Old God’s Time

Blackstone Audio. Mar. 2023. 8:34 hrs. ISBN 9798212225465. $19.95. F
Barry’s (Days Without End) latest introduces Tom Kettle, a retired detective who has seen more than his fair share of tragedy. Though his memory is beginning to fray, he remembers happy times with his wife and children. Now living alone in a lean-to overlooking the Irish Sea, he is visited by two detectives who want his help on a case involving a murdered priest. Remembering that case brings back unsettling memories of another one that still haunts Kettle because of what it did to his family. With its opening in Ireland and with Kettle seeming to settle into retirement, the book begins with almost a cozy-mystery vibe, but that tone gradually grows disturbing. Narrator Stephen Hogan portrays Kettle as an older man exhausted by his responsibilities and memories, even when those memories are slippery and misleading. Listeners wanting to get to the heart of the mystery may be frustrated by Kettle’s wandering memory, but others will welcome the opportunity to put the puzzle pieces together while learning of his painful past and deep suffering.
VERDICT A poignant meditation on aging, grief, and longing, this shifting psychological novel is perfect for readers of Dervla McTiernan and Donal Ryan.
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