Having already read three novels by Colum McCann, perhaps one of the best compliments I can pay “Songdogs” is to say that it simply doesn’t read like a debut novel.

It is inevitable that in many first novels Authors are finding their feet, only growing into themselves and establishing their voice and presence as they write more. Some probably hit their stride after about the third book. Maybe some never do. “Songdogs” is a hitting-the-ground-running kind of debut: fluent, engaging, well-constructed with a small number of well-drawn characters. It engages you, ties you in with the main protagonists. In scale it succeeds in being both small and large – from a tiny Irish village to the vastness of Wyoming, the heat of Mexico.

I heartily recommend ‘Songdogs’. It won’t be the last McCann I read…