This is actually the first DeMille book I've read and I really enjoyed it. Color me incredibly surprised when I saw that it was published in 1981. More on why in a second.....
Brian Flynn and his lover, Maureen Malone are soldiers with the IRA in Ireland. "Once in, Never Out". I would call them more like terrorists but that's just me. Malone gets out of the biz (as much as she can) and tries to get peace between Ireland and Britain. She ends up in America on Saint Patrick's Day working for her cause. She hasn't seen Flynn since their failed attempt to free her sister from a prison.
Malone and a British ambassador are asked to stand on the steps of the St. Patrick Cathedral for a bit during the parade, as proof that Britain and Ireland can get along, apparently. One thing leads to another and whoops.....here is Flynn and his new "army" taking over the Cathedral. Malone, Baxter (the British guy), a priest and the Cardinal are all taken hostage.
The inspector who comes thisclose to getting to the Cathedral before the takeover, and therefore has a huge part in the book, is also Irish. Everyone in this book is facing down demons (with the exception of the Cardinal...possibly). The entire book is the takeover, the battle and barely any aftermath. In short, a hugely exciting read.
My surprise at the date of the book is because I was thinking of 9/11 throughout the book. It amazed me this was written so many years before the attack when it sounded so familiar.
I think I'll be adding DeMille to my list of authors to read.