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Swallowing the Sun by David Park
In Swallowing the Sun, Martin Waring thinks of himself as a man who has come a long way from his youth when he rang with a Belfast gang that battered Catholics. He works as a museum guard, lives in the suburbs, has a loving wife, a son, and a daughter who excels academically. His son, however, is bullied because of his obesity and spends his time playing violent video games. Martin falls into a one-night stand, and his guilt drives him to believe that he will be punished for his sin. His daughter dies soon after from swallowing an Ecstasy pill in a club. Martin is driven to find those responsible, but finds no answers in post-ceasefire Belfast. The paramilitaries have turned to racketeering, and the police are demoralized by the release of men who've maimed their friends and loved ones in the past. Martin's grief threatens to propel him back to the life he'd thought he'd left behind. David Park's fifth novel has received strong reviews with The Guarding saying of Swallowing the Sun, "Flawed, brilliant, knotty, uncompromising, this is not an easy novel, but it is an important and beautiful one."