“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “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. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Get It On, Bang A Gong …

A big day today for Irish crime writing, folks, with our own Squire Declan Hughes (right) up for an Edgar ‘Best Novel’ gong, the winner to be announced tonight at the Edgar bunfight. Nominated for THE PRICE OF BLOOD, Squire Hughes has just released the fourth in the Ed Loy series, ALL THE DEAD VOICES, which my two cents reckons is his best yet, and augers well for award noms next year. Those of you who haven’t encountered the throbbing manliness that is Squire Hughes in the flesh can check him out over here, where he’s interviewed on TV3 alongside true-crime writer Niamh O’Connor on the nature and history of crime fic.
  Said interview is just one of a series of interviews TV3’s Ireland AM have been running over the last few weeks, all part of their coverage and sponsorship of the Irish Book Awards Crime Fiction gong, the winner of which will be announced on May 6th. The shortlist is: Alex Barclay / BLOOD RUNS COLD; Brian McGilloway / GALLOWS LANE; Tana French / THE LIKENESS; and Arlene Hunt / UNDERTOW. The outrageously glam Arlene had her 15 minutes in the arc-lights this week, and you can roll it there, Collette, just here
  Finally, the most important Crime Fic award of ’em all: the Crime Always Pays pre-Awards ‘Who Should Win The Ireland AM Crime Fiction Award?’ Award, which has been running on the top-left of this here blog for the last couple of weeks. A whopping total of 50 votes or thereabouts later – yes, 50! – throws up a rather unexpected result, with Brian McGilloway topping the poll with 44% of the vote, Tana French coming second-first with 28%, Arlene Hunt third-first with 18% and Alex Barclay fourth-first with 8%. Unexpected, given that crime fiction – in fact, most fiction – is read by women, and Brian was surrounded by a bevy of female beauties. Not that I’m dissing GALLOWS LANE, because I think it’s a terrific novel, and Brian an excellent writer … but I’m wondering if all the ladies didn’t split the female vote and allow Brian in on the rails. Or, is it simply the case that there’s more male readers of Crime Always Pays? Or, is it the case that female readers respond positively to Brian’s Inspector Devlin, a family man who loves his kids? Or, does the male-female aspect of it matter not a whit?
  Questions, questions …
  Oh, one last series of awards: the Spinetingler Awards, which are due to be announced today, in which this humble blog was nominated for a ‘Services to the Industry’ award, and in which Declan Hughes and Brian McGilloway were also nominated in various categories. If you’re Irish, step up to the podium …

UPDATE: Just while we’re on the subject of world-dominating Irish crime writers … The Artist Formerly Known as Colin Bateman (right) launches the hilarious MYSTERY MAN at No Alibis, Belfast, tomorrow night (Friday May 1st), which should be fun, given that the ‘hero’ (I used the word advisedly) of the piece is the proprietor of a Belfast crime fiction store called No Alibis. Confused? You will be … although possibly not as confused as one David Torrans. And as if that wasn’t enough Bateman for you, he’s also turning up at Belfast’s Black Box venue on Monday evening, May 4th, alongside Gene Kerrigan, to do a crime fiction special, kick-off 6pm. No idea what ‘crime fiction special’ entails, but there’ll very probably be tap-dancing, ambient jazz and balloon animals ...

UPDATE UPDATE: As exclusively revealed by our commenting correspondent Bob (thanks, Bob!), Bateman’s MYSTERY MAN has been picked as one of the eight books that will make up Richard and Judy’s ‘Summer Read’ campaign (link provided by Bob in the comment box), which can only fan the flames of the rumours that the BBC have snaffled the option to televisualise said novel on the goggle box. So farewell then, Bateman, as you ascend into the Ether of Greatness – it was nice knowing you, even electronically …

4 comments:

Bob said...

And Mystery Man is included in Richard & Judy's Summer Reads. All in all not a bad few days for Herr Bateman. http://www.thebookseller.com/news/84226-rj-summer-reads-revealed.html.rss

Stuart Neville said...

No wonder Mr. Bateman looks so happy in that photo...

Declan Burke said...

Mr Bateman always looks that happy, Stuart ... HE'S COLIN FRICKIN' BATEMAN!!!

Cheers, Dec

Peter Rozovsky said...

I dunno, they're both dressed in black and looking as if they're up to something. One looks like he got away with it, the other like he just got caught.