Love In The Time Of Chaos, Rosemary Jenkinson ( paperback March 2023)

£12.99

Short stories set in contemporary Northern Ireland, full of humour and wry realism. A beautiful illustrated cover courtesy of Irish publisher Arlen House. Rosemary is one of Northern Ireland's foremost short story writers - a genre that is brilliant executed by our Irish writers.

Do email us if you would like more information about Rosemary or any of our other excellent NI short story writers, Jamie Guiney, Peter Hollywood, Louise Kennedy, Lucy Caldwell, Jan Carson, Kelly Creighton - to name just a few! 

 

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That Glimpse of Truth : 100 Finest Short Stories (softback)

£18.99

A fabulous collection of all time short story greats - including Dickens, Ian McEwan, Alice Munro, Roald Dahl, Kate Atkinson and so much more. One to enjoy. 

Due to be reissued in an updated format from 09 Dec 2021. Profound, lyrical, shocking, wise: the short story is capable of almost anything. This collection of 100 of the finest stories ever written ranges from the essential to the unexpected, the traditional to the surreal.

Wide in scope, both beautiful and vast, this is the perfect companion for any fiction lover. Here are childhood favourites and neglected masters, twenty-first century wits and national treasures, Man Booker Prize winners and Nobel Laureates. Featuring an all-star cast of authors, including Kate Atkinson, Julian Barnes, Angela Carter, Anton Chekhov, Richmal Crompton, Charles Dickens, Roald Dahl, Penelope Fitzgerald, Gustave Flaubert, Rudyard Kipling, Somerset Maugham, Ian McEwan, Alice Munro, V.S.

Pritchett, Thomas Pynchon, Muriel Spark and Colm Toibin, That Glimpse of Truth is the biggest, most handsome collection of short fiction in print today.

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This Train Is For, Bernie McGill ( paperback, June 2022)

£12.00

A great collection of 'caught at the moment ' short stories from Northern Irish Bernie McGill ( author of The Watch House, The Butterfly Cabinet, Sleepwalkers) 

These stories have a delicacy, an emotional connection and a sense of what's between the lines, in a range of voices and characters. Very enjoyable. 

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Midwinter Murder, Agatha Christie (hardback, Oct 2020)

£14.99

An all-new collection of winter-themed mysteries from the master of the genre. 

There's a chill in the air and the days are growing shorter... It's the perfect time to curl up in front of a crackling fireplace with this winter-themed collection from legendary mystery writer Agatha Christie.

But beware of deadly snowdrifts and dangerous gifts, poisoned meals and mysterious guests. This compendium of short stories, some featuring beloved detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, is an essential omnibus for Christie fans and the perfect gift for mystery lovers. INCLUDES THE STORIES:The Chocolate BoxA Christmas TragedyThe Coming of Mr QuinThe Mystery of the Baghdad ChestThe Clergyman's DaughterThe Plymouth ExpressProblem at Pollensa BaySanctuaryThe Mystery of Hunter's LodgeThe World's EndThe Manhood of Edward RobinsonChristmas Adventure

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Supporting Cast, Kit de Waal

£8.99

From the acclaimed author of My Name is Leon***'

Stories of everyday lives that will resonate and move you utterly'

 

As she walks out of her marriage, a woman remembers the day her husband rescued a boy from drowning. A blind man on his wedding day celebrates the pursuit of love. And a young man leaves prison with only one desire - to see his son again.

Kit de Waal's characters light up the page in vivid stories of thwarted desire, love and loss. With power and precision, humanity and insight, Supporting Cast captures the extraordinary moments in our ordinary lives, and the darkness and the joy of the everyday.

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Fourteen Days, various authors ( Feb 2024) - edited by Margaret Atwood

£20.00

One week into lockdown, the tenants of a Manhattan apartment building have begun to gather on the rooftop each evening and tell stories in this exciting new twist on the novel. With each passing night, more and more neighbours gather, bringing chairs and milk crates and overturned buckets. Gradually the tenants – some of whom have barely spoken to each other before now – become real neighbours.

