Monday 26 October 2020

Book Review: The Shortest Day by Colm Tóibín (Mystery / Short Stories)

Title: The Shortest Day
Author: Colm Tóibín
Publisher: Amazon Original Stories
Publication Date: 3 November 2020
eBook - PDF
Genre: Mystery / Short Stories
Source: ARC via NetGalley

During the winter solstice, on the shortest day and longest night of the year, the ancient burial chamber at Newgrange is empowered. Its mystifying source is a haunting tale told by locals.

Professor O’Kelly believes an archaeologist’s job is to make known only what can be proved. He is undeterred by ghost stories, idle speculation, and caution. Much to the chagrin of the living souls in County Meath. As well as those entombed in the sacred darkness of Newgrange itself. They’re determined to protect the secret of the light, guarded for more than five thousand years. And they know O’Kelly is coming for it.


I am generally a fan of Tóibín's writing, so I was interested to read his new short story The Shortest Day. The premise was interesting and the prose was atmospheric and generally well paced across the 30 pages of the tale. I liked the storytelling style, but I think, for me, something fell short in the conclusion. It all just seemed a little anti-climatic after the big build-up as to what would happen. It's an entertaining tale, but I expected something more gripping from the finale. Still, if you are a Tóibín fan you will surely find this short story appealing. It's a three-star read for me.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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