Susie Wild reviews Paul McVeigh’s debut novel The Good Son (Salt Publishing 2015)
I was born the day the Troubles started.
‘Wasn’t I, Ma? says me.
‘It was you that started them, son,’ says she, and we all laugh, except Our Paddy. I put that down to his pimples and general ugliness. It must be hard to be happy with a face like that.
Roll up, Roll up for the Mickey Donnelly show — a vivid, playful, fence-hurdling, page-turning act of cocky bravado and endearing imagination. Mickey is a shining star of a protagonist; charming, erudite, and warmly, infectiously funny. He breathes fresh air into the much raked over subject of Ireland’s Troubles. Still, those that live in Mickey’s square mile in 1980s Ardoyne are often immune to his charms, calling him ‘a gabshite’, ‘wee maggot’, ‘gay’. Scundering him in broad daylight. Scundering him at night.