With each character secretly written by a different, major literary voice - from Margaret Atwood to John Grisham and Celeste Ng, Fourteen Days is a heart-warming ode to the power of storytelling and human connection. ‘An immensely enjoyable product of an immensely unenjoyable time, Fourteen Days is lively, freewheeling… An impressive achievement’ Observer

‘Fourteen Days serves as a valuable reminder that stories can teach, console, provide a place of acceptance and perhaps even change their readers (or listeners)’ Financial TimesIncludes writing from: Margaret Atwood, Sylvia Day, Emma Donoghue, Dave Eggers, Diana Gabaldon, Tess Gerritsen, John Grisham, Erica Jong, Celeste Ng, Tommy Orange, Doug Preston, R.L. Stine, Nafissa Thompson-Spires, Meg Wolitzer and many more.

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Foster, Claire Keegan ( paperback)

£8.99

From the author of the Booker-shortlisted Small Things Like These, a heartbreaking, haunting story of childhood, loss and love by one of Ireland's most acclaimed writers. 'A real jewel.' Irish Independent'A small miracle.' Sunday Times'A thing of finely honed beauty.' Guardian'Thrilling.' Richard Ford'As good as Chekhov.' David MitchellIt is a hot summer in rural Ireland. A girl is sent to live with foster parents on a farm, not knowing when she will return home.

In the strangers' house, she finds a warmth and affection she has not known before and slowly begins to blossom in their care. But in a house where there are meant to be no secrets, she discovers how fragile her idyll is.

Now a stunning and emotional film, The Quiet Girl ( part Irish / Eng with subtitles) 

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Table For Two, Amor Towles ( hardback May 2024)

£18.99

Millions of Amor Towles fans are in for a treat as he shares some of his shorter fiction: six stories based in New York City and a novella set in Golden Age Hollywood. The New York stories, most of which take place around the year 2000, consider the fateful consequences that can spring from brief encounters and the delicate mechanics of compromise that operate at the heart of modern marriages. In Towles’s novel Rules of Civility, the indomitable Evelyn Ross leaves New York City in September 1938 with the intention of returning home to Indiana.

But as her train pulls into Chicago, where her parents are waiting, she instead extends her ticket to Los Angeles. Told from seven points of view, “Eve in Hollywood” describes how Eve crafts a new future for herself—and others—in a noirish tale that takes us through the movie sets, bungalows, and dive bars of Los Angeles. Written with his signature wit, humor, and sophistication, Table for Two is another glittering addition to Towles’s canon of stylish and transporting fiction.

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Old Romantics, Maggie Armstrong ( paperback April 2024)

£13.99

"A few years ago my husband recommended me for a job in his company, and I thought it would be fun, and soa woman named Rosaleen would ring me for a chat. Rosaleen was a senior director in the firm, and these were scheduled chats, but I was always unprepared, running from a room, looking for a pen, or out in the rain, pushing the baby in the pram. Rosaleen had a terse and serious manner that unwound into listless expectation when my turn came to speak. I would say something and she would wait for me to say something better. Rosaleen savoured a pause. The line burned with a shared misgiving even as Rosaleen made me an astounding offer ..."

'Old Romantics' is acutely observed, raw and unafraid, an entertaining collection of linked short stories from an astonishing new talent.

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The Book of Witty Women ( paperback April 2024)

£12.99

This anthology showcases the very best in humorous short story writing, by outstanding contemporary women writers, including Kathy Lette, Sadia Azmat, Lucy Vine, Josie Long, Paula Lennon, and many more. It includes the winning and shortlisted stories from the Comedy Women in Print Short Story Prize. From tales of a narcoleptic biscuit lover, con artists with a twist, and the accidental death of a hamster; to consequences of accidental gluing, the imagined world of extreme shopping, and the delightfully surreal world of canine dating, these 15 boldly imaginative stories range across a multitude of genres and themes.

