Hawthorn and Child

Keith Ridgway

Published: 5 July 2012
Hardback, Demy HB
138x216mm, 288 pages
ISBN: 9781847085269

Other Editions


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Published: 4 April 2013
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 288 pages
ISBN: 9781847085276

Ebook Available


Hawthorn and Child are mid-ranking detectives tasked with finding significance in the scattered facts. They appear and disappear in the fragments of this book along with a ghost car, a crime boss, a pick-pocket, a dead racing driver and a pack of wolves. The mysteries are everywhere, but the biggest of all is our mysterious compulsion to solve them. In Hawthorn & Child, the only certainty is that we've all misunderstood everything.


‘Ridgway doesn't so much as redraw the map as show us what was there in the first place.He writes as though he has uncovered something, not invented it; as though these tales, so completely new, have been around for a long time.’ Anne Enright



‘He turns people inside out, detailing their quirks and vulnerabilities with engaging perceptiveness’

‘Keith Ridgway is writing fiction as radically new and provocative as any of the current generation of writers around the world, literary darlings with such exotic names as Eugenides, Hemon, Houellebecq, Kunzru, Murakami, Eggers.’

‘An idiosyncratic and fascinating novel... refreshingly contemporary in language and style’ Zadie Smith

‘New novel from the always inventive author of The Long Falling, The Parts and AnimalsAlice O’Keeffe

‘Written so well, with such intensity and such insight that it sets you purring - even as it raises a hammer behind your head’ Sam Jordison, Books of the Year

‘Like Nicholson Baker, Ridgway has the descriptive power to locate the sublime hidden inside mundane minutiae. And like Paul Auster, he knows how the accretion of ordinariness can be made to seem overwhelming and sinister to a bewildered narrator.’

‘Not only in its dialogue, but in its bawdy subversiveness, Hawthorn and Child is a thoroughly Irish affair. Samuel Beckett and Flann O'Brien come regularly to mind, although Ridgway's blend of the grotesque and the absurd is all his own... An admirably conceived work of fiction’ Erik Martiny

‘Vibrant, wonderfully written, funny and deeply troubled...The writing is effortlessly lyrical, [venturing] into extraordinary, at times beautiful interludes of philosophical observation... Read Hawthorn & Child. Better still read it twice: it's that real, that good, that true’ Eileen Battersby

‘Cool and brisk and oblique, pulsing with intrinsic energy, fresh and vital... Really, what more can you ask of a novel?’ Darragh McManus

‘You might not have heard of Ridgway; he's a bit of a well-kept secret... He deserves to be better known. He writes odd, modernist stories about urban madness: lives shaped by uncertainty, random sex and, occasionally, staggering brutality’

‘Surprising, dazzling, affecting and upsetting’ John Self

‘Breathtakingly unpredictable... the writing is perfectly assured and elegant... At his best, Ridgway is unapologetically strange’ Scarlett Thomas

‘Too clever to be resisted... An unorthodox, word-of-mouth success’ Charlotte Heathcote, Books of the Year

‘Ridgway writes with the keen sense of place and the lucid, pared-down prose of a good crime novel, which makes the more outlandish deviations even more arresting’ Killian Fox

‘An impressionistic portrait of London’ Edmund Gordon

‘A great Irish novel’ Stuart Evers, Books of the Year

‘The novel that has impressed, mesmerised and bamboozled me most this past year... Gorgeous (if unsettling)... It's great’ Ian Rankin, Books of the Year

‘One of 2012's oddest, most remarkable books... Ridgway has written a curiously satisfying paean to incompleteness’ Justine Jordan, Books of the Year

‘A strange and beguiling novel which gleefully and surreally escapes the tyranny of plot under which most detective stories are compelled to exist’ Ian Rankin, Books of the Year

‘One of the best books that I have read all year... The prose is simple, dark, punchy and effective... The brilliant writing, compellingly created cast, sense of mystery and dark humour which will sustain you from the start until the end’

‘Bold and formalistically daring, written with an ease and brilliance that must make other writers want to give up... Believe the hype’ Just William’s Luck

‘A brilliant stylist’

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