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A darkly funny and deeply moving debut novel about crimes of desperation, dreams abandoned, and small-town secrets that won’t stay buried

As Ballina in the west of Ireland prepares for its biggest weekend of the year, the simmering feud between small-time dealer Cillian English and County Mayo's fraternal 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 bruised, sullen, teenage brother—in the clutches of Gabe and Sketch. Jostled by his nefarious cousins, goaded by his dead mother's dog, and struck by spinning lights, Dev is unwillingly drawn headlong into the Ferdias' revenge fantasy.

Meanwhile, seventeen-year-old Nicky can't shake the feeling that 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.

WILD HOUSES, C. Barrett

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A darkly funny and deeply moving debut novel about crimes of desperation, dreams abandoned, and small-town secrets that won’t stay buried

As Ballina in the west of Ireland prepares for its biggest weekend of the year, the simmering feud between small-time dealer Cillian English and County Mayo's fraternal 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 bruised, sullen, teenage brother—in the clutches of Gabe and Sketch. Jostled by his nefarious cousins, goaded by his dead mother's dog, and struck by spinning lights, Dev is unwillingly drawn headlong into the Ferdias' revenge fantasy.

Meanwhile, seventeen-year-old Nicky can't shake the feeling that 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.