the zealotry of youth, the long-term consequences of violence and the politics of forgetting."

—The Washington Post




Selected as one of the Best Books of 2009 by the  Washington Post ,  Christian Science Monitor ,  Chicago Tribune ,  San Francisco Chronicle ,  Publisher’s Weekly  and the American Library Association. Finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Prize and the Overseas Press Club’s Cornelius Ryan Award for Best Book on International Affairs.

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2009 by the Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Publisher’s Weekly and the American Library Association. Finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Prize and the Overseas Press Club’s Cornelius Ryan Award for Best Book on International Affairs.


Bracing, vivid...Keefe writes gracefully, perceptively, insightfully about a vast array of characters. Without sacrificing one iota of narrative momentum, he untangles a dauntingly complicated [human smuggling] operation so a reader can effortlessly follow along. He makes Sister memorable as any character in recent fiction...Riveting.
— New York Times Book Review

“Essential reading. A rich, beautifully told story, so suspenseful and with so many unexpected twists that in places it reads like a John le Carré novel.”
Alex Kotlowitz, The Washington Post

A masterwork. In this single tale about a global criminal, Keefe finds a story of quintessentially American hope.
— The Christian Science Monitor
Exceptional...[Keefe] tells this story with a masterful fluidity, shifting among multiple characters—gangsters at shootouts, passengers fishing off the drifting freighter, maneuvering politicians—all backed up in pages of meticulous citations...An adventure story, crime drama, political thriller and a contemplative look into immigration policy all at once. Each element could be a compelling book in its own right, but [Keefe] combines them for an illuminating whole.
— Cleveland Plain Dealer
An entire room full of Hollywood screenwriters handcuffed to their laptops couldn’t hope to dream up a crime story as gobsmacking as the true-life tale of Sister Ping.
— Boston Phoenix
Timely and compelling…An accomplished investigative journalist, Mr. Keefe delineates a world of raids, bribes, global conspiracies and daylight gun battles; he introduces us to gangsters, hit men, FBI agents, and the notorious, elusive Sister Ping. He places it all squarely in the context of the world’s growing immigration crisis.
— The Wall Street Journal
A brilliant reporter’s account of the Fujianese-American underworld.
— The New York Review of Books
— Los Angeles Times


A  Foreign Affairs  bestseller. Selected by the  Boston Globe  as one of the Best Books of 2005. Foreign editions in Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Turkish, and Japanese.

A Foreign Affairs bestseller. Selected by the Boston Globe as one of the Best Books of 2005. Foreign editions in Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Turkish, and Japanese.


“It is absolutely thrilling to see someone as young and as gifted as Patrick Radden Keefe taking on the secret world in Washington. We need much more of this kind of work, and Keefe has made a brilliant start.”
Seymour M. Hersh

“In his gripping debut as an intellectual sleuth, Patrick Radden Keefe offers sharply observed glimpses of the culture of global eavesdropping. An unusually elegant combination of narrative reporting and analysis.”
Jeffrey Rosen

A kind of naturalist’s ramble around the fenced perimeter of the whole vast establishment of technical gear used for intercepting communications…written with fluid grace.
— The New York Review of Books
Deft, trenchant, and eye-opening.
— The Boston Globe

James Bamford, The Washington Post