Graham Norton? Novel? Yup, THE Graham Norton has written a novel, Holding. On the basis that I like his TV show and that his Sauvignon Blanc wine isn’t half bad, I decided to give it whirl. Might be a bit of a laugh. What was I expecting? Camp rom com, maybe? Murder mystery/romance is what you get and he’s done it rather well.
All the action takes place in a Duneen, a small village on the West Coast of Ireland. Our hero is PJ Collins; single, obese and a Garda sergeant, who lives on his own looked after by his elderly housekeeper Mrs Meany . He directs traffic at the local fete and not a lot more, the world of go getting policing happens far away in places like Cork. Then one day a body is uncovered. Everybody assumes that it is Tommy, a local man who disappeared years ago. Our hero has a real live murder to solve.
Enter our heroines, Brid O’Riordain; drunk, unattractive married mother of two and Evelyn Ross; single, beautiful, tragic orphan. Not only is Evelyn, beautiful and tragic she also lives with her two elder spinster sisters. Throw in the usual mix of village busy bodies, pub landlords and school gate mothers and the HOLDING stage is set.
Will our hero solve the mystery? Will he find love? What happens if the pursuit of truth and of love take him to the same place. What of our heroines, will they put aside the Sauvignon Blanc? Will they find their way out of unsatisfying lives and into the sunlit uplands? The path to answering all these questions was well made, not a laugh out loud comedy but gentle thought provoking stuff.
DISCLAIMER: I was sent a review copy via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
HOLDING by Graham Norton
Published by Hodder and Stoughton
Price: Hardback £20, Kindle £9.50