“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.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Trumpets Please, Maestro

Sheila Bugler is the latest debut Irish crime writer to zip across the radar here at CAP Towers, with HUNTING SHADOWS (O’Brien Press) on its way to a shelf near you in August. Quoth the blurb elves:
Lee, southeast London. A young girl has disappeared. There are no witnesses, no leads, no clues. The police are tracking a shadow, and time is running out …
  DI Ellen Kelly is at the top of her game – at least she was, until she took the law into her own hands and confronted her husband’s killer. Now she’s back at work, leading the investigation into the missing child. Her superiors are watching her; the distraught family is depending on her.
  Ellen has a lot to prove. And she knows it.
  A tense thriller that stalks the urban streets of southeast London and the bleak wilderness of the North Kent coast, Hunting Shadows introduces the forceful, compromised police detective, DI Ellen Kelly.
  The book comes adorned with some rather fine blurbs from Ken Bruen and Cathi Unsworth, who between them manage to reference AM Homes, Ann Tyler, Nicci French and Sophie Hannah. For all the details, clickety-click here

They Write Wrongs

Author and publisher Arlene Hunt (right) will be running a crime writing course later this month at the Irish Writers’ Centre – it’s a one-week, ‘writing-heavy, intensive course’ that will feature guest speakers Alex Barclay, Louise Phillips, yours truly, and more. Herewith be the gist:
Have you ever considered where you might hide a body? Thought about being the gumshoe who follows clues to find a killer? Daydreamed on a Monday morning where you might like to retire with the proceeds of ill gotten gains? If so, join author and publisher, Arlene Hunt, to explore the underlying themes of crime fiction. Focusing on characters, plot development, story arcs and mystery, we will dissect our story with gory relish. We will explore intent and red herrings, create tension; and ultimately unmask our villain.
  This is a writing-heavy, intensive course that deals with the complicated business of crime fiction. Over five days we are going to develop and craft a functional crime fiction novella to be read on the final day.
  Not for the faint hearted!
  The course takes place from July 29th to August 2nd. For all the details, clickety-click here

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Horse Of A Different Colour

I’m very impressed with the cover for Arlene Hunt’s forthcoming novel, THE OUTSIDER (Portnoy Publishing), which is due for publication in October. Delicious, no?
  As for what THE OUTSIDER is all about, here’s Arlene chatting to Louise Phillips over at the writing.ie site:
“Living in a small village in Ireland, Emma Byrne has always been considered an odd ball by those who know her. As a child she barely communicated with anyone other than her twin brother, Anthony. Emma’s family are baffled by her. But Emma has a gift, she understands animals - particularly horses - in ways that amaze people and before long folk the length and breadth of the country are lining up to work with her. So why would anyone want to hurt this shy reserved young woman and who was it that tried to shoot her dead in the woods?”
  For more in the same vein, clickety-click here

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Cain Mutiny

Christy Kenneally’s latest offering, SONS OF CAIN (Hachette Books Ireland), appears to be a sequel to THE BETRAYED (2011), which was set during WWII. Ten years on from the events of that novel, the Cold War is in full freeze, which suggests that SONS OF CAIN is a spy novel with a rather unusual backdrop. Quoth the blurb elves:
The year is 1953. As the Cold War divides the world into East and West, childhood friends and old foes - Karl Hamner and Fr Max Steiger - live their lives. Karl, haunted by the past and a devastating truth he discovered about his old friend, teaches history in his home town of Hallstatt. While Max, intent on power and wealth, builds the Fratres, an extreme branch of the Catholic Church, with control of the Vatican his ultimate goal. When news of the Fratres reaches the CIA, an alliance between the two is formed, raising the stakes. But when Karl is called to Rome to expose the corruption that has infiltrated the Church, he has to face the past - and Max. From Moscow to CIA Headquarters to a Budapest prison, Sons of Cain is an epic tale of lust, power and corruption where deception is a way of life.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Is This A Pair Of Daggers I See Before Me?

Hearty congratulations to Michael Russell and Stuart Neville, both of whom were longlisted for a CWA Dagger Award last week. Michael’s THE CITY OF SHADOWS has been listed for the John Creasey Dagger, which is awarded for ‘the year’s best crime novel by a previously unpublished author’ – i.e., the debut dagger. Stuart, meanwhile, has been nominated for RATLINES in the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger category – it’s not the first time Stuart has been nominated for an award in 2013, and I strongly suspect that it won’t be the last.
  For all the details, clickety-click here

Monday, July 22, 2013

The French Connection

You won’t have noticed, of course, but yours truly and his long-suffering family went off on holidays at the start of July, swanning down to the Cote d’Azur for a fortnight of sun, fun, good food and frolics (sample of said frolics, right, taken on the prom in Monaco).
  To be honest, I’m not the best of it yet – I’m still struggling in low gear and trying to get back into the swing of things, which is why this space will very probably remain quiet for the next few days. That said, I should really kick-start myself: I missed a host of stuff while I was away, including a couple of CWA longlist nominations for Stuart Neville and Michael Russell, the announcement of launches for novels by Louise Phillips and Joe Joyce (both of which appear to be launching on August 7th, which is a pity), and the very quiet release of CUT by Frank McGrath, which I suspect will be a crime novel a cut (oh yes) above the ordinary.
  It was a good fortnight, though, a goodly chunk of which was spent on a balcony overlooking the Mediterranean with a notebook (and perhaps a cold beer or two) on the table, pen in hand, sketching out the next book. All very pleasant, of course, but I’ve been putting off said book for more than a few months now, and I need to buckle down and write it. I’m dreading the prospect of starting it, because it seems forever since I began writing a new book, and I seem to have forgotten how to do so. Happily enough, that’s generally the case, and a couple of weeks of eating my eyebrows in front of a blank page should soon sort that out.
  Anyway, it’s good to be back. Everyone else well, I trust?