Raised in a small Irish town by his widowed father, Brendan Brogan finds himself dispossessed at the age of eight when his father re-marries. He can only watch as his stepmother's son, Cormac, usurps his bedroom, his toys and his place in the social order of the town. Brendan grows up and into an uneasy manhood, scarred by the humiliations of his childhood.
Years later, as a compulsive gambler with his marriage falling apart, fate - and Cormac's suicide - allows him to take the ultimate gamble to financial secure his wife and son's future by faking his own death unbeknownst to them and assuming Cormac's identity. Leaving behind his family and an Ireland overwhelmed by the economic problems of the late 1980s, Brendan spends the next decade on a journey across Europe, haunted by the inner scars of his past. But the unsolved murder of his father, a retired planning official due to testify before a tribunal investigating political corruption, brings shadowy figures from the past to the surface like sharks drawn to blood, leaving his wife and child unknowningly exposed to danger.
Returning like a ghost to try and watch over them in a new Ireland - at once affluent and yet shaken by each new revelation about its recent past – he faces the ultimate dilemma. Only Brendan knows how deeply embedded his father had been in the corrupt web spun by Barney Clancy, a senior Irish political. For the truth to be uncovered and justice to be done is he willing to reveal his own identity, risk his son's safety and bring the walls of the past crashing down?
A fast, tightly-knit literary thriller from a master storyteller, The Valparaiso Voyage is vintage Dermot Bolger: a skilful exploration of a rapidly changing Ireland, an exploration of the relationship between fathers and sons and a compelling, insightful portrait of a man caught between two worlds and striving to break free.”
“An intriguing and exciting novel from a strong contender for the crown of Ireland’s finest novelist.” - Daily Mail.
“An electrifying piece of master storytelling” - Sunday Tribune.
“A fast-paced story of revenge and double-dealing, The Valparaiso Voyage fuses a searing reportage of contemporary Ireland with the conventions of a thriller. Compelling, expertly executed… a polished fable of our times.” – The Irish Times
“A highly original and brilliant novel. Bolger is the novelist of the confused new Ireland.” – Evening Herald
“A tale of Irish fatherhood in its various avatars: stern, combative, sentimental, guilt-wracked... The rhythms and energy are irrepressible and hoist us towards an unexpected final poignancy.” - Times Literary supplement
ISBN NO: 0006552374
PUB DETAILS: The Valparaiso Voyage is published by Flamingo/HarperCollins. It is also published in Greek, in German as Die Reise nach Valparaiso (Rotbuch/Sabine Groenewold Verlage) and in French as Le Voyage a Valparaiso (Albin Michel). All other rights are available.