To say I loved this latest novel from Kevin Barry is an understatement, I absolutely adored it. I loved the writing, the storyline and the way he portrays the conversations between Maurice and Charlie a word is not wasted. The scenes in Tangier are idyllic leaving you with the feeling you are there eavesdropping on the two lads. This is a glorious portrayal of gangsters and the underworld I read it in one sitting finding it intriguing, hugely enjoyable and gripping.

The story moves between Tangier, a small village on the Beara Peninsula in Co Kerry as well as Connemara and London as we follow the lives of the two gangsters, Maurice Hearne and Charlie Redmond. The story opens in Tangier in October 2018 where we first meet the men as they look for Maurice’s daughter. The men’s lives have been intertwined for decades not only throughout their life of crime but in their personal life.

The story brilliantly builds with drama on every page. One of the most gripping passages is as Maurice confronts Charlie about his wife Cynthia. As the story progresses the mood changes becoming less angry and more reflective.

There are many wonderful and sublime passages in this book with my favourite being “The Skelligs sat dreaming far in the June Haze”. I often drive the coastline, seeing The Skelligs out at sea and this is the most perfect description of them.

If you love fascinating characters, vividly described and a gripping storyline this is the book for you.


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