An undercurrent of black comedy accompanies the ripples that ensue – but with a pathos that makes this deftly plotted story as moving as it is compelling.”

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

In a small Irish village live a cast of characters quietly getting on with their lives. Three spinster sisters living in the big house, Brid, an alcoholic mother of two and an overweight police sergeant, amongst others.

Their lives are turned upside-down when human remains are discovered on a local farm. It is strongly suspected that the remains belong to Tommy Burke, a former love of two of the ladies in the village: Brid Riordan and Evelyn Ross. It is up to Sergeant P.J. Collins to uncover the secrets and lies that have been buried as long as the unfortunate young man.

I was unsure what to expect from this book: Graham Norton’s sense of humour or a crack at a serious novel. What I got was a Maeve Binchy-like cosy crime; and that, my friends, is not a criticism. I thought the book was full of heart, emotion and, yes, some small notes of humour.

I thought the snapshot of remote village life with its surface pleasantries and seething depths was superbly drawn. The characters, whether likeable or not were always interesting and moved the plot along very nicely. I particularly liked P.J. the sergeant investigating the mystery. Not your usual brash police officer, more a man who has suffered a crisis of confidence most of his life, but slowly grew as the story wound on. I would love to see more from him and how he evolves.

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable first novel. It is a real page turner with a good plot at its heart.

I also have to say I absolutely adore the cover and could look at it and stroke it all day long. But that’s probably just me.

 

Reviewed by:

Sandra Foy, Urmston Bookshop

Added 22nd November 2016

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Sandra Foy

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