book cover of Kala
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A novel by


'A gritty heartbreaker of a thriller... Part heartfelt coming-of-age tale, part brutal Irish noir, this is a spectacular read for Donna Tartt and Tana French fans'
In the seaside town of Kinlough, on Ireland's west coast, three old friends are thrown together for the first time in years. They - Helen, Joe and Mush - were part of an original group of six inseparable teenagers in the summer of 2003, with motherless, reckless Kala Lanann as their group's white-hot centre. Soon after that summer's peak, Kala disappeared without a trace.
Now it's fifteen years later. Human remains have been discovered in the woods. Two more girls have gone missing. As past and present begin to collide, the estranged friends are forced to confront their own complicity in the events that led to Kala's disappearance, and to try to stop Kinlough's violent patterns repeating themselves once again...
Against the backdrop of a town suffocating on its own secrets, in a story that builds from a smoulder to a stunning climax,
Kala brilliantly examines the sometimes brutal costs of belonging, as well as the battle in the human heart between vengeance and forgiveness, despair and redemption.
'Tana French fans will relish Kala' Guardian, Best Summer Reads

'The thriller of the moment'
The i Paper, Best Summer Reads

'An addictive read with explosive revelation'
Daily Telegraph

'A compulsive joy'
Daily Mail

Kala heralds an exciting new voice' Observer

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Now here's a truly ambitious debut novel that purrs with narrative confidence - hugely engaging and thoroughly addictive." - Kevin Barry

"A debut novel of skill and fire, Kala crackles with passion as it depicts the urgent bonds of youth and the monsters that emerge when we peer into the past." - Rob Doyle

"Kala is a thriller - and a lot more. It is exciting and cleverly structured, but its great strength is the characters: they are terrific." - Roddy Doyle

"Colin Walsh's debut Kala is a heartbreaking story of love and lost youth that is at once tender and absolutely gutting. Psychologically rangy and ultimately riveting, Kala is a book you'll not just read and love, but lend to those you love." - Smith Henderson

"The very definition of page-turner, full of big personalities, rapid twists and unpredictable moments, cast both in vivid colour and deepest shadow. I tore through it." - Lisa McInerney

"I was kept awake until the birds were singing. What a story. I was riveted. It captures so much of the essence of the thrill and excitement of teenage summers, the wonderful optimism of youth and first loves, and the ease with which corruption and evil can take hold and thrive. This is a dazzling novel." - Donal Ryan

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