Holding by Graham Norton


Thank you very much to Graham and the lovely people at Hodder and Stoughton for letting me read this book before its even graced the shelves. It is greatly appreciated.

The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama; and yet its inhabitants are troubled. 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.

This is a book about loss, secrets and love. It is a thriller in its own right but sadly for me not what I had hoped it would be. The characters are misfortunate and the unluckiest bunch that you would ever come across. That doesn’t take away from the fact that they are so life like that you can’t help but get swept up in their dramas and helplessness. The complexities that make us human beings perfectly portrayed.

PJ the cop about town took me a while to suss but I think all in all he’s a good guy who just got stuck in a rut. My heart broke for the Ross sisters, for all the tragedy they had seen and lived through. Each one as unique as the next. Evelyn in particular for her loyalty and love.

Brid Riordan was the hero of the book for me. When we first meet her she is a drunk who is incapable of even caring for her children but she triumphs throughout the book and becomes a better version of herself. Other characters such as Tommy Burke and Mrs Meany all play equally as important plots in the book.

I think being Irish myself helped me understand these complex characters and the beautiful scene in which Holding is set. There are certain parts when Grahams humour shines through for short snippets and there is no doubt that this book was written with passion and determination. People who aren’t keen on murder mystery or thriller books may struggle to get through this but all in all, this a talented and well thought out piece of writing.

You can pre-order your copy here…Amazon


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