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Holding by Graham Norton


by Graham Norton

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Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Graham Norton has been in movies, is an awesome television host, and has written a few nonfiction books. He's accomplished a lot in his career and now he can add kick-ass novelist to his resume. After reading the summary of Holding, I was intrigued but also a little trepidatious. Because while I like him as a television personality, I couldn't help but wonder if I would feel the same way about his debut novel.

I decided audio was the way to go with this book. Graham Norton not only has a pleasant voice, he also has a very animated voice. I thought he would be a great narrator. And I was right. His Irish accent transported me to the heart of Duneen where this small little town came to life through his words.

Holding takes place in Duneen, Ireland. It's a small village where not much happens. That is, until human remains are discovered. And with this discovery, secrets that the residents have been holding on to for some time begin to find their way out of the dark. The story centers around a few of Duneen's residents: Sergeant P.J. Collins, Brid Riordan, and Evelyn Ross. Each character has their part to play in this spellbinding mystery as well as a juicy secrets of their own.

I don't want to give too much of the plot away, and it is well-plotted, because finding out the details as Norton unravels them is half the fun. I think Holding would have impressed the Queen of Mystery, Agatha Christie. It had the small town charm, the troubled but interesting characters, and, well, the a dead body. Though PJ isn't quite up there with Periot or Miss Marple, he's still an endearing character.

I enjoyed listening to this story, and I think you will too. I also learned that Graham Norton has another mystery coming out this year: A Keeper. I hope he narrates this book as well!

Read more at http://www.toreadornottoread.net/2018/05/audiobook-review-holding-by-graham.html... ( )
  mt256 | Jun 5, 2018 |
This Irish mystery is a cross between a cozy and a police procedural and won the Irish Book Award Book of the Year. Purchased in Ireland it is by Irish author Graham Norton.

As developers start excavating on a farm, they find what they think are human bones. As it turns out, the bones are 20 years old and belong to a male of about 20 years of age. There is no DNA match to anyone on record and the case goes unsolved for months.

However, during the short investigation, the lives of several of the Duneen townspeople are revealed. The the spinster Ross sisters, Brid Riordan, Police Sgt. PJ Clarke and Mrs. Meany, who cooks for him. Each has their own secrets and internal struggles.

It is as much the personal stories as it is the murder investigation that kept me reading. As the book progressed, so did my desire to keep reading. Holding is an easy and enjoyable read. ( )
  EdGoldberg | May 10, 2018 |
Duneen is a remote village in Ireland where little happens. Until human remains are discovered on an old farm. The remains are believed to be Tommy Burke's who was last seen twenty-five years earlier, getting on a bus to Cork. As Sergeant P.J. Collins struggles to solve a big case for the first time in his career he uncovers anger, resentment, secrets, and regret from some of the community's residents.

I really like the cover. Unfortunately, there's not much else I like about this book. I found the characters lacking depth. They're unlikable and forgettable. And they blame the disappearance of Tommy Burke twenty-five years ago for their unhappiness to this day? Ugh. There were three Ross sisters and I couldn't keep straight who was who. There were too many characters and side stories. It was like a bad romantic comedy. I wanted to know what happened to Tommy Burke, but this was very boring to get through. I dreaded picking it back up and had to start skimming the last half of the book. Disappointing ending.

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for a copy of this book. ( )
  jenn88 | Jan 9, 2018 |
A surprisingly amiable debut novel from chat show host Graham Norton. Holding is set in a small town in Co. Cork, where the discovery of human remains set local garda PJ Collins on the hunt for a killer and the investigation re-opens old local wounds. The mystery itself isn't all that mysterious—both the twist and the identity of the murderer are easy to guess quite early on—but Norton's much more interested in digging into the intertwined lives of the residents of Duneen, where everyone knows everyone else's business.

Norton has a great, tongue-in-cheek ear for dialogue, and the atmosphere he conjures up is sure to be familiar to anyone else who's the product of an Irish village (though perhaps Duneen is a little unmoored from time—there are only a few hints that this takes place in 2010s Ireland, like the mention of the Polish woman working in the local shop. Otherwise the mores expressed feel, if not quite 1950s, then fairly 1980s/early 1990s. Round about the time Norton moved away to England, if I had to guess). A little injection of Norton's caustic on-screen persona might have helped give some heft to his cast of characters, helped them linger in the reader's memory that little more, but on the whole a pleasant couple of hours' reading. ( )
  siriaeve | Dec 28, 2017 |
This book did not grab me right away, but once it did - I was hooked. The author did such a great job with the characters in this book. I felt like they were real as to the way he developed them. I knew their feelings, their fears and their hopes.

This was a great read that I thoroughly enjoyed. While I was hesitant at first about the book, it really didn't take me long to negate that thought and enjoy the journey.

Thanks to Atria Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. ( )
  debkrenzer | Sep 21, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
With a real affection for its flawed characters and their back stories, Holding is at times heartbreaking, at others snortingly funny.
added by Sylak | editStylist [Issue 338], Amy Adams (Oct 12, 2016)
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Duneen is a quiet place, far enough from the big towns to have kept its own rhythms. Its residents include castdown policeman PJ who lives a lonely, uneventful life punctuated only by the next meal - until now; the beautiful and mysterious family of three spinster sisters each with their own secrets and sorrows; and of course, the town's gossip who think she knows the answers. When a grim discovery is made on a building site up by the old school, it becomes the catalyst for long buried secrets and rivalries to come to light and this silent, once innocent and repressed-seeming town is revealed to have a much darker, hungrier undertow...… (more)

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