11 February 2024

Review: HOLDING, Graham Norton

  • this edition published by Hodder & Stoughton 2016
  • made available by my local library
  • ISBN 978-1-444-79199-0
  • 312 pages

Synopsis (publisher)

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 lovable characters, and explore - with searing honesty - the complexities and contradictions that make us human.

My Take

You will note that this is the second time I have read this novel. My earlier review is here ( I first read it about 3 years ago) 

This time I am reading it for discussion with my U3A Crime Fiction group. This is the first book we are reading this year, and I think they will enjoy it.

We will be basing some of our discussion on some questions listed at The Reading Agency (listed on Amazon)

Duneen is a quiet place, far enough from the big towns to have kept its own rhythms. Its residents include cast down policeman PJ who lives a lonely, uneventful life punctuated only by the next meal – until now; the beautiful and mysterious family of three spinster sisters each with their own secrets and
sorrows; and of course, the town's gossip who think she knows the answers. When a grim discovery is made on a building site up by the old school, it becomes the catalyst for half lived secrets and seething rivalries to come to light and this silent, once innocent and repressed-seeming town is revealed to have
a much darker, hungrier undertow

The other resources that I've found which we may use in our discussion are some short You Tube videos:

Both of these videos comment on the significance of the novel's title. 

My rating: 4.5

I've also read

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