Holding by Graham Norton

Holding cover


Graham Norton’s masterful debut is an intelligently crafted story of love, secrets and loss.

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 – 4 stars

A charming story set in a lovely Irish village.

This story has all you want and need in a modern novel. Secrets, lies and some laugh out loud moments. Some tender moments too.

We met PJ Collins, the local guard. I liked his character. He was really chubby and a bit self-conscious about it. I wanted to hug him! He was used to a quiet life in Duneen, not much happened in terms of crime. He was a one-man-band, but that was all that was usually required here.

Mrs Meany looked after him, cooking for him…..feeding him up more like.

The Ross sisters, three spinsters living together.

Brid and Anthony, and their two children.

After the discovery of bones at a building site, where the old farm used to be, things started to unravel.

Officers arrive from the city to try and help PJ solve the mystery.

Was it the remains of Tommy Burke, who hadn’t been seen for years?

As the stories from the locals intertwine and it makes really good reading.

The characters were really likeable and had good depth, as things from the past were discovered.

The way other characters come into the story really adds to it all being a great read.

My favourite quote was “Her husband was Benny f***ing Hill”!! Haha.

I was chuffed when I was approved to review this debut novel, although I must admit that sometimes I read it with Grahams voice in my head!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers Hodder & Stoughton for the review copy.

Publication date 6th October 2016

Buy your copy here Holding


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