Holding by Graham Norton Book Review
The lowdown from Goodreads
Publication Date: August 1, 2017
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.
Holding by Graham Norton Book Review
Holding, set in Ireland, is a small town murder mystery filled with a cast of memorable characters. Holding has me laughing, guessing & entertained throughout the story.
Get the Audiobook, My Friends!
I finally became tired of Holding sitting on my TBR. Needing a new audiobook, I picked it up. Thank goodness Graham Norton does the narration. How could anyone else do it? I mean, it’s his book, his cast of characters. I love that his wonderfully animated voice brings them all to life.
Sneak That Cozy Mystery In
Now, I read a lot of thrillers, but I sure do love me a cozy mystery. I wouldn’t consider Holding a full-on cozy, but it’s damn close. Yes, there’s a murder mystery central to the storyline, but it’s not graphic. I SO appreciate this. While I can get down with grisly details (I’m thinking of you, Jar of Hearts!), it’s nice to take a break from the act of murder & focus on the why & the whodunnit. That’s the part that intrigues us all, right?
Residents of Duneen
Graham brings to life this bumbling, overweight Sergeant, P.J. Y’all, P.J.has such low self-esteem, he can’t even eat a bread basket without thinking everyone is looking at him & judging. While I can relate, P.J., my fired, you’ve got to eat the bread! We also meet a young(ish) mother Brid, who has a drinking problem. Next up is the pristine Evelyn. I LOVE how Graham pronounces Eve-Lynn rather than my hideous pronunciation of Evah-Lyn. I’ve never loved the name more!
Each of these characters is so utterly enjoyable I can hardly stand it. The small village of Duneen is what’s really reminiscent of a cozy mystery to me. Days later, I still see all the characters in my head & imagine what they’re up to now.
Like I Said, Audiobook!
Every once in a while, I come across someone who is new to audiobooks. While I tend to prefer non-fiction audiobooks like Rising Strong, I usually recommend charming, satisfying and easy to follow fiction books like Garden Spells. Fiction audiobooks cannot have too many characters, or else I can’t keep them straight!
Holding will now be my go-to recommendation for fiction audiobooks! The pacing of the story is like clockwork. There is suspense built into the story, but it comes slowly in waves. I mean, someone is murdered & we are figuring out who did it. Graham isn’t reinventing the wheel here, but here is something about the way he tells this story that is so endearing & relatable that I can’t imagine someone wouldn’t like it.
I am Really Into This book. Holding is a wonderful & charming & dare I say it, cozy mystery I’m not soon to forget.
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Graham William Walker is an Irish actor, comedian, television presenter and columnist, known by his stage name Graham Norton. He is the host of the comedy chat show The Graham Norton Show and the BBC commentator of the Eurovision Song Contest.