“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.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Crime Spraoi

Crikey! Has Irish crime fiction finally gone mainstream? There was a smashing piece in the Sunday Tribune, brilliantly titled ‘Crime Spraoi’, on the new breed of Irish crime writers, with the gist of the piece running thusly:
It seems we now have writers who have successfully absorbed the lessons of the past masters, and deployed them with an almost clinical skill in response to a society which is rapidly transforming. If anything, the detective novel or thriller is becoming a more accurate measure of what Irish society is now like than any other genre …
Hooray! The grubbikins have landed! The piece name-checks Tana French, Declan Hughes (above right, and Shamus-winner last weekend for Best First Novel), Paul Charles, Arlene Hunt and particularly the Irish crime-writing monk, Andrew Nugent, to wit:
In his latest novel, Second Burial, Andrew Nugent investigates the murder of the owner of a Nigerian restaurant in inner city Dublin, and the effect this has on the victim’s younger brother. Yet uniquely among the current group of crime fiction writers, Nugent is not directly influenced by past masters. Like Tana French, he cites Donna Tartt’s The Secret History as a seminal text, but that’s where the similarity ends. Instead Nugent claims his work as a theologian has had greater impact. Regarding his most recent spiritual book he claims that, “It comes from the same place within myself as the murder mysteries. They’re just two sides of the same coin, being as they are about the growth and development of people.” He is representative of a refreshing distinctiveness in a group of stylistically diverse writers.
Lumme! Crime writing is the new spirituality? That’s an acceptance too far, wethinks. Still, two thumbs up to the Trib for giving Irish crime writing some oxygen, albeit with two little caveats. Firstly, where the hell is Brian McGilloway? Is it ’cos he’s a Nordie? Secondly, on the very weekend the article was published, a certain Ken Bruen (left) was claiming his second Shamus, and a Barry to boot, at the Alaska Bouchercon. Did the Godfather of Modern Irish crime writing get a mention in the Trib piece? Erm, no. Seriously, there are days when we think we’ve only imagined Ken Bruen …

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