A BBC Radio 2 Book Club Choice
Shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards 2016
Shortlisted for the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award 2017
Longlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2017
1950. A teenage girl is brutally murdered in a forest. But, somehow, her baby survives.
1976. A mysterious and charming young man returns to the remote coastal village of Mulderrig, seeking answers about the mother who, it was said, had abandoned him on the steps of a Dublin orphanage.
With the help of its oldest and most eccentric inhabitant, he will force the village to give up its ghosts. Nothing, not even the dead, can stay buried forever.
Kidd's brilliantly bold debut mixes up murder and mayhem with the eerily supernatural. It's a tender, violent and funny story told in prose that is lyrical, lush and hugely imaginative. Utterly unputdownable * * Sunday Express * * Diabolical deeds, ferociously kept secrets, black humour and magical realism abound in Jess Kidd's richly textured, thronging debut . . . Kidd has imagination to die for and a real command of plot and character * * Guardian * * A genuinely intriguing mystery, with moments of real tenderness . . . otherworldly and wonderfully original * * Stylist * * Very funny, very profound, very moving . . . One of the finest books of the year -- SIMON MAYO * * BBC Radio 2 Book Club * * [Kidd] has imagination to spare. The forest feels alive at times. There is magic in the air . . . As a noirish thriller with a supernatural edge, Himself is atmospheric and intriguing. As a portrait of village hypocrisy and the dark things that lurk beneath the surface, it's also compelling * * Observer * * An intriguing story of family secrets and haunting -- ANDREW MICHAEL HURLEY, author of The Loney Wonderfully entertaining . . . the ghosts are not the main attraction in this delightful first novel; it is also a detective story, in which Mahony and Mrs C make an unlikely Holmes and Watson * * The Times * * This striking literary debut is a darkly comic tale of murder, intrigue, haunting and illegitimacy . . . wickedly funny * * Daily Express * * I love this book. It's a magic realist murder mystery set in rural Ireland, in which the dead play as important a part as the living. It's one of those books that has you smiling as you read, and that you plan to read again very soon. -- LOUIS DE BERNIERES, author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin In lyrical prose that is by turns touchingly tender and violent, Kidd's brilliantly bold debut mixes murder and mayhem with the eerily supernatural, and throws in a dash of laugh-out-loud humour for good measure * * Psychologies * *