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.
©2016 Graham Norton (P)2016 Hodder & Stoughton
Having Graham Norton read his own work made this special. He has a wonderful voice for narration.
His Irish accent - it made the characters really come alive.
I've spent my entire life around the written word - writing it, editing it, teaching it. So, it's no wonder I also love to read it!
3.5 Stars. This is a simple little mystery, nothing too powerful and nothing too grand. It presents lovely village life and introduces some interesting characters. There's nothing too deep about the mystery (nothing that can't be figured out way ahead of time) but it's not a horrible way to spend a few days. I liked the setting quite a lot and the main character, the local policeman who investigates some bones found by a construction crew. Mostly, it shows that, no matter where you live, people have secrets and problems.
It's mostly lovely to learn that my favorite chat show host, Graham Norton, has other talents!
Norton is also the narrator and he does a nice job of it. I still prefer him in the host's chair but this could be a second career for him!
Mr. Norton is incredibly talented. We know he's funny, and a fun host, but his ability to inhabit each character is fantastic. Great read, interesting story, and the sadness that can be in a human being is well written!
"A classic tale of love and loss"
I liked the story which unfolded gradually but carefully so you couldn't quite guess what was coming up. I liked the delicate and emphatic depictions of female emotions from young to old. I liked the down to earth setting and raw reality without pathos. I didn't like Graham Norton reading it himself as it always sounded like he was being funny, flippant and sarcastic like he is on his radio and tv shows. It would have given it far more gravitas to be read by someone expert in audible books. I would still recommend the book to anyone of any age as it covers a wide experience of life. That's why I've given it an overall score of 4 stars.
What a surprisingly enjoyable book - it's always interesting to see if well known performers can do more than one thing, but like reading the wonderful Dawn French books, Graham Norton definitely can!
I wasn't sure if him reading his own book would work when he's normally so funny, but this was very enjoyable. I did guess the twist before the end, but it didn't spoil the enjoyment. There was such a wonderful description of the people and scenery, I felt as though I was there. Also such a lovely subtle range of voices. I will definitely look out for his next book.
Enjoyed this book nice simple story with characters you can't but like. The narrator done a good job you really can't but see them while listening.
Excellent story full of great characters narrated brilliantly by the author
Well done on your first of many!
"A gentle but moving tale"
A book narrated by it author is always more enjoyable I find as every nuance of the written word is carried in the spoken voice.
A remarkable twist on an old crime when bones are discovered and the establishment and conventions of a small, remote village in Ireland are turn upside down. Centre to this are the local policeman and the women of Duneen star.
It feels like you have become part of the community and unable to distinguish between fact and fiction, gossip and tall stories. What is more certain is the quality of Norton's storytelling and approach to fiction that although dark is brighten by the humour that also touches our lives.
.. well done mr N ... a great book ... loved it
.. keep it up .. will be waiting for the next one
"Brilliantly written and narrated....."
Really love Graham Norton so this book was an absolute delight. Funny, witty, sad, disturbing and intriguing were just some of the emotions that kept you wanting to listen.
Would certainly want to read or listen to Grahams other books.
"A good read. Very enjoyable."
A good tale which kept me interested and listening! Well read by the author adding to the story. Some lovely bits which had me laughing out loud but also thoughtful and tackled some serious subjects. Really enjoyed it.
"Very enjoyable, and well narrated"
A very clever story line which kept me guessing until near the end. Graham reads the story well.
The characters were well written and very plausible
No. You can dip in and out of the story quite easily.
"Beautifully written - and narrated"
I have recommended to many already. And in both physical and audible versions everyone seems as enchanted as I was. Lovely, wonderful, warm and engaging novel - left open for a sequel that I cannot wait to read.
Richard Galbraith - Cuckoo's Calling. Reminded me of physically challenged characters trying to find their way to a normal life.
He is a wonderful narrator. Hearing him read and bring to life his own charactors was enchanting.
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