The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama; and yet its inhabitants are troubled. Sergeant PJ Collins hasn’t always been this overweight; mother of two Brid Riordan hasn’t always been an alcoholic; and elegant Evelyn Ross hasn’t always felt that her life was a total waste.
So when human remains are discovered on an old farm, suspected to be that of Tommy Burke – a former love of both Brid and Evelyn – the village’s dark past begins to unravel. As the frustrated PJ struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his life, he unearths a community’s worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regret.
What I Thought:
For all of Graham Norton’s warm and funny presence as a TV host, it’s never easy to tell if this will translate to the page. Holding, though, shows all of that warmth and humour – and then some – but also reveals a darker and at times more melancholy feel.
This tale of small town life, and small town drama, but with far-reaching consequences is beautifully written, with appealing characters, and a solid mystery plot. In this book though, it’s much more about why the body is in the ground, rather than who put it there, and the secrets that are revealed because of it are almost more compelling.
Holding really examines what is most uncomfortable about small town life, and everyone knowing – or so they think – your business, even years down the line. As a debut novel it really is fantastic and, hopefully, there’ll be more coming from Graham Norton soon.
Note: I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.