Holding by Graham Norton
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Goodreads Summary: Graham Norton's masterful debut is an intelligently crafted story of love, secrets and loss.
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 loveable characters, and explore - with searing honesty - the complexities and contradictions that make us human.
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: Set in the village of Duneen, Ireland, Holding is told in third person omniscient. The main characters are PJ Collins, Brid Riordan and Evelyn Ross. The genres are contemporary, mystery, and romance. This book follows an investigation of bones found during an excavation.
I only realised after starting this book that it is written by Graham Norton, the Graham Norton. I didn't know too much about him anyway, and I read it as if it were any other book. I have to say, I'm impressed; celebrity novels are usually ghost written or terrible. I wasn't expecting Holding to be so good.
PJ Collins is the Sergeant of Duneen. He is rather overweight and not expected to chase anyone on foot, but works hard and does his job well. Brid Riordan and Evelyn Ross were both involved with Tommy Burke, the man whose bones are suspected to be the ones excavated.
Holding is not the contemporary novel I expected. Graham Norton writes the mystery and romance parts of the book with skill, highlighting a lot of current global issues. The ending is shockingly sad and the characters aren't all the same, Graham Norton shows their flaws as well, they are all struggling with various problems in teir lives. I especially enjoyed Holding because the writer connects well with the readers through the style and I was emotionally invested in the book.
This is a great book, I just can't think of what to say about it. As with any small tow, Duneen has a collection of secrets. The discovered bones do no appear to have a backstory until an unlikely witness reveals a hidden past and dirty secrets come to light. Holding is a contemporary mystery romance suitable for mature audiences.
Purchase Location: ~I received a copy from Hachette NZ in exchange for an honest review~
Buy the book: Book Depository
Quotes: "Time didn't [pass]; it seeped away."
"And in those dark endless hours before dawn when she allowed him to hold her [as] she wept, he understood that she still loved him."
"Pain like that can do strange things to a young heart."
"To try was to fail. To care was to get hurt."
Recommended for: Fans of contemporary romance and adult reads.