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Under the Bridge by Jack Byrne - Blog Tour and Review

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Hello and welcome to my blog for my stop on the blog tour for Under the Bridge by Jack Byrne. I am thrilled to welcome you here today! If you haven't been here before, please do have a click round and read some of my other reviews. 

I was intrigued by the premise of this book so signed up for the tour. I'm not sad I did and I would definitely read the next in the series. The book is set in Liverpool and it's such a love letter to the city - to the people who have made it home throughout the years, including immigrants from all over the world, to the working class people, to the unions and dockers, to the ordinary people who have made Liverpool their home, to the culture and history that it has. I've only been to Liverpool a few times but I've loved it each time. I really liked the bits set at Albert Dock because I could picture them perfectly! 

At the beginning of the book a man called Michael is working on a building site when the digger his mate is in picks up a few bones. Work stops, and more bones are found, including a skull which indicates that the person didn't die from natural causes. The police obviously step in to investigate.

Meanwhile Anne, who is mixed race, whose dad was an immigrant to Liverpool from the Caribbean, works for the local paper and is sent to go get some copy about the story. She wants a proper story to get her teeth stuck into, and she soon finds there's more going on. She interviews Michael, and a few other people, and starts to uncover things about when Michael was first in Liverpool after his arrival from Wicklow in Ireland. 

Her friend Vinny, son of an Irish immigrant that he barely knew, is trying to get on to a PhD programme at the university, to look into the history of a certain part of Liverpool and the identity of its inhabitants. He joins Anne on her search. He works a zero hours contract at a shoe shop in the city centre, and I think it's fair to say he's unhappy about it. He's also representative of millions of people in this country! 

The book then flashes backwards in time to firstly 1955, when Michael was newly arrived, and focusses on Michael's somewhat criminal background, and the people with whom he associated. It also looks at striking dockers, and their union men (one of whom I understand from the back of the book was a real person), and the clashes between the two. We also see 1965 and then the mid 70s, when the murder is thought to have taken place. 

I liked the book a lot. I thought Michael was a very complex character but it was easy to be charmed by him. I liked both Vinny and Anne and their 21st century stories. I am giving this four out of five and as I say, I'd definitely read the others in the series!

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