Holding by Graham Norton
Pages – 320
Released – 6th October 2016
Publisher – Hodder and Stoughton
Genres – Crime, thriller, mystery, psychological and literary fiction
Rating – 4.5/5
In the small and remote Irish village of Duneen, nothing much really happens. But Duneen’s inhabitants are troubled. Sergeant PJ Collins hasn’t always been overweight, Evelyn Ross hasn’t always thought that she and her life were a total waste and Brid Riodan, mother-of-two, hasn’t always drank her way through her problems.
So when human remains are found by builders on an old farm – suspected to be that of Tommy Burke – a former lover of both Evelyn and Brid – many questions arise. It is discovered that the village has a dark past. As PJ struggles to solve his first real case, he unearths many secrets about the village and its inhabitants.
The author Graham Norton is a Irish comedian, agony aunt and occasional actor. Graham Norton is clearly a man of many talents. Although for some the leap into fiction writing has proven a tricky one. This isn’t the case for Graham Norton. He is an extremely skilled writer with a huge amount of emotional intelligence, which he certainly puts to good use in Holding.
Norton is widely known for his unique wit, his warmth and his ability to put the guests on his shows at ease. It was no surprise to me that he is a hugely empathetic writing, who created characters that were layered and felt extremely emotionally real. The characters in this book could have easily just been figures in the story helping it move along, but each of them play their own part and has their own unique story.
The plot of the story is a thoughtful thriller. Although at times it was a slow burner, this was in fact a strength of the book, as it is extremely enjoyable to read the story as it develops. It had me racing through the pages to find out what happens with the mysteries and all of the characters. The twists in this book are clever, surprising, well thought through and are always dealt with in a way that respects all of characters.
Holding is a clever and very carefully crafted debut novel. Exploring the life of a remote Irish village in brilliant detail, with a thrilling and emotional story that keeps the readers gripped. I would really recommend to give this a read, I throughly enjoyed it. I’m sure if you read it you’ll come out of the book loving the characters and the little town of Duneen. I think it is very possible that Graham Norton may have found himself a new side career as a novelist.
Thank you to Hodder and Stoughton and to Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Until next time,