More Collated Reviews

“The hatred and destruction of Belfast’s tribal politics, seen through the eyes of a child, exposed with appalling clarity. With this first novel McVeigh has set himself a high standard. Despite its horrors, The Good Son has a warm heart and had this reader hoping against hope.” The Tablet Book of the Month

“I can’t overstate how much I fell for Mickey as a voice, he’s one of the most engaging, captivating voices that I’ve read in a novel this year. His voice is so warm and the book is so funny, quite dark humour. You will completely fall in love with this voice.” BBC Radio Oxford

“…transportingly vivid. The effect is often very funny and then touching; the injustice of a life spent half in fear, the pleasure of a life half lived in laughter.” The Big Issue

“A moving but witty story of growing up in the Troubles with a narrator you will fall in love with.” The Pool Number 1 Beach Read

“Mickey Donnelly stole my heart. You’ll fall in love with Mickey, he’s one of the loveliest characters you could meet. It’s an excellent debut. It’s a great story, he’s a great writer.” Edel Coffey on RTE Arena

“Paul McVeigh’s Belfast is emotionally raw and brutal. The Good Son is a triumph of empathy and the understanding of human dynamics, yet to say that is to vastly understate the range of McVeigh’s writing. Mickey is the funniest, most endearing human being for whom we feel huge compassion as he faces each adversity. This novel envelops the reader with its humanity.” Booktrust

“The Good Son’ is a hard-hitting, at times harrowing, but ultimately captivating and transformative tale – a story that will leave an indelible imprint on its reader.” Books Ireland

“Heart-rending. It has everything. It’s so real, one the best protagonists I’ve read in a long, long time… The last time a character had stayed with me like that was Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye. Takes you from sadness to humour to horror to a whole range of other emotions quite often even in the space of one page which is not an easy thing to do.” BBC Radio Ulster Book of the Month

“Vivid… unsettling… a powerfully resonant novel… two of the characters that Mickey most calls to mind are Scout Finch and Paddy Clarke… a remarkable achievement.” Wales Arts Review

“One of the best voices of 2015.” A Case for Books

The Good Son is a triumph of vivid recall… so much more than a coming-of-age story. It’s a finely delineated depiction of a brutal and brutalising environment. The dialogue, in particular, is exquisite, every nuance and rhythm perfectly cadenced… genius. Highly recommended. Watch out for Paul McVeigh.”

“A truly affecting and absorbing novel… an eye opening social commentary on the Troubles. Although only his debut novel, The Good Son perfectly illustrates what a masterful storyteller Paul McVeigh is and I personally can’t wait to see what he does next.” The Ulster Tatler Book of The Month


“An utterly marvellous debut … The Good Son is such a brilliant book… McVeigh excels in the use of light and shade within his writing… incredibly powerful… no word is wasted, no sentence unplanned… a narrator  I will remember for a very long time.” Savidge Reads

“Mickey Donnelly is one of the most engaging young characters I’ve ever read… full of energy and high spirits, filled with passion, humour and warmth. McVeigh has captured the naivety and complexity of being a little boy in an untenable situation with great sensitivity and compassion. If you choose to invest in The Good Son, you can do so in the knowledge that you are in the hands of an accomplished storyteller. Prepare to laugh and cry as Mickey Donnelly takes hold of your heart and never lets it go until the last page. I loved this book and I didn’t want it to end.” Pam Reader

“There are some scenes which are truly heartbreaking… The Good Son is a startlingly unique coming of age tale which makes the Troubles come alive through the eyes of a boy who has known nothing else, but dreams of better things beyond it.” Lonesome Reader

“This is such a good read; it’s funny and poignant by turns but it’s also a chilling commentary on what living through those times in Belfast meant for some people. McVeigh’s brilliant use of dialect has you chuckling throughout, but you never lose the sense of danger. He will surely go on to write more great novels and to win awards for them but, personally, I’d like to read a sequel to this one. I don’t want to leave Mickey Donnelly there – I want to know what happens to him later.” Trip Fiction

“It is honest, raw, emotional and hilarious. (McVeigh) has filled the novel with great characters ranging from relatively good to relatively evil and his use of Mickey as the lynchpin is a triumph. It is impossible not to love this kid and how he thinks about and copes with his struggles… the book crackles with comedy and drama, excellent dialogue.” Joe Cushnan 


“A writer to be championed. Utterly engaging, vivid, fresh& brought fully to life… written with a sharp eye and a big heart, will establish Paul McVeigh as an important new Irish voice.” Lucy Caldwell All the Beggars Riding.

“An intensely moving, often riotously funny coming-of-age story that merges the personal and political to create a novel that resonates long after the final page is turned.” Alex Preston In Love and War.

‘Brilliantly sparky and original. Fairly ripples with wicked humour, warmth and coming-of-age wonder.’’ Sarah Hilary, author of Someone Else’s Skin and No Other Darkness.

‘From the very first page I knew I was in the hands of an accomplished storyteller, McVeigh’s  vibrant and irreverent prose carrying along a novel that is both hopeful and big hearted at its core. It deserves to be widely acclaimed and widely read.’ Claire King, author of The Night Rainbow.

‘Paul McVeigh has created a strong, unique, and funny protagonist, able to reveal the everyday intricacies and the broader politics of the Troubles in a fresh, engaging way. I fell in love with Mickey Donnelly.’ Sarah Butler, author of Ten Things I’ve Learned About Love and Before the Fire.

“Someone’s going to make an exceptional movie out of this amazing, cinematic, perfectly structured and realised book.” Cate Kennedy author of The World Beneath.