The literature: Tana French’s IN THE WOODS
The libation: In an alternate universe, Rob Ryan and Cassie Maddox are sitting down for an evening in, taking turns choosing records and gently mocking each other’s taste in music.
Cassie walks out of the kitchen carrying two perfectly-poured pints of Guinness, hands one to Rob. He raises it to her with a cheeky wink, takes a sip, pulls a bit of a face. “What the hell’d you do to the Guinness, Cass?”
"It’s a black and black. My gran used to drink them. Couple of dashes of blackcurrant cordial in your Guinness, and she swore up and down it’d cure what ailed you."
He takes another pull and cocks his head. “Pretty good when someone’s not tricked you into thinking it’s just straight Guinness, actually. And what is it you think ails me, anyway?”
She sets her glass down on the table and climbs into his lap, grins at him impishly. “How long do you have?”
No one in this house has ever heard of Katy Devlin. No one in this house works Murder or Undercover. The blackcurrant cordial doesn’t remind anyone here of the shrubs that grew in the woods behind the housing estate where they grew up, the woods their friends never left.
There’s a fire snapping in the grate, and a dreary Irish rain outside. The remains of a curry takeaway sit forgotten on the counter. They are safe. They are home.
Photo © kyezitri