Colin Walsh Kala


Code 9781838958756
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'A gritty heartbreaker of a thriller... Part heartfelt coming-of-age tale, part brutal Irish noir, this is a spectacular read for Donna Tartt and Tana French fans' Kirkus

In the seaside town of Kinlough, on Ireland's west coast, three old friends are thrown together for the first time in years. They - Helen, Joe and Mush - were part of an original group of six inseparable teenagers in the summer of 2003, with motherless, reckless Kala Lanann as their group's white-hot centre. Soon after that summer's peak, Kala disappeared without a trace.

Now it's fifteen years later: Helen has reluctantly returned to Ireland for her father's wedding; Joe is a world-famous musician, newly back in town; and Mush has never left, too scared to venture beyond the counter of his mother's cafe. But human remains have been discovered in the woods. Two more girls have gone missing. And as past and present begin to collide, the estranged friends are forced to confront their own complicity in the events that led to Kala's disappearance, and to try to stop Kinlough's violent patterns repeating themselves once again...

Against the backdrop of a town suffocating on its own secrets, in a story that builds from a smoulder to a stunning climax, Kala brilliantly examines the sometimes brutal costs of belonging, as well as the battle in the human heart between vengeance and forgiveness, despair and redemption.

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'Impressive... Walsh brilliantly conveys the cruelty, self-absorption and vulnerability of teenagers, their shifting allegiances and betrayals, as well as their love for one another... His characterisation is superb and he has a vivid turn of phrase. Kala heralds an exciting new voice'
- Observer

'This shimmering novel teems with tension and is so brilliantly executed it's hard to believe it's a debut'
- The Bookseller

'I was kept awake until the birds were singing. What a story. I was riveted. It captures so much of the essence of the thrill and excitement of teenage summers, the wonderful optimism of youth and first loves, and the ease with which corruption and evil can take hold and thrive. This is a dazzling novel.'
- Donal Ryan, Booker-listed author of The Queen of Dirt Island

'Kala is a thriller - and a lot more. It is exciting and cleverly structured, but its great strength is the characters: they are terrific.'
- Roddy Doyle, the Booker Prize-winning author of Life Without Children

'Now here's a truly ambitious debut novel that purrs with narrative confidence - hugely engaging and thoroughly addictive.'
- Kevin Barry, Booker-listed author of Nightboat to Tangiers

'Kala is so good. Skilfully assembled, suspenseful, brilliant about being a teenager and then of the difficult experience, as an adult, of going back home'
- Sara Baume, author of Seven Steeples

'The very definition of page-turner, full of big personalities, rapid twists and unpredictable moments, cast both in vivid colour and deepest shadow. I tore through it.'
- Lisa McInerney, author of The Rules of Revelation

'A compelling, moving novel... Simmering with darkness and rich with the accumulation of life'
- Rebecca Watson, author of Little Scratch

'A debut novel of skill and fire, Kala crackles with passion as it depicts the urgent bonds of youth and the monsters that emerge when we peer into the past.'
- Rob Doyle, author of Threshold

'Colin Walsh's debut is a heartbreaking story of love and lost youth that is at once tender and absolutely gutting. Psychologically rangy and ultimately riveting, Kala is a book you'll not just read and love, but lend to those you love'
- Smith Henderson, author of Fourth of July Creek

'A slow burner that draws you in and spins you around until you don't know where you stand. It kept my heart pounding and my head guessing until the very end.'
- Aingeala Flannery, author of The Amusements


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