Brother by Jim Murray

blurb from, please scroll down for my reviewbrother.

Dominic blames his brother, Spencer, for bringing ruin to their childhood home. He saw his baby brother as a malign force that provoked their parents to conflict and bitterness.

Only once in their childhood did the brothers nearly reconcile, and that was when Spencer defended Dominic from the school bully, Lar Mangan.

As the brothers grow to adulthood, Dominic’s path again converges with Lar Mangan when he joins a new company and discovers that Mangan – by now an ex-convict – is working and prospering there under a false identity.

Dominic has become the possessor of a deadly secret, and as the brothers stoke up their feud, they are wary only of each other and have no sense of Mangan’s sinister schemes.

They face a choice – to allow a lethal trap to close or to choose their bond over their feud – salvation over blame – and come together to defeat Lar Mangan.

The book covers the life of Dominic and his relationship with his younger brother, Spencer, and their parents, girlfriends, other family members, and friends, to a lesser degree. There is love, betrayal, hatred, and even a little violence. It is very psychological and will keep you reading until the end.

It is well written and well-edited; it’s a little dark in places but nothing too extreme, and there are also sad and happy moments. It is an easy-to-read contemporary novel based in Ireland. It is written in the first person, from Dominic´s point of view, and there are various flashbacks to the past when he is a child as well as plenty of background information on the main characters, helping the reader understand them. It could well be a true story, and a very thought-provoking one.

I enjoyed the parts when Dominic was reading the book with Babacar and the problems Babacar had to overcome, which I found very interesting. I also enjoyed the parts towards the end when Dominic was discovering the culprit of all the problems he was facing. I did find Dominic to be a weak person; he was easily manipulated by his old schoolboy friend Lar and, at times, even his own brother Spencer. This was the part that was the most unbelievable; it could be understandable under the circumstances, but at the end of the day Dominic is a decent guy with a dysfunctional family, and overall the characters where believable. There was just the right amount of descriptions and dialogue for me: not too much, not too little. The comparisons were great, and there was even some humor in places.

I didn´t find the book “gripping,” but it was a good solid read overall; recommended if you like contemporary novels regarding family problems and other issues.

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