Each proves the power of the short story to disarm, tickle or simply entertain.

Edited and introduced by  Helen Lederer , Kathy Lette (Author) , Sadia Azmat (Author) , Josie Long (Author) , Lucy Vine (Author) , Paula Lennon (Author) , Kimberley Adams (Author) , Annemarie Cancienne (Author) , Kim Clayden (Author) , Jean Ende (Author)

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Openings, Lucy Caldwell ( paperback May 2024)

£14.99

The much-anticipated new collection from the BBC National Short Story Award-winning author of Multitudes and Intimacies.

I still sometimes wonder if one could draw a window in the wall, or in the air, and step through it together. To somewhere else, entirely new. From a passionate affair in Blitz-era London, to a highly charged Christmas party in Belfast, to a trip to Marrakech which could form a new family, the thirteen striking stories of Openings pulse with possibility and illuminate those fleeting but recognisable moments of heartbreak and hope that can change the course of a life.

'It takes a writer as subtle, compassionate and clear-eyed as Caldwell to track the hidden forces that work upon us, to illuminate our secret selves. This is prose that liberates.'CLAIRE KILROY

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Games and Rituals, Katherine Heiny ( paperback March 2024)

£9.99

The author of the gentle Early Morning Riser, and the witty Standard Deviation,  brings us eleven glittering stories of love – friendships formed at the airport bar, ex-husbands with benefits, mothers of suspiciously sweet teenagers, ill-advised trysts – in all its forms, both ridiculous and sublime. The games and rituals performed by Katherine Heiny’s characters range from mischievous to tender. In ‘Bridesmaid, Revisited,’ Marilee, suffering from a laundry and life crisis, wears a massive bridesmaid’s dress to work.

In ‘Twist and Shout,’ Ericka’s elderly father mistakes his four-thousand-dollar hearing aid for a cashew and eats it. In ‘Turn Back, Turn Back,’ a bedtime story coupled with a receipt for a Starbucks babyccino reveal a struggling actor’s deception. And in ‘561,’ Charlene pays the true price of infidelity and is forced to help her husband’s ex-wife move out of the family home.
Katherine Heiny has delivered a work of glorious humour and immense kindness.
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After A Dance, Bridget O’Connor (hardback Feb 2024)

£16.99

After a Dance is the compiled collection of short stories from acclaimed writer Bridget O'Connor, with an exclusive preface from the author's daughter, Constance Straughan. Bridget O'Connor was one of the great short story writers of her generation. She had a voice that was viscerally funny and an eye for both the glaring reality and the absurdity of the everyday.

In After A Dance, we meet a selection of O'Connor's most memorable characters often living on the margin of their own lives: from the anonymous thief set on an unusual prize to the hungover best man clinging to what he's lost, to the unrepentant gold-digger who always comes out on top. From unravelling narcissists to melancholy romantics all human life is here - at its best and at its delightful worst.
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Gods of Want ( Stories), K-Ming Chang ( paperback August 2023)

£9.99

In her singular, electrifying style, K-Ming Chang peels back questions of body, power and identity, and the relationships of Asian American women, with vivid imagination. A stream of women adjust to American life by sneaking kisses from women at temple and buying tubs of vanilla ice cream to prepare for citizenship tests.

