Norton. Graham Norton. The man who makes me smile each time I have a chance to watch his show.
I knew he wrote up to two semi-biographical, semi non-fiction books, so a world of written words - which happens to be 'mine', too - is nothing new to him. This one though, 'Holding', is a crime mystery. Fiction to the fullest, basically.
One has expectations when reading a book. When you sort of know something about the author, you get into assumptions. I was therefore expecting funny. And met my expectations right at the beginning. There seems to be this vibe of sarcasm, irony, and deep observation of the world that cuts through. Gives laughter and joy. And brings back any memories one may have about Ireland. Or reveal discoveries one may not have been aware of up until now.
I thoroughly enjoyed the plot. Twisted as it should be in a decent crime story. Not so obvious and fooling a reader as it should, in a well-planned crime story. Giving you both chills and hope, and making your jaw drop as it should be - but rarely is - in a long-remembered crime story.
What took me completely by surprise though, was a collection of thoughts that made me think. And smile. It was that sad smile, the one I have when I sigh and remind myself of situations I have been through. Experiences that touched me and shaped me.
'Some marriages combust, others die, and some just lie down like a wounded animal, defeated.'
Wasn't expecting that. Kudos.
I would recommend it to crime mystery lovers. I would definitely buy a copy as a present to anyone who is struggling with their everyday life. Finally, I would give it to anyone who needs some joy on a gloomy day.
I had an opportunity to ... Actually, no. I had a pleasure to read an ARC of this book via NetValley.