While browsing through my favourite bookshop, I came across ‘Holding’ by Graham Norton. I didn’t know Norton had written any novels. I was curious to see if it was any good.
Holding is Norton’s first novel, set in an Irish village called Duneen where not much happens. That changes when police officer P J Collins, better known as PJ, gets a call about buried bones found at a construction site.
Without any expectations, I started reading. I found that I had to get into it at first, but after finishing it, I think it’s a wonderful novel. After getting used to the writing style and the darkness in the story, I really started liking this book. It had the right amount of tension and the right timing of events.
Norton has a dark writing style. It is confronting and it immediately sets the tone for the story. When I started reading the book, I had to get used to the writing style and perhaps to the tone of the book. Getting further in the book though, it became something I really loved about the book. The dark and confronting writing style set the tone and really create tension in the story.
What else was great about this book, was that nothing was overdone or underdone. The right elements were there and in the right amount. It was just as mysterious as it ought to be. The focus within the story was perfect too. It was focused on all the characters and their stories rather than just the police investigation. This all made the book more fun to read and it really kept you on the edge of your seat.
The story isn’t told through one single perspective. Instead, Norton jumps from character to character. With this, he gives you certain pieces of information, but he also hides certain things from you. This makes everything more mysterious and not all your questions are immediately answered. Next to this, the characters were really well written. It was really great not to have an all-knowing narrator, but to still have different perspectives in the story. Norton really takes advantage of this.
Norton really has written a great debut novel. I can say I loved reading it, though I had to get used to his style. Jumping from character to character, creating suspicions, a dark writing style. These are all things that I loved about this book. I’d definitely recommend reading this book and I may even reread it myself in the future.
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