Wild Houses, Colin Barrett ( hardback Jan 2024)
**One of the Observer's Debut Novels of 2024**
A small-town feud. A madcap kidnapping. A wild weekend to change everybody's lives...
As Ballina prepares for its biggest weekend of the year, the simmering feud between small-time drug-dealer, Cillian English, and County Mayo's enforcers, Gabe and Sketch Ferdia, spills over into violence and an ugly ultimatum. When the reclusive Dev answers his door on Friday night he finds Doll - Cillian's teenage brother - in the clutches of Gabe and Sketch. Jostled by his nefarious cousins and goaded by his dead mother's dog, Dev is drawn headlong into the Ferdias' revenge fantasy.
Meanwhile, seventeen-year-old Nicky can't shake the feeling something bad has happened to her boyfriend Doll. Hungover, reeling from a fractious Friday night and plagued by ghosts of her own, Nicky sets out on a feverish mission to save Doll, even as she questions her future in Ballina.