Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “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, October 12, 2013

Daly Update

Anthony Quinn’s debut DISAPPEARED, which featured Police Inspector Celcius Daly, was called “a landmark in the fiction of Northern Ireland” by Ken Bruen. Nominated for the Strand Award for Best Debut Novel, it was named one of Kirkus’ Best Crime Novels of 2012.
  Anthony’s follow-up to DISAPPEARED is BORDER ANGELS (Mysterious Press). To wit:
On a cold winter night, a young woman gets into her pimp’s car from the farmhouse brothel where she lives and works. For the women brought here from Eastern Europe, the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic might as well be a war zone. Put to work in the brothels, the women are forced into a living hell.
  She is just planning her escape when the car explodes. The next morning, there is nothing left but the pimp’s charred body and mysterious footprints leading into the snow. As the forensic specialists turn their attention to the burned corpse, Police Inspector Celcius Daly obsesses over the footprints. Where exactly did the woman come from, and where did she go? It is the sort of question asked only in the borderland—between North and South, between life and death.
  For more, clickety-click here

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Devilish Brew

The Artist Formerly Known as Colin Bateman returns to the fray with a new Dan Starkey novel, FIRE AND BRIMSTONE (Headline), and just in time for Hallowe’en too. Nice. Quoth the blurb elves:
Peace time Belfast seems like the perfect spot for media billionaire’s daughter Alison Wolff to study anonymously, but when she disappears following a massacre at a student party nobody knows if she has been kidnapped for ransom or caught in the crossfire. Hired to find Alison, Dan Starkey discovers that Belfast’s underworld has shifted rapidly since he was in his journalistic prime. Religion and politics have taken a back seat to drugs and greed, defended with a ruthlessness undreamt of even in the worst days of The Troubles. This is the street violence of Mexico with an Irish twist. In response to the drug wars a new fire and brimstone church movement springs up, but when the controversial new abortion clinic is firebombed, they get the blame and Dan is hired to prove their guilt. In a Belfast rapidly descending back into a city of violence, Dan suddenly finds himself struggling to cope with two very different investigations ... or could they possibly be connected?
  I don’t know about you, but my gut instinct is telling me those investigations are connected. For all the details, clickety-click here

Thursday, October 10, 2013

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?” Jennifer Ridyard

Yep, it’s rubber-hose time, folks: a rapid-fire Q&A for those shifty-looking usual suspects ...

What crime novel would you most like to have written?
Lauren Beukes’s THE SHINING GIRLS. Yes, it’s a serial killer novel that veers crazily into time travelling science fiction, but it’s done wonderfully, with a clear head and an unswerving belief in itself, and it’s just brilliant. I’m consumed with admiration, possibly even a girl-crush.

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Lyra, from Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy. Armoured bears, animal souls, a multiverse, a cracking adventure and a mighty pop at the status quo? What’s not to love?

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?

Most satisfying writing moment?
Finishing, obviously. And then stroking the published cover like a proud mammy. But there’s also a delicious pleasure in re-reading what you’ve done after one of those rare afternoon’s when you’ve smoothed out a knot and everything has just flowed. Chances are you realise it’s pretentious bollocks the next day, and delete it all, but still. It’s nice.

If you could recommend one Irish crime novel, what would it be?
Arlene Hunt’s THE CHOSEN. Great writer, cracking story, without any pretensions about being anything but. Though it’s not set in Ireland. Does it still count?

What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
See above!

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Worst: having to show someone what you’ve written - letting them loose on your babies to scoff and mock and call them ugly. It’s pure self-doubt. Best: when you’re told your babies are smart and beautiful!

The pitch for your next book is …?
Eh … Well, I guess it’s part two of ‘The Chronicles of the Invaders’. Nuff said.

Who are you reading right now?
John Wyndham’s THE CHYRSALIDS, again, and just for laughs THE STATE OF AFRICA by Martin Meredith.

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Read! Do I have to have a proper job too or can I just read? Bliss.

The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Anecdotal, bold, emotive.

CONQUEST by Jennifer Ridyard and John Connolly is the first novel in ‘The Chronicles of the Invaders’ series.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Last Night I Dreamt I Went To Pemberley Again

I had one of the most enjoyable experiences of my writing life yesterday evening, when interviewing PD James (right) in the Public Theatre at Trinity College. And when I say ‘interviewing’, I mean ‘struggling to get a word in edgeways’. The Right Honourable Baroness James of Holland Park, OBE – or Phyllis, as she insisted we call her – was in sparkling form, and really could not have made my job any easier. She was truly wonderful company, and the tone was set from the very beginning when the packed audience – 600 or thereabouts – gave her a standing ovation when she first appeared.
  The evening took place under the auspices of the UNESCO / Dublin City of Literature, in association with Trinity College, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. PD James has, of course, written a sequel-of-sorts to that book, DEATH COMES TO PEMBERLEY, and most of the conversation was taken up with a chat about Jane Austen and PEMBERLEY. So what was her publisher’s reaction when she suggested rewriting Jane Austen as a murder mystery? “Oh, one never tells one’s publisher anything,” was the gist of the reply.
  Anyway, the very good news to come out of last night’s chat was that PD James has just begun – at the tender age of 93 – another Adam Dalgliesh novel. Here’s hoping the Baroness returns to Dublin to celebrate that particular delight.

Monday, October 7, 2013

And So To Kildare …

It’s off to Kildare for yours truly on Saturday, October 12th, to take part in the Kildare Readers’ Festival in the company of Declan Hughes (right) and Brian McGilloway. I’m really looking forward to it – Declan and Brian are two very smart guys when it comes to talking about books, and never fail to entertain.
  Declan Hughes is the author of five novels in the Ed Loy series, Dublin-set private eye stories reminiscent of the style of the classic gumshoe tales of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald. His most recent offering is CITY OF LOST GIRLS.
  Brian McGilloway (right) first came to our attention with his Inspector Ben Devlin series of police procedurals, which are set on the border between Donegal and Northern Ireland. He has also published LITTLE GIRL LOST, featuring DS Lucy Black. HURT, the sequel to that book, will be published in November.
  The event takes place at the Riverbank Arts Centre at 3.30pm on Saturday, October 12th. Admission is free. For all the details on how to book your tickets, etc., clickety-click here

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Killer Queens

The Red Line Book Festival in Tallaght will feature an intriguing evening’s conversation between some of Ireland’s best female crime writers on October 18th, as Susan Condon hosts a discussion between Alex Barclay, Arlene Hunt and Louise Phillips. Also taking part is Joanne Richardson, a former county coroner from Colorado, a state where Alex Barclay has set her last couple of novels. Should be a terrific evening. The details:
Main Auditorium @ Civic Theatre, Tallaght
Friday 18th October, 8pm
Tickets €12/€10 concession
Booking at 01 4627477;

A killer evening not to be missed! Popular crime writers Alex Barclay, Arlene Hunt and Louise Phillips share insights into creating a gripping thriller with special guest Joanne Richardson, former County Coroner of Summit, Colorado. Writer Susan Condon chairs this lively panel discussion.
  For all the details, clickety-click here