Rating: 2 out of 5.

Ugh. This book was really hard to read and I was so glad when I finished. It’s a depressing mystery/thriller about a dysfunctional family of selfish, narcissistic people. None of the characters had any redeeming qualities.

William, Brian, and Luke are each born a year apart in a lower middle class Catholic family in 1960s Dublin. Their father is quiet and compliant and their mother is a performer and minor celebrity. She is crass, cheats on her husband and is only concerned about her career and own happiness. William becomes a big shot movie producer, after a series of teaching jobs Brian becomes an entertainment manager, and Luke becomes a pop star. None of the boys like each other and are jealous of each other’s successes. They spend their entire lives back-stabbing each other, betraying each other and generally being total jerks. Anyone that gets sucked into their sphere eventually becomes a casualty of their cruelty.

I had a hard time reading this book. The writing was very good, but the subject matter was just too much for me. In addition, the story is divided into three sections, told from the perspective of each man. The chapters in each section jump back and forth in time and are a jumbled mess. You do get to see multiple scenarios from each man’s perspective, but because there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to how each section is written, oftentimes you don’t remember what the other brother’s perspective was. Toward the end of the book the timelines merge, until the totally messed up conclusion.

Normally I don’t have a problem with books about dysfunctional people, but I think this one bothered me so much because there wasn’t a single person that wasn’t a jerk, and nothing good happened to anyone. Other people seemed to really enjoy this book, so it’s probably just me.

Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.