The parties have been 'locked in talks' as they say (inaccurately) since the start of May, shamed into them by the public outrage at the murder of Lyra McKee. As with all previous negotiations since January 2017, though, momentum has been lost and the 'never again' horror of the moment submerged in the tit-for-tat squabbles of an increasingly fractious summer. The Prime Minister is determined, he says, to give all of the parties a fair and equal hearing, as indeed he is obliged to under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.
A book on the agonies of Northern Ireland, written by an author who I generally admire (he wrote the script for the film Good Vibrations, which stars Jodie Whittaker as the wife of legendary Belfast music figure Terri Hooley). He takes the story right up to the start of last month, which of course means it's now rather out of date, with the December 2019 election and the restoration of devolution having happened in the meantime (having said which, cracks are already appearing in the new settlement). Patterson's style is engaging, but I wish he had something more concrete than offering a long long sigh of despair. Not that I can really blame him. I think it would be an entertaining and fairly light introduction to Northern Ireland for people who don't know too much already. You can get it here.