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Charles, Paul - 'The Lonesome Heart is Angry'
Paperback: 388 pages (Apr. 2014) Publisher: New Island Books ISBN: 1848403399

This is set in the same small Northern Irish town as Paul Charles's earlier novel THE LAST DANCE and begins in the mid-1960s (when Beatlemania is starting) with the local matchmaker Michael Gilmour being asked to make a very unusual match - the twin Kane brothers (Pat and Joe) running a small farm want one wife between them. Gilmour is shocked by the sheer impropriety of such a match and sends them on their way but his sister-in-law Maggie hears of it and agrees to their terms and officially marries Pat but "lives" with both of them.

The mere hint of what is happening sets tongues wagging, lights a fire of jealousy in more than one heart and impacts upon the lives of multiple people including both of the twins, their wife and the matchmaker whose initial instinct that nothing good will come of this match seem to become horrifically correct when one brother vanishes. The investigator Detective Inspector Doyle then finds himself faced with something that stretches what he has learned with his devoted reading of Sherlock Holmes.

If you are expecting a crime novel with multiple bodies and complex police investigations then this is definitely not the novel for you. If you are willing to read a brilliant literary analysis of the day-to-day life in a small Northern Irish town some fifty years ago when the world was changing, possibly not for the better, with excellent characterisation of people with complex emotions and motivation, where there is a crime that may or may not have occurred about half-way through, then this is a great book for you.

Mark Bailey, Northern Ireland
September 2014

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 27/09/2014 20:17