“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.

Monday, July 30, 2007

100 Irish Crime Writers

Okay, so it’s not quite the full ton-up just yet, but when we kicked off our humble blog to promote Irish crime writing, we reckoned we’d be doing well to come up with 20 writers, and perhaps 25 at the outside. Our first surprise was discovering that there were already two Irish crime fiction websites, damn their beautiful eyes – the superbly irreverent Critical Mick and the equally excellent Cormac Millar. Now, four months on, we’re looking at a figure of 93 Irish crime writers, and we’ve barely scraped the surface of the murky world of Irish true crime writing – were we to do so, we’d probably be looking at somewhere in the region of 130 writers in total. Fair enough, some of the scribblers listed down there in the depths of the right-hand sidebar are borderline Irish crime writers – Andrew Pepper, for example, squeezes in on the basis that he lives in Ireland, even though he’s English and his novels are set in London; the likes of Eugene McCabe, William Trevor and Edna O’Brien would very probably cavil at being described as ‘crime writers’, although they’ve all written superb novels based on crime; and a number of Irish crime writers tend to use pseudonyms to explore other crime genres - Jim Lusby / James Kennedy, Eoin McNamee / John Creed, Peter Cunningham / Peter Benjamin and John Banville / Benny Blanco are the most obvious examples. Still and all, for such a relatively small country, that’s a hell of a lot of crime writing, most of which has appeared in the last decade or so. The burning question, then – how come the Ireland of Joyce, Yeats, Beckett, Shaw and O’Brien (himself no stranger to crime novels, it has to be said) has become the Ireland of Bruen, Connolly, Hughes, McKinty, Colfer, French, McCaffrey, Bateman and Landy? We’re all ears, people: make with the pithy insights. The best explanation wins itself a swagtastic haul of Irish crime fiction novels.

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