Review: Holding by Graham Norton

Challenge criteria: A book about an interesting woman


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.

Image via Goodreads

What I liked:

This is a perfect example of small town Ireland. It hasn’t come straight up to the 21st Century yet, and gossip is key. Just like in my own hometown, it’s how much of the inhabitants of Duneen got their news.

This is a mystery novel akin to the greats, and it’s a real page turner. People who are already familiar with Graham Norton in his day job will be very pleased with this offer.

What I didn’t like:

There was a scene about two-thirds through the book that I really didn’t like and it did knock this book a couple of points for me. Up to then, I had been particularly enjoying this story.

Out of five?:

Four. It’s a great book, and a fantastic story. But there is just one little bump that I couldn’t make peace with, as it made for quite difficult reading.


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