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Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Book Review: Holding by Graham Norton

Holding by Graham Norton book cover

The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama, and yet its inhabitants are troubled: Sergeant P.J. Collins hasn’t always been this overweight; Brid Riordan, a mother of two, 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 - suspected to be those of Tommy Burke, a former lover of both Brid and Evelyn - are discovered on an old farm, the village’s dark past begins to unravel. As a frustrated P.J. struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his professional life, he unearths a community’s worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regrets.

Holding is one of the five books I started this year intending to read - check out the post here!

Filled with witty prose coupled with a distinct air of melancholy, Holding is a stand-out debut and a brilliant read. The tiny village of Duneen is expertly brought to life as the story is weaved through it; this small corner of Ireland has a big story to tell. 

Secrets seem to be hiding around every corner and as the story progresses, more and more is revealed about the residents of Duneen. From the spinster Ross sisters to the local busybodies, everyone has something to hide and it is up to P.J. Ross, local law enforcement, to try and separate the truth from the lies. Of course, P.J. has his own struggles and insecurities to contend with, but he must learn to hold his own and put all his skills to the test as the most important case of his career develops on his doorstep.

Duneen seems to be a village stuck in time, quaint and picturesque, but it is soon clear that it's not such a happy place for many of its residents. Loneliness, lost love and missed opportunities are all big themes throughout Holding. On the surface, this is a story that seems to be quite light and charming, but dig beneath and you will uncover a much more poignant side to the tale. Without a doubt, this is a story that will stay with you long after you finish reading. 

The story is captivating and engaging, excellently paced with just the right amount of suspense to keep you guessing to the very end. Graham Norton clearly has a great talent for storytelling and I look forward to reading more of his fiction in the future!

Rating: 5 stars

Holding is available to buy now.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below!

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