Holding is a mystery novel written by Graham Norton, a well-known Irish television presenter, comedian, and author. The book was published in 2016 and is Norton’s debut novel. The story is set in a small village in Ireland, where secrets and rumors swirl around the townsfolk. It is a perfect blend of genres such as mystery, crime, and suspense, with a touch of humor, making it an enjoyable read.
Holding Plot Summary:
The story revolves around the small village of Duneen, where the discovery of human remains sends the community into a frenzy. Sergeant PJ Collins, a local police officer, is tasked with investigating the case. As the investigation unfolds, PJ begins to uncover secrets and lies that have been hidden for decades. The victim, a woman named Brid Riordan, was rumored to have run away with a lover, leaving her family and village behind. As PJ delves deeper into the case, he realizes that the story of Brid’s disappearance is more complicated than anyone could have imagined.
The characters in Holding are well-developed and relatable. PJ Collins, the protagonist, is a lonely man with a troubled past. His dedication to his job and the people of Duneen is admirable, and his growth throughout the novel is inspiring. The other characters, such as Brid’s siblings, Jack and Evelyn, and the village gossip, Mrs. Meaney, all play their part in the story and add depth to the plot. Each character has their own secrets and motivations, and Norton does an excellent job of revealing them at just the right moment.
Themes and Symbolism:
The central theme of Holding is the impact of secrets and lies on individuals and communities. The story shows how rumors and gossip can destroy lives and create a sense of mistrust between people. Norton also explores the idea of redemption and the possibility of moving forward after a mistake or a tragedy. The book’s title, Holding, is symbolic of the characters’ desire to hold onto the past and their fear of letting go.
Writing Style and Pacing:
Norton’s writing style is engaging and witty, with a touch of humor that makes the story enjoyable. The pacing of the book is slow, but it fits the small village setting and allows the characters to develop naturally. The plot twists are well-timed, and the final reveal is satisfying.
Overall, Holding is an enjoyable and well-crafted mystery novel. The characters are relatable, and the plot is engaging. Norton’s writing style is engaging and witty, and the pacing of the book is perfect for the small village setting. The themes of secrets and redemption add depth to the story, making it more than just a simple mystery novel.
For those who enjoyed Holding, Norton’s second novel, A Keeper, is another excellent read. Like Holding, A Keeper is set in Ireland and follows the story of a woman who uncovers secrets from her family’s past. The book is a blend of mystery, family drama, and romance, making it a perfect follow-up to Holding.