Holding by Graham Norton: old-fashioned charm in a page-turning read

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.

My review:

A well written and interesting debut novel from Graham Norton. The characters are well portrayed and very sympathetic, and the small village setting is beautifully described. There’s an old-fashioned feel about it – particularly in the way that setting tends to be described before we get to the character in each chapter – but that itself has charm and doesn’t negate the page-turning quality of the story. The ending was very satisfying indeed.

Anne Brooke Books

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