Kala: A Novel (Large Print / Paperback)

Kala: A Novel By Colin Walsh Cover Image
Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days


A gripping literary page-turner from a rising Irish talent in which former friends, estranged for twenty years, reckon with the terrifying events of the summer that changed their lives.

In the seaside village of Kinlough, on Ireland’s west coast, three old friends meet for the first time in years. They—Helen, Joe and Mush—were part of an original group of six inseparable teenagers in the summer of 2003, with motherless, reckless Kala Lanann at its white-hot center. But later that year, Kala disappeared without a trace. Now remains have been discovered in the woods—including a skull with a Polaroid photo tucked inside—and the town is both aghast and titillated at reopening this old wound.

On the eve of this gruesome discovery, Helen had reluctantly returned for her father’s wedding, the world-famous musician Joe had come home to dry out and reconnect with something authentic, and Mush had never left, too shattered by the events of that summer to venture beyond the counter of his mother’s café. But when two more girls go missing, they are forced to confront their own complicity in the events that led to Kala’s disappearance. Ultimately, they must do what others should have done before to stop the violent patterns of their town’s past repeating themselves once again.

In cracklingly vivid prose, Kala brilliantly examines the sometimes brutal costs of belonging, as well as the battle in the human heart between vengeance and forgiveness, despair and redemption.

About the Author

COLIN WALSH’s short stories have won several awards including the RTE Francis MacManus Short Story Prize and the Hennessy Literary Award. In 2019 he was named Hennessy New Irish Writer of the Year. His writing has been published in the Stinging Fly, the Irish Times and broadcast on RTE Radio 1 and BBC Radio 4. Kala is his first novel. He is from Galway and lives in Belgium.

Praise For…


“Even after you put the pieces together, you’ll want to stay with this powerful meditation of the power of fear and the meaning of bravery.”

"[A] gritty heartbreaker of a thriller…Part heartfelt coming-of-age tale, part brutal Irish noir, this is a spectacular read for Donna Tartt and Tana French fans."
Kirkus, starred review

“A master class in building suspense…Walsh manages a deft balance between adolescent angst and ecstasy — discoveries bringing horror, sorrow and joy — and the more deliberate, often elegiac reflections of adulthood, reckoning with the promises of the past.”
The Washington Post

"Kala hits its mark: it’s a beautiful and taut work of prose."
Electric Literature

“This is a masterful reworking of the whodunnit, one you’ll have immense difficulty putting down…especially enjoyable to read.”
–The Irish Times
"Now here's a truly ambitious debut novel that purrs with narrative confidence - hugely engaging and thoroughly addictive."
Kevin Barry, author of Night Boat to Tangier

"Kala is a thriller—and a lot more. It is exciting and cleverly structured, but its great strength is the characters: they are terrific."
Roddy Doyle, Booker Prize-winning author of Life Without Children

“Colin Walsh’s debut novel is, quite simply, amazing. It’s dark, thoughtful, gritty and full of suspense. Calling it a page-turner doesn’t even begin to describe it. Compelling and addictive might be more like it. Beware, though. KALA contains some rough scenes because it depicts real life, which means including the dirty sides. Frankly, for me, this is the best book of 2023.”
—The Book Reporter Network

“Colin Walsh’s debut Kala is a heartbreaking story of love and lost youth that is at once tender and absolutely gutting. Psychologically rangy and ultimately riveting, Kala is a book you’ll not just read and love, but lend to those you love.” 
Smith Henderson, author of Fourth of July Creek

"A debut novel of skill and fire, Kala crackles with passion as it depicts the urgent bonds of youth and the monsters that emerge when we peer into the past."
—Rob Doyle, author of Threshold

"I was kept awake until the birds were singing. What a story. I was riveted. It captures so much of the essence of the thrill and excitement of teenage summers, the wonderful optimism of youth and first loves, and the ease with which corruption and evil can take hold and thrive. This is a dazzling novel."
Donal Ryan, author of The Queen of Dirt Island

"The very definition of page-turner, full of big personalities, rapid twists and unpredictable moments, cast both in vivid colour and deepest shadow. I tore through it."
Lisa McInerney, author of The Rules of Revelation
"A sizzling debut of nostalgia and secrets... Comparisons to Donna Tartt's Secret History are justified. Kala is both a genuine page-turner and a profound meditation on memory and how it shapes our lives - how our past selves forever haunt the people we become." 
The Guardian

“Compelling... Kala is an addictive read, with a pacy denouement - and explosive revelation - that's more than worth the wait.”
The Daily Telegraph

“A vividly spun web of a novel... Walsh's pin-balling language seems to contain within it both the volatile ecstasy of being young, and the precipitous darkness that often accompanies it. A compulsive joy.”
The Daily Mail

“Impressive... Kala heralds an exciting new voice.”
The Observer
“The characters unfold beautifully on the page as the plot builds to breakneck speed. A mesmerising debut thriller wrapped in lyrical writing.” 
Woman & Home, Book of the Month

“This shimmering novel teems with tension and is so brilliantly executed it's hard to believe it's a debut.” 
The Bookseller, Editor's Choice

"Colin Walsh skillfully reveals the dark secrets behind the murder and missed opportunites to bring the killer to justice. Of particular note is Walsh's talent for dialouge and dynamic descriptions."
CrimeReads, Book of the Year

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593793213
ISBN-10: 0593793218
Large Print: Yes
Publisher: Random House Large Print
Publication Date: August 22nd, 2023
Pages: 576
Language: English