Sunday, 23 October 2016

Book Review - Holding by Graham Norton


Duneen is a quiet, sleepy Irish village where everyone knows everyone and life just passes by. There is Sergeant PJ Collins, the overweight constable who has never had the chance to shine, Brid Riordan, who is an alcoholic and barely keeping her family together, and Evelyn Ross, the youngest of three sisters who never married after the tragic death of their parents. Along with the rest of the town, these three complex but clearly human characters are thrown into a murder-mystery as human remains are found at a new property being developed. The story is revealed piece by piece and although you may have your suspicions, there is plenty to keep you guessing until the end.

This book is written by Graham Norton. You know, Graham Norton of talk-show fame. You may or may not know that he also played a guest role in Father Ted for a few episodes and holds shares in a New Zealand wine company. This is his first attempt at fiction and a lot of people, myself included, were interested in the way that the book would pan out. I was pleasantly surprised by Holding and I would definitely recommend it to others. This is a read-in-one-sitting kind of book. It is not fast paced, but it switches between different narrators often so you want to piece each characters story together and this requires you to keep reading.

Although written by a comedian, it is not a specifically funny book. There are plenty of traces of wit but there is a heavy feel to the characters as they each battle their own secrets and regrets. I enjoy a good whodunnit and this did not disappoint. I found the characters to be understandably the way they are, due to past circumstance combined with small town living. The book is peppered with Irish slang which took a bit of getting my head around but it adds, not detracts, from the story. Overall a great piece of fiction that will leave you missing the town and the people after it ends. 

Thanks to Hachette for my review copy.

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