Kala cover

Off the Shelf: Kala

By Terry Kenneally

Kala cover


By Colin Walsh

In the seaside town of Kinbough, on Ireland’s west coast, three old friends are thrown together for the first time in years. Helen, Joe, and Mush were part of the original group of six inseparable teenagers (Aidan, Aoife and Katherine “Kala”) in the summer of 2003, with motherless Kala Lanann as their groups white hot center.

As the story begins, the six, three boys and three girls, are perched on their bikes preparing to hurtle down a steep hill and through a narrow gap at the bottom where the path meets the main road. The idea was to go cycling down the hill and then pedal blind through the gap, cutting clear and unscathed across the road.

And the reader thinks: Oh no something terrible is going to happen! And it is, but not right then, and it’s a good long while before we find out what. When the gang reassembles in Kinbough in 2018, two are missing: Kala, who disappeared in 2003, and Aidan who …well we don’t know.

His funeral is mentioned. Then there is Mush, working in his mother’s café, keeping his head down to hide his scars. How did he get them?

Helen is self-exiled in Canada, why? Where is Aiofe? And finally, Joe, a celebrity rocker, the one who made it. Or did he?

Once the old friends come together, the discovery of human remains stirs up the past and unfolds in alternating stories told by Mush, Helen, and Joe. Walsh manages angst and ecstasy, discoveries bringing sorrows and joy.

Walsh’s debut novel is a master class in building suspense. It is hugely engaging and a thoroughly additive novel. I rate it a TOP SHELF read.

Terry Kenneally

Terry Kenneally

*Terrence J. Kenneally is an attorney and owner of Terrence J. Kenneally & Assoc. in Rocky River, Ohio. He represents insureds and insurance companies in insurance defense through the state of Ohio. Mr. Kenneally received his Masters from John Carroll University in Irish Studies and teaches Irish Literature and History at Holy Name High School.


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