TITLE - Holding
AUTHOR - Graham Norton
PUBLISHER - Hodder and Stoughton
PAGES - 320
Buy Link - Click here
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.
Darkly comic, touching and at times profoundly sad. Graham Norton employs his acerbic wit to breathe life into a host of loveable characters, and explore - with searing honesty - the complexities and contradictions that make us human.
Graham Norton's masterful debut is an intelligently crafted story of love, secrets and loss.
When I saw there was a book to be reviewed by Graham Norton, I assumed that it would be a comedy, as that is what Mr Norton is best loved for. Although having the odd comedic line here and there, nothing could be further from the truth. It's a family drama, full of secrets, a lot of lies and a great deal of heartache.
With all that aside there are some warm hearted moments, mixed with crime and intrigue. There's the lovable PJ who is the SGT from the local Garda, with the setting being the Irish hamlet of Duneen, who lives in the police house, watched over by Mrs Meaney who cooks and cleans for him. Life seems easy and laid back in this quiet part of Ireland, that is until the local developers unearth some bones on a new development. What or who do they belong to? Time to open a whole can of worms. You must pick up the book to find out more.
It is descriptive in that it helps you picture the locations of each chapter and each character . It's an intriguing debut novel; written with some simplicity rather than a hard hitting gritty crime novel, but nonetheless it was not predictable and did keep the reader guessing. It was a surprisingly good read, and I look forward to what else there is to come from the author.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I was thrilled to be able to review this book as Mr Norton is my favourite TV chat
show hosts. He took over the prestigious Friday Night slot on BBC1 in 2010. He is also an Irish Radio host and also a DJ, Comedian and author.
He regularly presents on Radio 2, and is also the BBC television host for the European Song Contest.
Catch up with Graham on Twitter and YouTube.
Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder and Stoughton for the opportunity to review this book.