Hand in the Fire

Hugo Hamilton

The voice is that of Vid Cosic, a Serbian immigrant whose immediate friendship with a young Dublin lawyer, Kevin Concannon, is overshadowed by a violent incident in which a man is left for dead in the street one night. The legal fallout forces them into an ever closer, uncertain partnership, drawing Vid right into the Concannon family, working for them as a carpenter on a major renovation project and becoming more and more involved in their troubled family story.

While he claims to have lost his own memory in a serious accident back home in Serbia, he cannot help investigating the emerging details of a young woman from Connemara who was denounced by the church and whose pregnant body was washed up on the Aran Islands many years ago. Was it murder or suicide? And what dark impact does this event in the past still have on the Concannon family now?

As the deadly echo of hatred and violence begins to circle closer around them, Vid finds this spectacular Irish friendship coming under increasing threat with fatal consequences.

Drawing on his own speckled, Irish-German background, Hugo Hamilton has given us a highly compelling and original view of contemporary Ireland, the nature of welcome and the uneasy trespassing into a new country.

Reviews of Hand in the Fire

    • ‘Hugo Hamilton is a major international writer who just happens to have grown up in Ireland. His great subject is innocence. In its strength and grace, his work glows.’Anne Enright
    • Praise for The Speckled People:
    • ‘This is the most gripping book I’ve read in ages. And it’s beautifully written: what could have been safe memories are made new-lived and real in this fascinating, disturbing and often very funny memoir.’’ Roddy Doyle
    • ‘The Speckled People is poetic in its language and construction, lyrical in so many of its descriptions. There is a story full of several different kinds of passion with a real tragedy at its heart. The pain is all there, but so is its antidote.’Margaret Forster
    • ‘Donner und Blitzen! What the Jaysus! A memoir of warmth and wisdom. And at last a good – if flawed – Irish father. A beautiful German mother. And not too much rain. It is tender and profound and, best of all, tells the truth. I loved it.’Patrick McCabe
    • ‘A fine and timely book from an exquisitely gifted writer, this is beautiful, subtle, unflashy, perfectly realised and quite extraordinarily powerful.’Joseph O’Connor