The Grand Vizier would like to congratulate Catherine O’Flynn on her nomination in the Waterstone’s Newcomer of the Year in the Galaxy British Book Awards, as reported today in The Guardian. WHAT WAS LOST is not only garnering plenty of critical plaudits (the debut novel has already won a Costa Prize) but getting terrific word of mouth too, a hopefully dynamite combination for the little book that could. Three cheers, two stools and a resounding huzzah for independent publishing.
Elsewhere, however, the news was not so embiggening for Irish crime writers, with nary a sign of even a token nod to Norn Iron to sugar the pill. Admittedly, it’s a tough category, with Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, James Lee Burke, Patricia Cornwell and Lee Child duking it out in the Crime Thriller category. But are all five novels better than, say, Eoin McNamee’s 12:23? And is it the case that Irish crime fiction doesn’t get a fair shake in the UK, at least by comparison with the US, where this year’s NoirCon will be dedicated to Ken Bruen and there are three Irish writers up for Edgars? Brian McGilloway and Declan Hughes were nominated for a couple of Daggers last year, but generally speaking, Irish crime writers seem to fare better in the US than the UK. Is it because of the IRA? Seriously, you can tell us, we won’t take it personally.
“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.