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In an Ireland far removed from the familiar images of travel brochures, a bright teenager is heading for trouble: son of a single mother who has given up, rarely at school, taking drugs, and hovering on the fringes of the city’s criminal underworld.

When he falls for Pat The Baker’s sister his life changes irrevocably, not least because when she gets pregnant, Pat breaks his legs. But as he tries to make a new start and adjust to being a lover and father, he realises he cannot evade vengeance forever.

THIS IS THE COUNTRY is a hard-hitting, tense and deeply moving novel that sets power and corruption against the fragile defences of love, friendship and family. As gritty as it is tender, as funny as it is dark, it tells a riveting tale of survival against the odds.