I like Graham Norton and have been a fan of his since his early career. So when I saw that he’d written a book, published in October 2016, I was intrigued.
I expected it to be another collection of the witty stuff he is known for, or a bit ‘lovey’ and unrealistic, so I was pleasantly surprised when I realized it was more of a darkly comic crime story.
Firstly, I liked that the type was cleanly spaced and not too small, and even better the chapters were short enough to read in a sitting (chapters breaks are important to a busy mum). And it’s clear early on that every word counts; there’s not one line of waffle or fillers. I wanted to thank Graham simply for making my reintroduction to reading so easy!
The story is set in an Irish village and the drama begins when a skeleton is found on a local building development. The book is about the local guard finding out who it is and, more importantly, who did it. It’s a cross between Midsomer Murders and Hot Fuzz, with familiar glimmers of the fantastic comedy series, Father Ted.
The characterization is brilliant and deeply observant. There’s one thing I’ve learned about Graham Norton from reading this – he knows about people, and by that I mean real people living lives I could relate to, not a celebrity’s skewed concept of what ‘real people’ are like. Sometimes I can tell Graham is behind the words but generally I don’t think you’d know (which might be useful to those who aren’t big fans).
Despite there being a murder case, there isn’t a speck of grit. While some parts of the story are sad or dramatic, the whole tone of the book is pleasant… I looked forward to reading more about this village and the people living there, with all their skeletons in their cupboards (or rather at the building development!).
The book has received great reviews so far which I hope motivates Graham to keep writing; I’ll be keeping an eye out for more in the future. Why not try Holding for yourself, it’s available to buy on Amazon. I’d love to know what you think…