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Publisher's Summary

From Graham Norton, the BAFTA-award-winning Irish television host and author of the "sparkling and impish" (Daily Mail) memoirs The Life and Loves of a He Devil and So Me, comes a charming debut novel set in an idyllic Irish village where a bumbling investigator has to sort through decades of gossip and secrets to solve a mysterious crime.

The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama, but when human remains are discovered on an old farm, suspected to be those of Tommy Burke - a former lover of two different inhabitants - the village's dark past begins to unravel. As the frustrated sergeant PJ Collins 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.

In this darkly comic, touching and, at times, heartbreaking novel, perfect for fans of J.K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy, 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 and Hodder & Stoughton (P)2017 Simon and Schuster Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Rani
  • Henderson, NV, United States
  • 11-01-17

Sublime, Simply Sublime and Dripping with Cynicism

I love Graham Norton. I loved “The Casual Vacancy.” So how could I not love this book. Then to have Graham narrate it was exquisite.

I loved the story. I loved the twists. Small town happenings that reveal the seedy side of human interaction and dysfunction all wrapped up in a murder mystery. What’s not to love? So well done!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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I like the Author as a TV Personality

I picked up this title because I saw the author's interview with Stephen Colbert. While I enjoyed it well enough I felt it was missing something. There are plenty of funny scenes and plenty of touching or sad scenes, it got an emotional reaction from me a few times.

I don't know what I was expecting, maybe a more complex mystery, maybe more comedy, but while I enjoyed the book just fine I didn't feel any real "oomph". Maybe I am not the target audience, the way it focuses on romantic elements and vulnerability it would appeal to readers who prefer stories emphasizing those, which is not my thing.

I don't normally read mysteries, I think this is only the fourth or fifth one ever, so I might just be a poor judge of this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Deborah
  • HOUSTON, TX, United States
  • 09-20-17

Very enjoyable

If you could sum up Holding in three words, what would they be?

Old fashioned mystery

What did you like best about this story?

Interesting setting and characters each of whom are totally relatable, Graham Norton is a keen observer of human behavior. For the most part, he avoided the clichés of the modern detective novel such as gory forensics and a flawed but impossibly bright detective who solves the mystery in the last page. It's also a welcome relief from the Scandinavian noir mysteries with their gratuitous sexual violence.

What does Graham Norton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He's a great narrator- he knows how to tell a story in the usual Irish tradition.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, but I imagine there may be some triggers for overweight people, victims of sexual abuse. As a single woman, I did not care for the depiction of the spinster sisters, but it didn't offend me.

Any additional comments?

I will look for Graham Norton's other books! I understand his next novel will not be a mystery.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding

Fresh and original. I loved the sense of place, loveable and not so loveable characters, and a plot that did not cheat the reader. Graham Norton is very much in command, writing with humor and great literary talent. I will recommend this book highly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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excellent mystery in a small town...

I really enjoyed this book. An original mystery in a small town....I haven't heard something like this in a while....

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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if you love a good old Fashioned English Mystery

Wonderful book. I listened while working and admit I must go back to the parts I was interupted at. it's one of those books you are annoyed at getting interupted from.
I wouldn't call it a cozy mystery because that would insult it. it's just goodvwriting, with great flawed characters
and is performed flawlessly.


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Splendidly delightful

I expected a fun, Irish small-town story from Norton, but was delighted by a marvelous mystery, as well. Embellished with unexpected twists and turns, the Marple-esque plot never slowed or misled with red herrings. Norton’s performance as reader increased my appreciation for his breadth and talent. This is a winner!

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Graham nailed it

I knew Graham Norton as a tv personality, clever and witty....This book is engaging and he reads it with great story telling skill...

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Entertaining

After a few bad experiences I generally avoid books narrated by the author, but this one was really enjoyable! IMO, it’s not exactly a mystery, but rather a character study with that as a backdrop. Good stuff - I’d definitely read/listen to fiction from GN again.

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Lovely look at life in a small Irish village

Loved that himself narrated the book. Nice, entertaining book. Not to heavy, gave a good look at life in a small Irish village.