“Jessie’s very much a product of her own making,” says crime author Arlene Hunt of her latest heroine, “because she’s rebuilt her whole life. She’s where she wants to be, and with the man she wants to be with, doing the job she wants to do. And she would have cheerfully carried on that way for the rest of her days, if she’d been let.”For the rest, clickety-click here …
Hunt is talking about Jessie Conway, a dedicated special needs teacher in a small American town who has fame thrust upon her when she instinctively acts to prevent a Columbine-style massacre in the school where she works.
Hunt has previously penned five best-selling titles in her Dublin-set ‘QuicK Investigations’ series, which star the private eye pairing of John Quigley and Sarah Kenny. Her new book, The Chosen, is set in the US, but that’s not its only unusual aspect.
Despite being an established author with one of Ireland’s biggest publishing houses, Hunt made the decision to take the road less travelled for The Chosen, and set up her own publishing company, Portnoy Publishing, with her husband and business partner, Andrew.
“People do think that it’s a little curious,” says Hunt, “because I turned down a two-book deal to go my own way, but it’s a calculated risk. With a two-book deal, you’ve got security for two years, but you also lose the rights to your book for seventy years. And with the tipping-point coming for digital books, I just wasn’t prepared to do that.”
“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.