Friday 12 April 2019

The Night of the Party by Rachael English @EnglishRachael @Hachetteire #TheNightOfTheParty #Review

January 1982: In the rural village of Kilmitten, the Crossan family is holding its annual party during the biggest snowstorm Ireland has seen in decades. By the end of the night, the parish priest has been found dead, in suspicious circumstances.
For Tom, Conor, Tess and Nina, four teenage friends who were there, life will never be the same. One of them carries a secret and, as the years pass and their lives diverge, a bond that won't be broken silently holds.
As the thirty-fifth anniversary of the priest's death approaches, Conor, now a senior police officer, has reason to believe that Tom - a prominent politician - can help identify the killer. As his dilemma draws the four friends back together, all are forced to question their lives and to confront their differences.
The Night of the Party is a page-turning novel that combines warmth, drama and an unforgettable twist.

The Night of the Party by Rachael English was published by Hachette Ireland in paperback on 4 April 2019. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

I am a huge fan of Rachael English's writing and The Night of the Party is the fourth book of hers that I've read.
I read and reviewed her previous novels here on Random Things; Going Back (published May 2014):
Each and Every One (published September 2014), and The American Girl (published April 2017).

Here is an author whose writing just gets better and better. I'm sure that I said that when I reviewed her last novel, and I have to say it once again; this is a wonderfully warm and relevant read. One that sweeps the reader up and plonks them right down into rural West Coast Ireland in the early 1980s.

I really believe that Rachael English 'does' Ireland so very very well. The story starts in 1982, during a snowstorm that was unprecedented in Ireland and during which the whole country came to a standstill. Young Tom Crossan and his friends Conor, Tess and Nina are overjoyed by the snow. Their parents, not so much. However, Mr and Mrs Crossan are determined that their yearly January party will go ahead. Tom and his friends have planned their own get together; in the garden shed with a couple of illicit cigarettes and a few bottles of beer.

Tragedy strikes on the night of the party when local priest, Father Leo Galvin is found dead. His death remains a mystery and becomes something of a local legend as the children grow up and eventually part ways and move away from the small town.

Fast forward to the modern day and Conor is now a policeman himself. He's determined that he will solve that age-old mystery - how did Father Galvin die?  After many years apart and very varied lives, the four childhood friends are reunited.

Once again, this very talented author has produced a story that had be totally immersed. Her characters are an absolute delight and her settings are perfection. Her depiction of small town Ireland is astutely portrayed and whilst their is the mystery of the priest's death at the centre of the story, this i more about the power of friendship and community.

So easy to read, with an emotional depth. This novel is graceful and beautifully executed. I cannot wait to see what this gifted author comes up with next.

Rachael English is a novelist and presenter on Ireland's most popular radio show, Morning Ireland. 

During more than twenty years as a journalist, she has worked on most of RTE Radio's leading current affairs programmes, covering a huge range of national and international stories. 

Author page on Facebook
Twitter @EnglishRachael

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