In actor and comedian Ardal O’Hanlon’s entertaining new novel, emigrant Phillip Sharkey has come home to the twitchy-curtained fictional border town of Tullyanna for the funeral of his friend, Dove Connolly. Connolly, a bohemian artist, never recovered from the disappearance of his first love, Sandra Malone, who, we learn, has been missing for many years. Connolly’s suicide sets in motion events that reveal the dark history of the town.
Tullyanna has a colourful populace, including a plucky female reporter, a washed-up policeman and an egotistical politician who is standing for a very thinly veiled version of Sinn Féin. There are also some local thugs and intimidating, shadowy quasi-paramilitary types. The fraught relationships within this troupe of miscreants