Ghost-cousins cross space, seas and skies to haunt their living cousin. Two girls explore each other's bodies for the first time in the belly of a plastic shark. Brimming with moths and mothers, nine-headed birds and storm-chasers, these queer, fabulist tales delve viscerally into myth and memory, corporeality and ghostliness, beauty and the grotesque.
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Old Babes in The Wood, Margaret Atwood ( March 2023)

£9.99

Old Babes in the Wood : New stories of love and mischief.
Atwood's first new fiction publication since The Testaments, this deeply personal collection includes a stunning sequence that follows a married couple as they travel the road together, the moments big and small that make up a long life of love -- and what comes after.The stories explore the full warp and weft of experience, from two best friends disagreeing about their shared past, to the right way to stop someone from choking; from a daughter determining if her mother really is a witch, to what to do with inherited relics such as World War II parade swords. They feature beloved cats, a confused snail, Martha Gellhorn, George Orwell, philosopher-astronomer-mathematician Hypatia of Alexandria, a cabal of elderly female academics, and an alien tasked with retelling human fairy tales. The glorious range of Atwood's creativity and humanity is on full beam in these tales, which by turns delight, illuminate and quietly devastate.

'Gripping... a writer in full possession of her powers' Financial Times'
These reflections on marriage, mortality and many-tentacled aliens show Atwood's mastery of the short form' Guardian
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Send Nudes, Saba Sams ( paperback Jan 2023)

£9.99

In ten dazzling stories, Saba Sams dives into the world of girlhood and immerses us in its contradictions and complexities: growing up too quickly, yet not quickly enough; taking possession of what one can, while being taken possession of; succumbing to societal pressure but also orchestrating that pressure. These young women are feral yet attentive, fierce yet vulnerable, exploited yet exploitative. Threading between clubs at closing time, pub toilets, drenched music festivals and beach holidays, these unforgettable short stories deftly chart the treacherous terrain of growing up - of intense friendships, of ambivalent mothers, of uneasily blended families, and of learning to truly live in your own body.

With striking wit, originality and tenderness, Send Nudes celebrates the small victories in a world that tries to claim each young woman as its own. _____________________________________________________________________'A roiling, raw, gut-punch of a debut collection, best read in one sitting ... I sat motionless for about half an hour after reading them; I can't wait to see what she writes next' PANDORA SYKES'A seriously impressive debut.

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Seven Empty Houses, Samanta Schweblin ( paperback Nov 2022)

£12.99

 A Finalist for the National Book Award for Translated Literature, 2022

The collection that established Samanta Schweblin at the forefront of her literary generation, available in English for the first time. The seven houses in these seven stories are strange. A person is missing, or a truth, or memory; some rooms are enticing, some unmoored, others empty. But in Samanta Schweblin's tense, visionary tales, something always creeps back in: a ghost, a fight, trespassers, a list of things to do before you die, or the fallibility of parents.

Seven Empty Houses offers an entry point into a fiercely original mind, and a slingshot into Schweblin's destabilizing, exhilarating literary world. In each story, the twists and turns will unnerve and surprise: Schweblin never takes the expected path and instead digs under the skin and reveals uncomfortable truths about our sense of home, of belonging, and of the fragility of our connections with others. This is a masterwork from one of our most brilliant modern writers.

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Skittles, Neil Speers ( paperback June 2022)

£9.99

An eclectic set of short stories, written in verse, and often using the North Antrim vernacular.

Beautifully illustrated on front cover with Neil's own art. 

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How to Gut A Fish, Sheila Armstrong ( paperback Feb 2023)

£9.99

Unsettling, unpredictable, and brilliant' Roddy Doyle

In sumptuous and evocative prose, Sheila Armstrong writes stories that are unnerving and unsettling. Stories which make you go, wait, wait, what was that? ' Claire Fuller, author of Unsettled GroundOn a boat offshore, a fisherman guts a mackerel as he anxiously awaits a midnight rendezvous. Villagers, one by one, disappear into a sinkhole beneath a yew tree.

A nameless girl is taped, bound and put on display in a countryside market. A man returning home following the death of his mother finds something disturbing among her personal effects. A dazzling and disquieting collection of stories, how to gut a fish places the bizarre beside the everyday and then elegantly and expertly blurs the lines.

