Some books go so deep it is hard to describe them at all. Starting from a policeman’s retirement, this story opens out into the trauma of Ireland, a violence kept secret, its effects explored with such tenderness and empathy it is heartbreaking. The language and landscape are immense and the love of humanity that comes through every page is extraordinary.
He wished he had a handkerchief but instead he laid the back of his right hand across his brow and mopped it that way. The big change he had noticed after sixty was not just the rising to piss at night, but a hundred other little intimations of infirmities ahead. His very footstep seemed to him less recognisable. Where once he had stridden forth, now he more or less was on a shorter rein, he had taken in his stride, tailored it like the gansey of a famished man.