This Irish work is not traditional crime, but drama. The reason why I have decided to write a short review is that this story about an old, ailing mother and her fortyish daughter is an excellent psychological thriller.
The whole drama takes place in a rural cottage in County Galway, and the best way to give you an impression of the main characters is probably through a somewhat long quotation:
Mag: I do be scared, Maureen. I be scared what if me hand shook and I was to pour it over me hand. And with you at Mary Pender´s, then where would I be?
Maureen: You´re just a hypochondriac is what you are.
Mag: I´d be lying on the floor and I´m not a hypochondriac.
Maureen: You are too and everybody knows that you are. Full well.
Mag: Don´t I have a urine infection if I´m such a hypochondriac?
Maureen: I can´t see how a urine infection prevents you pouring a mug of Complan or tidying up the house a bit when I´m away. It wouldn´t kill you.
Mag: (pause) Me bad back.
Maureen: Your bad back.
Mag: And me bad hand. (Mag holds up her shriveled hand for a second.)
Maureen: (quietly) Feck … (Irritated.) I´ll get your Complan so if it´s such a big job! From now and ´till doomsday! The one thing I ask you to do. Do you see Annette or Margo coming pouring your Complan or buying your oul cod in butter sauce for the week?
Maureen: No is right, you don´t. And carrying it up that hill. And still I´m not appreciated.
Mag: You are appreciated, Maureen.
Maureen: I´m not appreciated.
Mag: I´ll give me Complan another go so, and give it a good stir for meself.
Maureen: Ah, forget your Complan. I´m expected to do everything else, I suppose that one on top of it won´t hurt. Just a … just a blessed fecking skivvy is all I´m thought of!
Mag: You´re not, Maureen.
Maureen slams a couple of cupboard doors after finishing with the shopping and sits at the table, after dragging its chair back loudly. Pause.
Mag: Me porridge, Maureen, I haven´t had, will you be getting? No, in a minute, Maureen, have a rest for yourself …
Even my 18-19-year-old students loved this, and several of them admitted that they had been reading ahead! A horrible story about the relationship between mother and daughter, with a strong element of pitch-dark, Irish humour.