Patterson, reliably even-handed, mocks the republican side just as effectively for their stupidities and rank hypocrisies... Patterson writes passionately of the inner darkness ... In vivid, biting passages, Patterson describes the paramilitary culture of punishing young people... Backstop Land has flaws: occasionally the writing is gnomic or self-indulgent, and sentences forget to stop. But this is brave stuff, because he’s scathing about bad men on both sides, and wise. Read it ... and you’ll understand who these people are. And why peace in Ireland matters.