An exciting new Irish writer whose sharp and lyrical prose unsettles and astounds in equal measure, Sheila Armstrong's exquisitely provocative stories carve their way into your mind and take hold. 'Dark, devilishly well written and full of atmosphere, How to Gut a Fish is one of the most original and affecting short story collections I've read in years' Jan Carson, author of The Fire Starters.

£9.99 paperback available from mid February 2023. 

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Five Tuesdays in Winter, Lily King ( paperback Jan 2023) )

£9.99

Writers & Lovers established Lily King as one of our most beloved authors of contemporary fiction. Now, for the first time ever, King collects ten of her finest short stories, opening fresh realms of discovery for avid and new readers alike.

Told in the intimate voices of unique and endearing characters of all ages, these tales explore desire and heartache, loss and discovery, moments of jolting violence and the inexorable tug toward love at all costs. A bookseller's unspoken love for his employee rises to the surface, a neglected teenage boy finds much-needed nurturing from an unlikely pair of college students hired to housesit, a girl's loss of innocence at the hands of her employer's son becomes a catalyst for strength and confidence, and a proud nonagenarian rages helplessly in his granddaughter's hospital room. Romantic, hopeful, brutally raw, and unsparingly honest, some even slipping into the surreal, these stories are, above all, about King's enduring subject of love.

Lily King's literary mastery, her spare and stunning prose, and her gift for creating lasting and treasured characters is on full display in this curated selection of short fiction. Five Tuesdays in Winter showcases an exhilarating new form for this extraordinarily gifted author writing at the height of her career. 'Lily King is one of our great literary treasures' - Madeline Miller, author of Circe
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The Black Dreams : Strange Stories from Northern Ireland, Ian Sansom

£14.99

I don't recall if I saw my first gunman in my childhood nightmares or on my childhood streets. There were plenty in both and they looked very much like each other. So begins Reggie Chamberlain-King's introduction to The Black Dreams, a thrilling and compelling collection of specially commissioned stories that explore the emotional geography of growing up and living in Northern Ireland.

The fourteen stories gathered here criss-cross coast, border and city as they map a 'strange' territory of in-between states and unstable realities in which understanding is unreliable. Obsessions, death and rebirth, violence, sexuality, retribution and apocalypse are all part of the rich fabric of The Black Dreams. Bringing together some of Northern Ireland's finest writers, along with some of the best new talents, The Black Dreams celebrates and extends the rich tradition of the weird, surreal and dream-like in Northern Irish writing.

It is also a powerful act of imagining and storytelling - a vibrant, vivid and exhilarating exploration of a world we cannot, or choose not, to see. Contributors: Jo Baker, Jan Carson, Reggie Chamberlain-King, Aislinn Clarke, Emma Devlin, Moyra Donaldson, Michelle Gallen, Carlo Gebler, John Patrick Higgins, Ian McDonald, Gerard McKeown, Bernie McGill, Ian Sansom, Sam Thompson
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Life Without Children : Stories, by Roddy Doyle ( paperback Oct 2022)

£9.99

A brilliantly warm, witty and moving portrait of our pandemic lives, told in ten heart-rending short stories. Love and marriage. Children and family. Death and grief.

Life touches everyone the same. But living under lockdown, it changes us alone. In these ten, beautifully moving short stories mostly written over the last year, Booker Prize winner Roddy Doyle paints a collective portrait of our strange times.

A man abroad wanders the stag-and-hen-strewn streets of Newcastle, as news of the virus at home asks him to question his next move. An exhausted nurse struggles to let go, having lost a much-loved patient in isolation. A middle-aged son, barred from his mother's funeral, wakes to an oncoming hangover of regret.

Told with Doyle's signature warmth, wit and extraordinary eye for the richness that underpins the quiet of our lives, Life Without Children cuts to the heart of how we are all navigating loss, loneliness, and the shifting of history underneath our feet. 

