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Old God’s Time

Sebastian Barry


Tom Kettle, a recently retired police officer, spends his days alone, looking out at the Irish Sea from his apartment in an annex to an old Victorian castle on the Irish coast. After months in which he catches only glimpses of the castle’s other inhabitants, his eccentric landlord and a young mother who has moved in next-door, his quiet life is interrupted by a visit from two former colleagues. Tom’s ex-boss has decided to reopen a decades-old case. Tom pales when the detectives tell him that the case involved two priests, both child sex abusers, one of whom had been brutally murdered, while the other had been moved to another parish. The case brings back all sorts of memories from Tom’s past. He recalls his wife June, how they first met, and their two beloved children, Winnie and Joe. At the same time, however, he is also haunted by memories of events in his own childhood and a past he would have preferred to forget. And he soon finds out that his involvement in the reopened case isn’t exactly what he had thought it would be.


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