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Wednesday 21 January 2015

‘The Lonesome Heart is Angry’ by Paul Charles

Published by New Island,
4 August 2014.
: 978-1848403390

A small town in 1960s Ireland. Matchmaker Michael Gilmour is approached with an odd request: twins who want to share a wife...

This is Charles’ second novel set in Castlemartin, and his recreation of small town politics and obsessions is wonderful: the interest in the neighbours, the reactions to the changing world of the 60s, particularly through the Matchmaker himself, about to become out of a job. The characters feel vividly real: Michael’s quiet wife, Dorothy, and Beatles-obsessed son; his sister-in-law, Maggie; the Sherlock Holmes loving policeman, Doyle; and of course the very different Kane twins, reclusive Joe, and outgoing Pat. The plot moves gently, gradually towards the inevitable tragedy, and ends with a surprising, satisfying twist. The description in this novel is wonderful – the sounds and smells of the fairground passage took me straight back to my teens. This is a stand-alone, but some of the characters of the first Castlemartin novel, The Last Dance, reappear, so you might want to read that first.

A leisurely, vividly-imagined small-town tragedy with a surprising twist.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

 Paul Charles was born and raised in Magherafelt in the north of Ireland and divides his time between writing and working in the music business in London. He is the author of ten Detective Inspector Christy Kennedy mysteries, set in Camden Town, the most recent of which was A Pleasure To Do Death With You and two Inspector Starrett mysteries set in Donegal in Ireland, the most recent of which was Family Life.

He is also author of The First of The True Believers a novel concerning the Beatles plus The Last Dance a novel set in Ireland in the 1950s and early 1960s against a backdrop of the legendary Irish Showbands, and The Lonesome Heart is Angry, a rural mystery set in the same era and the same fictitious village, Castlemartin, in addition to three other factual music business books.

Published November 2014 is Down On Cyprus Avenue a murder mystery set in modern day Belfast and introducing McCusker.

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.

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