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  • Gaili Schoen

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“Landscape is one of the few things he knows of where the reality doesn’t let you down. The West of Ireland looked beautiful on the internet; from right smack in the middle of it, it looks even better. The air is rich as fruitcake, like you should do more with it than just breathe it; bite off a big mouthful, maybe, or rub handfuls of it over your face.”


Cal is a retired detective, and moves to Ireland to live a quiet, pastoral life of fishing, hunting, fixing up an old house and sharing pints with new friends in the pub. But word gets out about his former profession, and he gets roped into investigating the missing brother of a local 13-year-old kid from a poor, downtrodden family. This is alternately a sweet story about his growing fatherly relationship with the kid, and a dark disturbing story about how the local Irishmen handle bad boys.


“He hated the way every drug in its different way scooped the solidity right out of the world and left it quicksand-textured, cracked across and wavering at the edges. They did the same thing to people: people on drugs stopped being what you knew them to be.”


I loved the way this book pulled me into Ireland- the beauty, the banter, the weather, the slow pace, the pub culture. But the ending seemed anticlimactic and I got bored at times. Still it's an enjoyable read, and we like the hapless protagonist Cal and a few of his neighbors right away.


⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 on our Ripe Reads Goodreads group (please join us there!). Hardcover 464 pages, Audiobook 14 hours, 32 mins.

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