The book Angels With Blues Faces, which murdered journalist Lyra McKee was due to hold in her hand just weeks after her death, will be released at the end of June.
A result of five year’s investigation by Lyra into the IRA killing of MP, Robert Bradford, in 1981, the long awaited book is now available on pre-release from Belfast based publishers Excalibur Press.
Robert Bradford’s death, and that of 29-year-old Ken Campbell has been the subject of speculation and conspiracy theories surrounding allegations that the MP was about to expose sordid details about who was involved in the Kincora.
Lyra interviewed Bradford’s friends, colleagues, and acquaintances as well as a number of other sources – and reveals how the MP’s killing might have been stopped by intelligence services.
Trawling through public records and documents she had procured during her search for the truth Lyra spent a majority of her journalistic career in the pursuit of answers. In many cases she came up against more questions.
In January 2018 Lyra struck a deal with indie publishers Excalibur Press to finally put her work into print. She then set about researching the book further and spent time editing and re-editing to her final draft.
Tina Calder, owner of Excalibur Press said she was “proud” they were now in a position to release the book as part of Lyra’s legacy.
“It is with great sadness but immense honour that we are now able to reveal the cover of Angels With Blue Faces.
“Just a short time before her death Lyra had approved her cover and sent the final changes for her book, she should have been holding it in her hand at the end of April.
“Lyra’s investigation into the death of Northern Ireland MP Robert Bradford was a passion project for her, for years it became her obsession as she followed lead after lead in the pursuit of the truth.
“We were absolutely delighted when Lyra agreed to entrust Excalibur Press with this book and were devastated to learn of her death just days before the book should have been going on pre-release and less than a month before she would have held it in her hand.
“All pre-orders will be received at the end of June. Those who order will also be invited to the official launch of the book, the date of which will be announced soon.”
As per Lyra’s wishes prior to her death, her own proceeds of the book will be donated to the organisation Paper Trail – a social enterprise which offers specialised and targeted legacy archive research to the legal profession.
Tina added: “Excalibur Press will be donating our commission to our not-for-profit entity The Merlin Project where we hope to run a series of events, workshops and potentially courses for young reporters wanting to learn some of the practical aspects of the industry.
“Taking inspiration from Lyra and her talent, we hope to teach young journalists the art of research as well as interview techniques and more.”
Lyra’s sister Nichola McKee Corner said she was proud to see Lyra’s book about to be published.
“Lyra put years into this project,” she said. “It is so sad that she never got to hold the final copy of Angels With Blue Faces in her hand.
“I am just so proud of you now as I was of you every day or your life”.