He’s the Man With No Name and the owner of No Alibis, a mystery bookshop in Belfast. But when a detective agency next door goes bust, the agency’s clients start calling into his shop asking him to solve their cases. It’s not as if there’s any danger involved. It’s an easy way to sell books to his gullible customers and Alison, the beautiful girl in the jewellery shop across the road, will surely be impressed. Except she’s not – because she can see the bigger picture. And when they break into the shuttered shop next door on a dare, they have their answer. Suddenly they’re catapulted along a murder trail which leads them from small-time publishing to modern dance to Nazi concentration camps and serial killers …Nice. “I enjoyed writing MYSTERY MAN so much,” says the Batemeister, “that I’m already half way through the follow up – THE DAY OF THE JACK RUSSELL.” He says it somewhere over here, where there’s also the first two chapters of the novel available for your perusal.
Meanwhile, Gene Kerrigan is back, back, BACK! Huzzah, etc. DARK TIMES IN THE CITY goes deep into the bowels of the coke-fuelled beast that is post-Celtic Tiger Ireland, to wit:
Danny Callaghan is having a quiet drink in a Dublin pub when two men with guns walk in. They’re here to take care of a minor problem – petty criminal Walter Bennett. On impulse, Callaghan intervenes to save Walter’s life. Soon, his own survival is in question. With a troubled past and an uncertain future, Danny finds himself drawn into a vicious scheme of revenge. DARK TIMES IN THE CITY depicts an edgy city where affluence and cocaine fuel a ruthless gang culture, and a man’s fleeting impulse may cost the lives of those who matter most to him. Kerrigan’s new novel is his finest yet; gripping from start to finish, powerful, original and impossible to put down.So there you have it. Two very fine writers operating at opposite ends of the spectrum, North and South, and two of the very few bright spots on the horizon of the recession-darkened cesspit that is Ireland 2009. Go chaps!