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Set in Northern Ireland in the 1980s, The Good Son is a funny, frightening and ultimately moving story centred around Mickey Donnelly, a boy struggling to come of age against the backdrop of bitter and brutal surroundings. Mickey is smart, which isn't a good thing in his part of town. Even when he gets into a good school, his Ma and Da can't afford to send him. He loves his little sister, Wee Maggie, but is teased by the other boys for hanging out with her. He loves his dog (Killer), but things go terribly wrong when he wanders to a part of town his Mammy tells him never to go to. He loves the girl next door, but everyone calls him 'gay'. He doesn't think much of his older brother, Paddy, and Paddy might even be mixed-up with the IRA. And he really doesn't like Da who's defi nitely t in the IRA because even though his breath smells polo-minty, Mickey kws he drinks too much. And when Da drinks, there's trouble. But Mickey loves his Ma. All he wants is for his Ma to be happy. And to someday, maybe, go to America - because Americans like Irish people and he might be able to get a good job at a diner, or something. Mickey is a dreamer. And sometimes, dreams can get you in trouble. Mickey learns just how far he'll go to protect the ones he loves. He's a good boy but sometimes you have to be a bad boy to be a good son.
Born in Belfast, Paul began his writing career as a playwright and moved to London where he wrote comedy shows, some of which were performed in the West End. Later, he wrote short stories which were published in literary journals and anthologies, commissioned by BBC. He is Director of London Short Story Festival and is working on his debut short story collection. The Good Son is his first novel.
Short-listed for Author's Club First Novel Award 2016 (UK) and The Guardian Not the Booker Prize 2015 (UK) and The People's Book Prize 2016 (UK) and Polari First Book Prize 2016 (UK).