Posted 20 hours ago

Brouhaha: The brilliant new novel from Ardal O’Hanlon

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Now his best friend Sharkey is home asking awkward questions about Dove’s death, about the strange graphic novel he left behind, and, most of all, about Sandra. Sandra Mohan. Missing now for over a decade, whereabouts unknown. Tullyanna is fictional, but its characters belong in any real-life country town. They include an influential local politician who used to be the local bully, a retired policeman turned soccer coach and a folksy doctor who drives like a maniac. As for the group of boyhood friends surrounding Philip, the like of them can be seen hanging around on street corners in any town, anywhere in the world. What makes Brouhaha truly Irish is the long-term influence of history and politics on events. Sharkey finds himself joining forces with retired Garda Kevin Healy, who is haunted by the fact that he was unable to find out what happened to Sandra, and a local journalist Joanne McCollum who is obsessed with the case. Maybe together they can break through the web of lies that has built up around Sandra's disappearance and finally get to the truth? If they can stay out of harm's way...

My opinion: I was so incredibly excited when this book dropped on my doormat and I opened it up. I have been a fan of Ardal O’Hanlon since watching him as a kid in Father Ted, Death on paradise etc. I was therefore over the moon when I started reading and I could actually hear him talking to me in his Irish tang, nuanced language and witty descriptions of real mundane issues in life. If you are a fan of satire and dark comedy then you will like this. What a brouhaha indeed! It took me a little while to get into Ardal’s writing style. I got round it by imagining him reading it out loud, so it helped to be familiar with his tv persona. The sentence construction seemed odd at times, mainly because he has the habit of letting his brain wander off. But these musings help build the story and are often where the dark humour comes from, adding depth to the characters.

Dove has left little behind to give Sharkey any clues about what he had discovered, except an avant-garde mural in the local shopping centre, and a rather surreal hand-drawn graphic novel he wrote about a character called Brouhaha - both of which bizarrely seem to reference many of the residents of Tullyanna. The razor-sharp, violent and darkly comic second novel from actor, comedian and writer Ardal O'Hanlon.

I found it interesting to have three main characters and to see the story from each of their pint of views, however I thought this made the book a little too long and my attention was lost. As a murder mystery the book has no problem with providing suspects, but I felt that the book ran out of steam midway through.

Thank you for my gifted copy of Brouhaha in return for an honest review @HCinIreland @harpercollinsire and thank you for my place on the booktour @RandomTTours This was a wee bit heavy going until I managed to settle in to the author's writing style, which did take a bit longer than usual for me. But, once that was done, I was away... Joanne, a local reporter, remains convinced Sandra, with whom she went to school, didn't just disappear.

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