 

( image featured is hardback. New Paperback is red cover) 

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Blank Pages, Bernard MacLaverty ( paperback August 2022)

£9.99

The extraordinary new story collection from one of Ireland's greatest writers and bestselling author of Midwinter Break. Bernard MacLaverty is a consummately gifted short-story writer and novelist whose work - like that of John McGahern, William Trevor, Edna O'Brien or Colm Toibin - is deceptively simple on the surface, but carries a turbulent undertow. Everywhere, the dark currents of violence, persecution and regret pull at his subject matter: family love, the making of art, Catholicism, the Troubles and, latterly, ageing.

Blank Pages is a collection of twelve extraordinary new stories that show the emotional range of a master. 'Blackthorns', for instance, tells of a poor out-of-work Catholic man who falls gravely ill in the sectarian Northern Ireland of 1942 but is brought back from the brink by an unlikely saviour. The most recently written story here is the harrowing but transcendent 'The End of Days', which imagines the last moments in the life of painter Egon Schiele, watching his wife dying of Spanish flu - the world's worst pandemic, until now.

Much of what MacLaverty writes is an amalgam of sadness and joy, of circumlocution and directness. He never wastes words but neither does he ever forget to make them sing. Each story he writes creates a universe.
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Pure Gold, John Patrick McHugh ( paperback June 2022)

£9.99

'Ireland produces writers the way some countries produce footballers, and the latest is John Patrick McHugh' Sunday Times 'One of the most exciting writers working in Ireland today' SALLY ROONEY, author of Normal People 

You had to scrap for love. In this stunning debut short story collection exploring betrayal and longing on an imagined island off the west coast of Ireland, John Patrick McHugh takes us deep into a community of individuals who are lost, yearning, and self-deceiving.

We see two boys set fires while their worlds fall apart, follow a couple driving out to the hills in a last-ditch effort to save their marriage, watch a widow seek a stranger's help to bury her grief, see a horse crash a house party. Whether falling in love or turning on one another the residents here are united by a quest for connection in the treacherous waters of small-town boredom. In stories that are bitterly funny, profoundly moving and crackling with wild energy, McHugh embeds us in the fragile moments on which a life can twist and turn.

Pure Gold heralds the arrival of a thrilling new literary voice.

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Sweet Home, Wendy Erskine ( short story), paperback June 2020

£9.99

A gripping, wonderfully understated book that oozes humanity, emotion and humour.' Guardian

Warm, compassionate and funny, Sweet Home captures life in contemporary East Belfast, in all of its forms. Set in the author's native Belfast, the ten stories in Sweet Home lay bare the heartbreak and quiet tragedies that run under the surface of everyday lives. A lonely woman is fascinated by her niqab-wearing neighbours; a middle-aged teacher becomes obsessed with a young Gaelic football player; and an employer covers for his two employees caught having sex in a public toilet. Wendy Erskine offers perfectly formed, brilliantly observed portraits of people trying to carve out a life for themselves, all the while being buffeted by the loss, grief and regret that come their way.

Winner of the 2020 Butler Literary Award, Shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize 2019, Shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize 2019, Longlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize and the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award 2019'A Book of the Year in the Guardian, The White Review, Observer, New Statesman, TLS.

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A City Burning, Angela Graham ( paperback, 2020)

£9.99

A City Burning examines power of all types, exploring conflicts between political allegiances; between autonomy and intimacy; emotional display and concealment. The result is a deeply human book full of hauntingly memorable characters and narratives.

They have come to a moment of change, which puts to the proof their beliefs or their idea of themselves. Some of these moments occur in mundane circumstances, others amidst tragedy or drama urban violence, the Covid-19 pandemic, the tipping-point of a marriage. The characters find themselves confirmed or radicalised, and challenge or resist on one or other side of a political division or on the personal front of domestic tyranny. They include a watchful child, a gay priest, an estranged husband, an actress adrift and a young woman catching the tail-end of heartless urban mayhem. 

The stories are set in Wales, Italy and Northern Ireland.

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