ARC Review | A Keeper by Graham Norton

Irish Gothic is alive and well. 4/5 stars.

A Keeper by Graham Norton

Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for giving me an e-copy of this book.

A Keeper will be published on 4th October 2018.

The blurb: The mystery of Elizabeth Keane’s father is one that has never been solved by the people of Buncarragh – not for lack of speculation.

Her mother Patricia had been assumed a spinster, until she began dating a mysterious man from out of town, and within months had left Buncarragh and had married. Less than two years later, Patricia was back, with a new baby in her arms, but no new husband by her side and unbendingly silent about her recent past. A secret she would take with her to her grave.

Now, as Elizabeth returns to the village after her mother’s funeral, bringing with her her own regrets and wounds, she finds a thin pile of ribbon-bound letters at the back of a wardrobe that may at last hold the key to her past.

My take:

I must apologise if this review comes across as muddled. I’m trying incredibly hard to avoid spoilers as I think you’ll get the most from this book if you go in knowing as little as possible, as I did.

This story is a fascinating mix of a present day thread which seems all too familiar – someone coming home to deal with the estate of a dead relative and unearthing family secrets – and a past thread which made me think “WHAT?!” more than once. I have to be vague to avoid spoiling it, but this past part of the narrative is brilliant, moving flawlessly from a sweet, if slightly unusual romance, to something more sinister but not altogether unexpected (the seeds of doubt are sown subtly, but they’re there).

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WWW Wednesday 28th September 2016

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This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

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ARC Review | Holding by Graham Norton

A touching tale of broken dreams and promises. 4/5 stars.

holding-by-graham-norton

Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for giving me an e-copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Holding will be published on October 6th.

The blurb: 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.

My take:

I always think you can’t go wrong by starting a book with the discovery of a body in an otherwise quiet, crime-free setting. Holding hits the ground running when a skeleton is unearthed in the small village of Duneen; the mystery is handled well as it unravels and wrapped up satisfactorily as we follow the investigations of the local Guard, PJ, and the Detective Superintendent assigned to the case.

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