Above the Ground

A True Story of the Troubles in Northern Ireland

The first true story of an innocent man who escaped prison after being falsely convicted of an Irish Republican Army murder during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.  

Above The Ground will be available for purchase beginning on August 8, 2023 via WildBlue Press, a publisher of award-winning titles whose authors include New York Times bestselling authors and Pulitzer Prize winners, and on Amazon


Kevin Barry Artt is an innocent man. His story is a tale of survival and redemption.

In 1983, a British court wrongfully convicts a 23-year-old Irishman, Kevin Barry Artt, of murdering Albert Miles, a British prison official, on behalf of the outlawed Irish Republican Army.  The court sentences Kevin to a life term in Britain’s notorious Maze prison.

Seven weeks later, Kevin escapes the Maze.  Overnight he becomes Britain’s most wanted fugitive in the world.  Kevin makes it to California, where he lives quietly underground.

In 1992, the FBI captures and jails him.  For the next eight years in the federal courts in California, Kevin fights the British government’s furious attempt to extradite him back to Northern Ireland.  Aided by renowned U.S. trial lawyer Jim Brosnahan, Kevin beats extradition in 2000.  But the cloud of his 1983 murder conviction still lurks overhead.

Twenty years later, on May 6, 2020, the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal vindicates Kevin at last, quashing his murder conviction based on detectives’ false testimony at his trial.


Successful and recently-published comparable works have proven audiences’ fascination with tales of innocent persons falsely convicted, whether the tales be fiction or non-fiction.  

Best-Selling Non-Fiction Books

Book Title Main Topic
Say Nothing Unsolved Troubles-Era Murder
The Innocent Man Injustice
The Central Park Five Courtroom Drama

Movies & Television

Movie/Show Main Topic Box Office
Just Mercy Injustice $50M
In the Name of the Father Wrongful Conviction $65M
Conviction Courtroom Drama $11M

About Dan Lawton

Before taking a sixteen-month sabbatical to write “Above the Ground,” Dan Lawton practiced law in the California and federal courts for thirty years, specializing in appellate work and intellectual property litigation. Today he is shareholder at Klinedinst PC, a California-based law firm headquartered in San Diego.


Best-selling authors, historians, correspondents and editors alike are praising Dan’s recounting of the trials and redemption of Kevin Barry Artt.

Photos & Video

Browse through photos which chronicle this incredible true story.

Unlocking the Maze-38 IRA Prisoners Break Out of the H-Blocks

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