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Hand in the Fire

by Hugo Hamilton

Vid, a young Serbian living in Ireland, strikes up a friendship with an Irish lawyer. Although he is seemingly welcomed into his family he remains, fundamentally, an outsider; straddled between two cultures and belonging nowhere. Moments of humour relieve the tension and suspense in this engaging and easy read.

Extract

As I fled back along the aisle, he picked up a jar out of his trolley and flung it after me. Even though he missed, I could hear the jar glancing off the freezer unit and smashing on the floor with the contents spreading out in a sort of star-shaped, big band design. Tikka masala possibly. Not something from my basket, anyway.
'Scum,' he shouted after me.
What amazed me was that the staff and the shoppers didn't seem to think there was anything out of the ordinary about this. Everybody just carried on with what they were doing, the music ever-present around them, a song by a man who seemed to have trouble remembering whether or not he had recently told his girlfriend that he loved her.

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