Ask a Bookseller: 'Kala' is a rip-roaring thriller

Ask a Bookseller Podcast
Ask a Bookseller

Matt Nixon of A Capella Books in Atlanta, Ga., has been eagerly awaiting publication of Colin Walsh's debut novel “Kala,” which he says is both an intricate character study and rip-roaring thriller.

"Kala," by Colin Walsh
Penguin Random House

Set in a seaside Irish tourist town, the novel follows a group of friends at two moments in their life. In 2003, during their teenage years, one of the friends —Kala — disappears.

Fifteen years later, the remaining group reluctantly reunites again, back in the same town. Moving among the points of view of three main characters, the novel explores how each of them has changed and been formed by Kala's mysterious disappearance, and by the secrets they still carry.

“They're just such incredibly well drawn compelling characters that you really come to come to love and care about,” says Nixon. “And then the thing that really elevates this book is that you also there's just such emotional smarts and acuity into how the author had portrays these relationships and how their personal traumas and the shared experience sort of plays off one another.”

As new information comes to light, the pace of the novel builds to a climax that Nixon says makes the book hard to put down.

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