Try a Sample Chapter of Graham Norton’s Compelling New Page-Turner, Home Stretch

Try a Sample Chapter of Graham Norton’s Compelling New Page-Turner, Home Stretch

It was Bill Lawlor who found them first. No rain had fallen for four days but he knew it couldn’t last. He decided to take no chances and was working late at the garden centre. A pallet of peat moss sacks that had been delivered in the afternoon needed to be moved into the long store. By rights, young Dunphy should have been doing it, but he had looked so desperate when he came running into the shop asking if he could go early. His hair freshly flattened with water from the tap in the yard, his shirt tucked into his jeans.

‘Get away out of it. I’ll see you in the morning.’

The young lad beamed and in his haste to leave he tripped over his own feet.

‘Thanks! Thanks, Mr Lawlor.’

Bill wondered if there was a girl waiting. Was young Dunphy going to walk his lady friend along the river to the weir and then lure her under the railway bridge for a kiss or maybe more? He chuckled as he made his way down the yard. Hadn’t he done it himself?

The plastic sacks safely stored under cover, Bill threw the padlock around the gate and got into his car ready for the short drive home. Afterwards he tried to remember how he knew something was wrong. Had he heard the crash? He didn’t think so. All he could recall was that everything seemed unnaturally still as he approached Barry’s roundabout. There were no other cars and the early evening light gave everything a flat, washed-out air. Without deciding to, he found that he had slowed down. On the far side of the roundabout by the turn-off to the coast road, he saw two men, more like boys really. One was kneeling on the overgrown verge, his black and purple rugby shirt like a bruise against the green of the grass. The other was tall and thin, standing over him, gesturing with his long pale arms. Had they had a fight? Then he saw the thin threads of smoke rising up into the marmalade sky of dusk, and to the right of them the broken bank of shrubbery.

Everything suddenly accelerated. Bill was out of his car, running towards the boys.

‘Is everything all right? Is anyone…’ But before he could form the question, the answer became obvious.

Continue reading the extract here…

Reviews

Powerful and Moving: Read a Review of Home Stretch by Graham Norton

Review | Our Review

6 October 2020

Powerful and Moving: Read a Review of Home Stretch by Graham Norton

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            Publisher details

            Home Stretch
            Author
            Graham Norton
            Publisher
            Hachette
            Genre
            Fiction
            Released
            29 September, 2020

            Synopsis

            In the compelling new novel, Home Stretch, Graham Norton demonstrates his keen understanding of the power of stigma and secrecy - with quietly devastating results.Shame and longing can flow through generations, but the secrets of the heart will not be buried forever.It is 1987 and a small Irish community is preparing for a wedding. The day before the ceremony a group of young friends, including bride and groom, drive out to the beach. There is an accident. Three survive, but three are killed.The life of the families are shattered and the rifts between them are felt throughout the small town. Connor is one of the survivors. But staying among the angry and the mourning is almost as hard as living with the shame of having been the driver. He leaves the only place he knows for another life, taking his secrets with him. Travelling first to Liverpool, then London, he makes a home - of sorts - for himself in New York. The city provides shelter and possibility for the displaced, somewhere Connor can forget his past and forge a new life.But the secrets, the unspoken longings and regrets that have come to haunt those left behind will not be silenced. And before long, Connor will have to confront his past.Graham Norton's powerful and timely novel of emigration and return demonstrates his keen understanding of the power of stigma and secrecy - with devastating results.
            Graham Norton
            About the author

            Graham Norton

            Graham Norton is one of the UK's most treasured comedians and presenters. Born in Clondalkin, a suburb of Dublin, Norton's first big TV appearance was as Father Noel Furlong on Father Ted in the early 1990s. He then secured a prime time slot on UK television with his chat shows So Graham Norton and V Graham Norton. Known for his quick wit and flamboyant style Graham began hosting a variety of talent shows on BBC1 from Strictly Dance Fever and Andrew Lloyd Webber's How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? to The Eurovision Song Contest and the BAFTAs. Graham was soon approached by the BBC to front his own self titled chat show The Graham Norton Show in 2007.

            Books by Graham Norton

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