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, January 31, 2015

Event: Louise Phillips’ Crime Writing Course at the Irish Writers’ Centre

A last shout for Louise Phillips’ (right) crime writing course at the Irish Writers’ Centre, which begins on February 5th. To wit:
This course covers many elements of successful crime writing – creating tension, pace, memorable characters, effective dialogue, plot and a gripping page-turning story.
  Over ten weeks, workshop exercises and editorial critique will sharpen your fictional voice. Since commencing workshops, two of Louise’s students have achieved publishing deals and another two are signed with agents.
  If you’re looking to start or finish your crime novel, this course will get you closer to the finish line.
  Louise Phillips is the bestselling author of psychological crime thrillers, Red Ribbons, The Doll’s House (Winner of the Irish Crime Fiction Book of the Year) and Last Kiss.
  Contact the Irish Writers Centre at 19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1.
  For all the details, clickety-click here

Friday, January 30, 2015

Event: The Guardian Book Club Hosts John Banville on Philip Marlowe

John Banville – aka Benjamin Black, aka Benny Blanco – takes part in a Guardian Book Club discussion on his ‘resurrection’ of Raymond Chandler’s private eye Philip Marlowe in London next Thursday, February 5th. To wit:
“Maybe it was time I forgot about Nico Peterson, and his sister, and the Cahuilla Club, and Clare Cavendish. Clare? The rest would be easy to put out of my mind, but not the black-eyed blonde . . .”
  John Banville resurrected Raymond Chandler’s private detective, Philip Marlowe, for his 2014 novel The Black-Eyed Blonde. Set in Los Angeles, in the early 1950s, it begins with a visit from a beautiful, elegant heiress, Clare Cavendish, in search of her former lover. All of the essential noir elements are here - a murder, the powerful family with hidden secrets, the sleezy bars and mean streets of LA, and at its centre Chandler’s wisecracking and world-weary sleuth.
  Banville will talk to John Mullan about writing his own Philip Marlowe mystery, the genius of Raymond Chandler and the enduring appeal of one of the most iconic private detectives in crime fiction.
  For all the details, clickety-click here

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Republished: ODD MAN OUT by F.L. Green

Originally published in 1945, F.L. Green’s superb Belfast-set thriller ODD MAN OUT will soon be republished by Valancourt Books, with an introduction from Adrian McKinty. To wit:
An Irish Republican Army plot goes horribly wrong when its leader, Johnny Murtah, kills an innocent man and is himself gravely wounded. As the police close in on Johnny, his compatriots must make a daring bid to rescue him. But they are not the only ones in pursuit: an impoverished artist, a saintly priest, a sleazy informer, and a beautiful young woman all have their own reasons to be desperate to find him. Meanwhile Johnny wanders the streets injured and alone, trapped in a delirious nightmare, surrounded on all sides by betrayal and faced with the realization that he may die that night with the stain of murder on his soul. The action unfolds over eight hours of a cold Belfast night, with the suspense building towards an explosive conclusion.
  Both a critical success and a bestseller, F. L. Green’s masterful thriller Odd Man Out (1945) is best known today as the basis for the classic 1947 film adaptation directed by Carol Reed and starring James Mason. This edition, the first in over 30 years, features a new introduction by Adrian McKinty.
  As it happens, Adrian McKinty’s contribution to DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS (2011), which focused on Northern Ireland’s early contribution to Irish crime writing, was titled ‘Odd Men Out’, in which he touches briefly on ODD MAN OUT, describing it as a Dante-esque descent into a surrealist hell. Poor old Belfast, eh? Always the bitter word, etc. ...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

One to Watch: THE NIGHT GAME by Frank Golden

Poet, painter and filmmaker Frank Golden adds yet another string to his rather impressive bow with the forthcoming publication of his psychological thriller THE NIGHT GAME (Salmon Poetry). To wit:
In her late thirties Mary lives in her childhood home - a rambling brownstone on New York’s Lower East Side. Returning from work Mary’s thoughts are on a therapy session from earlier that day, and on the group meeting she will attend later in the week. One of the other members of the group is Vincent, with whom she has had a transgressive sexual history. Mary, un-nerved by a series of threatening phone calls and what she believes is evidence of a stalker, makes contact with Sarah, one of her oldest friends. Sarah offers to move in with Mary until the situation is resolved. When Vincent moves in as well things complicate and degrade. Unnervingly dark, THE NIGHT GAME offers up psychological intrigue and emotional depth that make it a compelling read.
  THE NIGHT GAME will be published on May 28th, although Frank will launch the book at the Ennis Book Club Festival on March 6th.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Publication: THE WATCHED by Casey Hill

THE WATCHED (Simon & Schuster) is the fourth novel from wife-and-husband writing team Casey Hill to feature forensic investigator Reilly Steel. While the previous novels have been set in Ireland, Reilly returns home to the US for THE WATCHED. Quoth the blurb elves:
Quantico-trained forensic investigator Reilly Steel is back in the country of her birth. Unsure about both her future and her position within the Dublin police force, Reilly hopes that a relaxing stay at the Florida beach home of her old FBI mentor Daniel Forrest will help get her thoughts together. When Daniel’s son, policeman Todd Forrest, is called to the scene of a gruesome murder where the body of a beautiful woman has literally been torn in two, he is stopped in his tracks. Not just because of the grotesque and theatrical nature of the crime but because he recognizes the victim as Daniel’s goddaughter. In an attempt to find swift resolution on her old friend’s behalf, Reilly finds herself drawn into the investigation. And when another disturbing murder occurs soon after, Reilly can’t help but feel that she has come across something like this before. But where? The answer becomes apparent at a third crime scene - the killer is visually re-enacting some of the most famous murder scenes in screen history and posting his ‘work’ online for his followers and the whole world to see. Will the investigative team be able to find the murderer before his thirst for ‘screen immortality’ drives him to kill again? And will Reilly’s brief hiatus in the US force her into a decision about her future in Dublin, and the unfinished business she has there?
  For more on Casey Hill, clickety-click here