Hellfire by Mia Gallagher


Mia Gallagher

Possibly one of the most disturbing but yet gripping and powerful books I've read for a long time. Set in Dublin, the story evolves around young Lucy Dolan, her family and her relationship with Nayler, a friend of her brother. We live Lucy's life through her eyes and thoughts (the novel is written in the first person using colloquial speech) and subject matter of drugs, murder and family abuse does made me think how easy my life was whilst growing up. What is sad about this book is that despite being written from the 1960s onwards, so many of the social problems encountered then still exist in today's society. However, at the beginning of the book, there are some humorous passages, but these are few and far between. Not always easy - but well worth the effort.


I stay cold as ice in the bee-baw and for a while down at the station, when that stupid cunt from the Social keeps asking me what's up, don't I know what I've done, this is serious, I coulda hurt someone, I should thank me stars I'm the age I am but I should definitely wise up, if I don't cop on now, I'm heading for disaster. All that I can take. Nothin new there. But when she grabs me and tries to turn me round ta look at her, I go loco. I lash out at her with me fists, flingin her against the wall. I throw chairs. I turn a table upside down. I scream. I am sick. I know this. I am fuckin sick. I am from a sick family. I am sick in the head. I am mad. They want me mad, they'll get mad. I am fuckin mad.

Two nights later I set fire ta me classroom.

The flames rise. I throw the empty petrol can on the heap and scream like a banshee, like mad Buck Whaley on his crazy horse Starlight, like me, Lucy Dolan, Lucy Lu Madser Dolan.

  • Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
  • Reservoir Dogs - the film

Books with similar mood

A History of Loneliness

John Boyne


Murray Davies

Scaredy Cat

Mark Billingham

Easy Money

Jens Lapidus

The Surrendered

Chang-Rae Lee

Citizen One

Andy Oakes

Cradle Song

Robert Edric

The Constant Gardener

John Le Carre

Star of the North

D B John

Beside Myself

Ann Morgan

The Children's Book

A S Byatt

Gate of the Sun

Elias Khoury

Three Day Road

Joseph Boyden

The Forest of Souls

Carla Banks

Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow

Peter Hoeg

The Unlucky Lottery

Hakan Nesser

Born under Punches

Martyn Waites

At Swim, Two Boys

Jamie O'Neill

The Pearl that Broke its Shell

Nadia Hashimi

The Kills

Richard House

A Thread of Grace

Mary Doria Russell

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Lionel Shriver

Waiting for the Wild Beasts to Vote

Ahmadou Kourouma

The Quiet Violence of Dreams

K Duiker

A Doubter's Almanac

Ethan Canin

The History of Bees

Maja Lunde

The Distance

Helen Giltrow

The Boat to Redemption

Su Tong

American Rust

Philipp Meyer

The Peacock Throne

Sujit Saraf

Mercy Among the Children

David Adams Richards


Irvine Welsh

The Wake

Paul Kingsnorth

The Unquiet Dead

Ausma Zehanat Khan


Sofi Oksanen

This is How

M J Hyland


Caron Freeborn

Night Calypso

Lawrence Scott

The North Water

Ian McGuire

We That Are Young

Preti Taneja


Jason Donald

An Untamed State

Roxane Gay

The Year of the Flood

Margaret Atwood

The Darling

Russell Banks

Double Vision

Tricia Sullivan

The Devil's Star

Jo Nesbo

Faith Without Doubt

Anna Blundy

The Secret Hunters

Ranulph Fiennes


Henry Flesh