“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “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.
Friday, July 5, 2013
Anyway, the numbers aren’t all that important in the grand scheme of things. Far more important is the number of terrific books and writers I’ve come across during the course of the last six years or so of Crime Always Pays; the friends I’ve made and the colleagues – reader, bloggers and writers alike – that I’ve met.
It’s been an amazing experience. Crime Always Pays started off because I had a book to promote back in 2007 – THE BIG O, co-published with the tiny but perfectly formed publisher Hag’s Head – and we literally did not have a penny to spend on promotion. The plan was to piggy-back the terrific Irish crime writers who were emerging then – the likes of Tana French, Gene Kerrigan, Declan Hughes and Alex Barclay – all of whom were taking giant strides along a path laid down by John Connolly, Ken Bruen, Julie Parsons, Colin Bateman and Eoin McNamee. As it happened, the blog morphed into something entirely different for me, and has since – a couple of hiccups notwithstanding – developed a life of its own.
Things have gone pretty well for me as a writer over the last six years. I have no idea of whether they’d have gone so well if I hadn’t been blogging, or if they might have gone a little better if I hadn’t had the blog as a distraction. One thing I do know is that I’d be far poorer in terms of people. For a certifiable curmudgeon and pathological loner such as myself, that’s a pretty big thing.
So there you have it. If this is your first time here, or your one thousandth time here, you’re very welcome indeed. A heartfelt thanks to everyone who has made Crime Always Pays what it is simply by making the effort to check in once in a while to see what’s happening in Irish crime writing, and here’s to the next six years.
Finally, for those of you curious as to what the very first post on Crime Always Pays was, clickety-click here …
Thursday, July 4, 2013
“I am very enthusiastic about this model and I think and hope it’s a way to get new writers out there. So surplus funds from this campaign will go towards developing the idea into what I think of as a publishing equivalent of a micro-brewery – releasing books by new writers and partially crowd-funding them by fully embracing social media. I don’t think of it as ‘charity’ in any way, but as a way of getting people excited about new works and essentially funding them by pre-ordering copies. Even if they’re only partially funded by this method it will help considerably towards gettingFor all the details, clickety-click here …
them into print.
“So I’m already talking to new authors, and I’m going to take a strong hand in shaping books and aiming them at particular markets. Initially I’m looking at children’s books in the 8-12 category because there are a number of ways of selling them (i.e., you’re not restricted to bookshops) but I hope to expand this into crime in the near future. Like I say, it’s a micro, one-man operation entirely dependent on the books being good, and the support of the general public.
“And because I’m a modest kind of a guy, I’m going to call it Bateman Books.”
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Rush Of Blood – Mark Billingham (Little Brown)For all the details of how you – yes, YOU! – can vote for this award, clickety-click here …
Safe House - Chris Ewan (Faber and Faber)
The Lewis Man – Peter May (Quercus)
Gods And Beasts – Denise Mina (Orion)
Stolen Souls – Stuart Neville (Vintage)
A Dark Redemption – Stav Sherez (Faber and Faber)
Set in Moscow in the 1930s, The Twelfth Department (Mantle, €15.99) is the third outing in William Ryan’s increasingly impressive Captain Korolev series. Police investigator Korolev is co-opted by the NKVD when an eminent scientist with strong political connections to the Party (and possibly Stalin himself) is shot dead, but his task – complicated by the disappearance of his young son, Yuri – becomes something of a wander through a metaphorical hall of mirrors where notions such as truth and justice mean whatever the Party wants them to mean. There’s an Orwellian influence to the manipulation of language and meaning in The Twelfth Department, while Korolev’s quest to uncover the ‘facts’ of his investigation amounts to his resembling a pawn being kicked around the board by warring superiors. The geographical setting and political backdrop are compelling enough, but Korolev is a fascinating character in his own right, an army veteran of ‘the German War’ who acknowledges the poisonous nature of the regime he serves even as he clings to the hope that its propaganda might someday chime with reality. – Declan BurkeFor the rest, clickety-click here …
Monday, July 1, 2013
It’s an interesting year in many respects, not least because 2013 is a year in which many of the big names in Irish crime fiction – John Connolly, Tana French, Gene Kerrigan, Eoin McNamee, Colin Bateman, Arlene Hunt, Alex Barclay, Declan Hughes – haven’t published a crime fiction title. That said, the list of possible contenders below contains a number of previously nominated authors, as well as one or two winners.
Of the 16 titles already published this year, there are at least nine novels that I would consider worthy winners, let alone nominees. And there are a further six titles, that I’m aware of, to be published in the second half of the year.
If I’ve missed out on any, by the way, please feel free to drop a comment in the box below tipping me off.
GRAVELAND by Alan Glynn;
THE DEAL by Michael Clifford;
THE STRANGER YOU KNOW by Jane Casey;
THE CITY OF SHADOWS by Michael Russell;
CROCODILE TEARS by Mark O’Sullivan;
SCREWED by Eoin Colfer;
THE TWELFTH DEPARTMENT by William Ryan;
COLD SPRING by Patrick McGinley;
HIDDEN by Casey Hill;
RATLINES by Stuart Neville;
THE POLKA DOT GIRL by Darragh McManus;
HOLY ORDERS by Benjamin Black;
I HEAR THE SIRENS IN THE STREET by Adrian McKinty;
THE JERUSALEM PUZZLE by Laurence O’Bryan;
IRREGULARS by Kevin McCarthy;
THE STATION SERGEANT by John McAllister;
ONCE IN ANOTHER WORLD by Brendan John Sweeney;
STIFFED by Rob Kitchin;
THE MEMORY THEATRE by Conor Fitzgerald;
BLINK by Niamh O’Connor;
THE DOLL’S HOUSE by Louise Phillips;
THE CROSS OF VENGEANCE by Cora Harrison;
PURGATORY by Ken Bruen;
ECHOLAND by Joe Joyce;
HURT by Brian McGilloway;
If you can pick the six titles out that lot that will make the Ireland AM Crime Novel of the Year shortlist, you’re a better man and/or woman than I …
UPDATE: Louise Phillips points out that Arlene Hunt will publish THE OUTSIDER in October. Thanks kindly, ma’am.