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.

Friday, October 14, 2016

One to Watch: HERE AND GONE by Haylen Beck

You’re likely to be hearing a lot about Haylen Beck over the next few months, the debut author of the psychological thriller HERE AND GONE (Harvill Secker), which will be published in April 2017. To wit:
Harvill Secker has acquired a “heart-stopping” standalone psychological thriller Here and Gone by Haylen Beck. The book, said to appeal to fans of Paula Hawkins and Gillian Flynn, is set to be Vintage’s lead thriller next year and will publish in April 2017. It begins on a desolate road in Arizona where Audra is fleeing her abusive husband in the family car. Her children, Sean and Louise, are buckled up in the back. Desperate not to draw attention, Audra is petrified when she is pulled over by the local sheriff. What happens next is every parent’s worst nightmare: one minute her children were here, the next they were gone.
  So why the big fuss about Haylen Beck on a blog dedicated to Irish crime fiction? Well, as the picture above suggests, ‘Haylen Beck’ is none other than our own Stuart Neville. To wit:
The book is said to mark “a thrilling new direction” for Stuart Neville, for whom Haylen Beck is a pseudonym for novels inspired by his love of American crime writing. A second standalone Haylen Beck novel will be published in 2018.
  Nice work, sir. For all the details, including those of the sale of the film rights option, clickety-click here
  For more on Stuart Neville, clickety-click here

Thursday, October 13, 2016

One to Watch: THE CITY IN DARKNESS by Michael Russell

I don’t make a habit of blogging about books I’m still reading but with 100 pages or so still to go, Michael Russell’s THE CITY IN DARKNESS (Constable) is shaping up to be one of the best Irish crime fiction novels I’ve read all year. Quote the blurb elves:
Christmas 1939. In Europe the Phoney War hides carnage to come. In Ireland Detective Inspector Stefan Gillespie keeps tabs on Irishmen joining the British Forces. It’s unpleasant work, but when an IRA raid on a military arsenal sends Garda Special Branch in search of guns and explosives, Stefan is soon convinced his boss, Superintendent Terry Gregory, is working for the IRA.
  At home for Christmas, Stefan is abruptly called to Laragh, an isolated mountain town. A postman has disappeared, believed killed, and Laragh’s Guards are hiding something. Stefan is the nearest Special Branch detective, yet is he only there because Gregory wants him out of the way?
  Laragh is close to the lake where Stefan’s wife Maeve drowned years earlier, and when events expose a connection between the missing postman and her death, Stefan realises it wasn’t an accident, but murder. And it will be a difficult, dangerous journey where Stefan has to finally confront the ghosts of the past in the mountains of Wicklow, before he can return to Dublin and the truth of his boss’s duplicity.
  It’s a beautifully realised historical mystery, a blend of police procedural and spy novel, the story split between WWII Ireland and post-Civil War Spain. THE CITY IN DARKNESS was published on October 3rd; for more on Michael Russell, whose ‘City’ novels have previously been nominated for the CWA awards, clickety-click here

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Publication: THE DEVIL’S LUCK by T.R. Croke

Former Garda detective T.R. Croke publishes his debut novel, THE DEVIL’S LUCK, on November 7th. Quoth the blurb elves:
Detective Kate Bowen is accustomed to dealing with difficult men as she leads Dublin’s Surveillance and Intelligence Unit, and in her disastrous love life.
  But when her team discover ex-IRA stirrings and chatter of an alliance between a rogue group and a Paris-based militant Islamic cell, Kate unearths a tangled conspiracy hiding a vengeful Irish terrorist’s plot. Her investigation leads her into a warren of France’s disenfranchised Muslim youth, a bombing at the BBC proms, and sniping between intelligence agencies that threatens to derail the case.
  And Kate’s boyfriend, the seductive Charlie, isn’t exactly what he seems either. Not by a long shot.
  A police procedural with a gritty female sleuth pitted against an international alliance of the world’s worst terrorists, a pompous MI5 Section Chief seeking glory, with innocents being tortured and slaughtered along the bloodstrewn way.
  For more on T.R. Croke, clickety-click here

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Event: TROUBLE IS OUR BUSINESS at the Red Line Festival

An Evening With Ireland’s Finest Crime Writers

Join us for an evening of discussion on Irish crime writing with some of
Ireland’s best crime writers. Author, editor and journalist Declan Burke
will be leading the conversation with Alan Glynn, Declan Hughes and
Alex Barclay to discuss the ins and outs of the crime-writing process, the development of gripping plots and characters, as well as the past and present of Irish crime writing. Perfect for crime fiction fans and aspiring authors, it’s sure to be a wonderful evening! In association with New Island Books.

Date: Wednesday 12th October
Time: 8pm
Venue: Civic Theatre, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Price: €8/€6

Event: Declan Hughes and Alan Glynn on Raymond Chandler

I do hope the good burghers of Waterford know what they’ve let themselves in for by inviting Declan Hughes and Alan Glynn to take part in the Imagine Arts festival later this month – the deadly duo will be discussing Raymond Chandler (right), a topic which could easily take them well into Advent. To wit:
At the 15th annual Imagine Arts festival in Waterford this October, Irish crime writers Alan Glynn and Declan Hughes will read from their work and discuss the influence of Raymond Chandler on their writing and on contemporary crime fiction. This event will take place in partnership with the Irish Writers Centre as the Imagine Festival commemorates the memory of Raymond Chandler and his close connection with Waterford.
  This free event takes place at Waterford’s St Patrick’s Gateway Centre on October 23rd. For all the details, clickety-click here

Monday, October 10, 2016

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?” Ruth Downie

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?
Right now, Jasper Fforde’s THE EYRE AFFAIR. Especially the part where the bookworms go wild and splatter the dialogue with apostrophes.

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Is it too weird to say Mark Watney from The Martian? Only if someone could promise it would all work out in the end, obviously. But he’s incredibly clever and resourceful, which would be a welcome change from real life.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
OK, I confess – I’m currently reading the first Poldark.

Most satisfying writing moment?
The moment when, after staring in horror at a huge plot hole, you find something earlier in the book that could be used to plug it.

If you could recommend one Irish crime novel, what would it be?

What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
As I was saying just now … (it isn’t a movie and I’ve missed it, is it?)

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Worst – having to climb the mountain of self-doubt every day. Best – being able to do it in your slippers.

The pitch for your next book is …?
What if the friend you’re trying to rescue really did murder his wife?

Who are you reading right now?
Winston Graham. (You only asked that so I’d have to admit to Poldark again, didn’t you?) That’s the bedtime book. The current audiobook is Mark Billingham’s THE BURNING GIRL, and the bath book is a children’s story by SJA Turney and Dave Slaney called CROCODILE LEGION.

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Read. That’s where it all begins.

The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Better After Editing.

Ruth Downie’s VITA BREVIS is published by Bloomsbury.