Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Holding by Graham Norton

Reviewer : Gillian Hamer, author of The Charter, Closure, Complicit, Crimson Shore & False Lights. (

What we thought: I listened the audio version of this book, narrated by the author, which I found added to the overall enjoyment as Graham Norton clearly loves his book and enjoyed adding the character’s voices and animation.

A slow burn in the early chapters, I found this story became increasingly engaging as the mystery deepened and the characters developed. When a jumble of human bones are found at a building site near the small Irish town of Duneen, it’s down to local Garda to investigate the cold crime.

As ever, the ghosts of the past soon come back to haunt the villagers, and many long-buried secrets are revisited. As the story unravels, and the identity of the body is revealed, the tensions builds to a point where I was eagerly awaiting the next chapter.

Norton writes in an engaging style that suits the book. Atmosphere, setting and characterisation all work very well, with an added layer of dark humour and human observation which I found superb. Other than an odd aversion to any kind of POV, I had little criticism with the pace of style of the writing, and the story held my attention throughout.

I’ve no doubt this book will have its negative reviews, but I admire anyone who can finish a novel of this quality, and for those who enjoy cosy crime mysteries, this will suit their tastes. I’d recommend this read and hope we see more of Garda P.J. Collins after his move to Cork and promotion to CID.

You’ll enjoy this if you like : MC Beaton, Deidre Purcell, Kate Hamer.

Avoid if you don’t like : Ireland.

Ideal accompaniments: Cheese and potato pie with a pint of Guinness.

Genre : Contemporary.

Available on Amazon

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