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 THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
Firstly I would like to say just how much I really enjoyed reading this novel. For me it was a curl up on the sofa type book and get stuck into what turned out to be an intriguing mystery that just had to be solved. It isn’t a bite your nails down to your knuckles and look over your shoulder book but more of a cosy read. Set in the small village of Duneen in Ireland, not a lot happens really so the highlight of the day for Sergeant P.J. Collins is what delights his housekeeper Mrs. Meany will provide him for tea. I really took to Sergeant Collins, a very overweight man with a very low self esteem to such a degree that he had never had a girlfriend.
A normal day was to be turned upside down after the discovery of the skeletal remains of a man. Now this does grab the attention of the Sergeant but will the tight lips of the residents of this small village share it’s secrets from the past to a relative newcomer of less than 20 years?
Well what a little gem this book was as I hadn’t really any idea what to expect from someone that I associated with comedy and tv interviews. It certainly had the undertones of dry humour and little one liners that kept me laughing. As I live in a small village I am very aware of the protocol to be followed in many situations, recognising many traits of the characters in the book. These characters were all easy to remember all with their own little stories. I particularly liked how Mrs. Meany got her name. This isn’t a fast paced novel as it isn’t like a killer is about to strike again at anytime soon. It is more how the past affects the people involved now as the mystery begins to unravel.
I would love to read more books from Graham Norton and thank Netgalley and Hodder and Stoughton for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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