Buchnummer des Verkäufers
Inhaltsangabe: A brilliant debut from a writer who spins an unputdownable tale. - Denise Mina, twice winner of the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Oonagh O Neil has a challenge on her hands - and her head over a toilet bowl. TV journalist and media darling Oonagh O Neil faces danger and chaos when an elderly priest dies on the altar of his Glasgow church. His death comes as she is about to expose the shocking truth behind the closure of a Magdalene Institution. The Church has already tried to suppress the story. Is someone also covering their tracks? DI Alec Davies is appointed to investigate the priest s death. He and Oonagh go way back. But their friendship counts for nothing when Davies suspicions falls on Oonagh s married lover. Oonagh now faces the biggest decision of her life. But will it be hers to make? What secrets lie behind the derelict Institution s doors? What sparked the infamous three-day riot that closed it? And what happened to the three Maggies who vowed to stay friends forever? From Ireland to Scotland. From life to death.
'I'm not going to do that thing where I say, for a debut this is excellent. Because, for any experience of novelist, 'Penance' is a damn good read. In Oonagh O'Neil, the author has created a fascinating, flesh and blood character. Someone who pops from the page and someone, dare I say it, who would be great fun to go for a drink with. There is much about this story that is dark and Oonagh's irrepressible sense of humour carries a light tone that leavens the darkness just when it's needed. If I was to pick hairs, there were a couple of times I felt it could have been toned down just a wee bit. The Magdelene Institutions have become notorious throughout the UK and Ireland for the way young unmarried pregnant women (girls really) were treated and Talbot uses the experiences of those girls to good effect. In this skilful author's hands this never feels exploitative: she treats their powerful stories with respect and honesty. Indeed when describing what happened in these institutions this is often when her writing is at its sharpest and most moving. As strong as all that social history is, this is still a crime novel and in 'Penance' that element informs the story and the subsequent mystery without ever swamping it: the mark of a talented writer. At one point near the end, I almost jumped out of my chair and cheered. When a writer provokes that kind of response in you, you know you've been removed from your reality and taken on a journey. What more can you ask for from a book? 'Penance' is in turns an exciting, humourous and poignant read.' --Crimesquad.com, Nov 2015
I am going to struggle to do Penance justice in this review. It is a fabulous book, it tells a story partly based around historical events which add a layer of heart-breaking tragedy, it is emotive, often funny and frequently shocking. You have to read it! Central character Oonagh O Neil is an investigative journalist and she has been looking into the closure of Glasgow s Magdalene Institution many years prior to events in the main story. Oonagh believes that a local priest can help her uncover what went on behind the Institutions closed doors but before she can get the full story the priest dies during mass. Oonagh refuses to give up on her investigation but pursuing the story is putting lives in danger (including Oonagh s own). A rival journalist is digging the dirt on Oonagh and will stop at nothing to suppress her story if the payoff from other interested parties makes it worth his while! Events in Penance are mainly played out in Glasgow in the year 2000 but at times the story drops back to the late 1950 s and we see how girls may have ended up in the Magdalene Institutions and (more alarmingly) what they endured while they were resident. The small time-shifts are handled really well, do not break the flow of the story, and add depth and context to the main plot which makes the endgame so damn effective. A tricky read at times, the brutal reality is handled with sensitivity by Theresa Talbot. But she does not shirk away from confronting the unsettling subject matter and Penance is a compelling story as a result. Most definitely a story I am glad I have read 5/5 review score was guaranteed when I realized that I was frequently thinking back to Penance when I was meant to be working! --www.grabthisbook.net, 23 Dec 2015
TV journalist Oonagh O'Neil is on the trail of a story about the scandal of the Catholic Church's Magdalene Institutions, particularly one in Glasgow, but her investigations are thrown off course by the sudden death of a potential informant Father Kennedy. Her private life is in turmoil as well, as her married lover doesn't seem to accept that their affair is over .....and, when the police begin to think there may be a link between him and Father Kennedy's death, things are going to get even worse for Oonagh... With a considerable cast of characters, and events unfolding in both 2000 and in flashback to the 1950s, I found this a little difficult to get into at first. Once people and events were straight in my mind though, I could hardly read fast enough! I really wanted to leap to the last chapter, or even the last page, to find out whodunnit without having to go through all the twists and turns and red herrings. As you might guess from that, the plot is far from simple - a different culprit presents themselves almost every chapter - and keeping track of everyone - Oonagh, her lover Jack, her friend Catholic priest Tom Findlay, sleazy journalist Charlie Antonio, DI Alex Davies in charge of the investigation plus other supporting cast - remembering what they know, where they've been, who they've seen and talked to - is enough to leave your head buzzing. Oonagh is the sort of female character who gets labelled as 'feisty', sometimes too feisty for her own good I rather thought, but, like any good journalist, once she's given a lead she won't put it down until she's followed it to the end, no matter how bitter. --www.ourbookreviewsonline.blogspot.co.uk, 15 Feb 2016
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