I would like to thank Hodder & Stoughton for providing me with an advanced reading copy of this book.
Holding read more as light character study, both of the village and of the people who live there, rather than a mystery story. It was an excursion into village life, an exploration of the lifestyle and mentality of a small rural community: the not so secret secrets, the gossip, the interwoven lives of the inhabitants, and the fact that everyone knows everyone else's business etc. The mystery aspect however, was rather predictable.
In the beginning, there were so many characters introduced all at once. I got a bit lost as they were all thrown at me without any depth or description to make them take shape. As the story progressed I got to know them a bit better, but they were simple characters, they didn't have enough substance or complexity to catch my interest.
The writing itself is OK, it gets overly descriptive at times and although it didn't grip me, I did enjoy it enough to keep reading. It's the kind of book that's easy to read. One that you don't have to centre all your attention on, you can pick it up and put it down easily. It's the kind of book that you are able to follow even with outside distractions and interruptions. There were no big reveals or twists, and nothing came as a surprise. It just plodded along at a steady pace.
Holding is not a heavily involved read, it's perfect for a light distraction when you're unable to give a book your complete attention. But, if you're looking for a good mystery that will keep you guessing, this is not the book you're looking for.