Twenty is back and has swiftly followed last year’s 'Order of the Phoenix Park' with 'Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder'. This time around Twenty and the lads find themselves on a new mission, which lands them in Barcelona.

Unlike their previous heartfelt agenda, they’re reluctantly motivated by an infamous Tony-Soprano-style character. He’s calling in a favour that Twenty and Jimmy owe and he’s not the kind of guy you say no to. As much as the lads hate to leave Ron’s, and fans say goodbye to those fond familiar surroundings, off they head. Far from being fish out of water, the lads acclimatise quickly thanks to Twenty’s former life as an unlikely English teacher in the Spanish cultural hub.

Tony has sent them to follow the stag party of the unpredictable guy his beloved daughter has chosen to marry and to ensure that by the time they return, the wedding is off. However Twenty has unfinished business in Spain, he’ll have to keep a low profile to avoid digging up the past.

As shockingly entertaining as his debut novel was, Absinthe is a better read. The plot is tighter, more mature with added suspense keeping the reader glued until the very last page. Twenty brings Barcelona to live, in full 3D colour, enabling the reader to become part of his hedonistic, dysfunctional team. He also parodies the Northside/Southside 'divide' in some of the funniest chapters in the book.

Originally created in an award-winning blog, Twenty’s strength still lies in his clever quips and unabashed caustic comments about Irish politics, health system, bankers, celebrities and anything, or one, else that he has a problem with. It may be easier when writing under a pseudonym but in these times it’s refreshing to read at least one person calling it like it is and saying what needs to be said about abuse of power – real or imaginary.

With an overdose of drinking, drugging and sex, its not exactly Lenten recommending reading but 'Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder' is certainly a welcome reprieve from recession reality.

Taragh Loughrey-Grant

FYI: Google verifies Twenty’s interesting prostate analogy!