“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.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

McGilloway Or The Highway

Brian McGilloway (right): mild-mannered teacher by day, exquisitely-mannered crime writer by night. You don’t want to mess with him, he’ll give you detention … at the school of hard knocks!!! (dum-dum-DUM, etc.). Anyhoos, to celebrate the launch of his latest fine novel, BLEED A RIVER DEEP, Brian had his Top 10 Irish Crime Novels on The Guardian’s blog today. Quoth Brian:
“Crime fiction has taken off in Ireland over the past few years with a number of our best writers winning awards and making an impact on the international scene. If anything marks out the movement it’s the sheer diversity of sub-genres, from PI novels to police procedurals, by way of political satire and screwball comedy. And that’s not including John Connolly’s Charlie Parker series which is absent here only because it is set in the USA. Many of the recent group of Irish crime writers (myself included) cite Connolly as the inspiration that got them writing. As an introduction to this recent growth and range in the genre, here are 10 of my favourites from the past decade.”
  As you might well guess from the fact that I’m featuring said Top 10 on CAP, Brian had the extraordinary good taste to include our humble offering THE BIG O in his list. The Big Question: Did Benny Blanco (from the Bronx) make it? To find out, clickety-click here
  And then come back here and tell us all what novel(s) Brian left out that should have made it in …

9 comments:

Peter Rozovsky said...

I'd have chosen Priest rather than The Guards to represent Ken Bruen, but I can see where one would want to include the first in the series.
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Detectives Beyond Borders
“Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home”
http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

Adrian said...

Despite being Irish, I'm relatively new to the world of Irish crime-writing. I understand Brian's reasons for not including John Connolly, but seeing as he's Irish I would've included "The Killing Kind".

Gerard Brennan said...

I've read most of the ten books on Brian's list, and they all deserve their places. However, I'd have included some Garbhan Downey.

gb

Peter Rozovsky said...

Gerard, I was going to suggest Garbhan Downey as well, having just posted the latest in a series of pieces about the gentleman. Maybe it was tough to single out one book, since his fiction is so much a part of one big story.
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

Gerard Brennan said...

Just read your post, Peter. Top shelf, as always.

I think perhaps we forget about the criminal element in Downey's work here in Ireland, and see him as more of a political satirist than a crime fiction writer. But if you look at Yours Confidentially, it's got gangsters, a mystery, a twist, shady politics... all the elements are there.

Cheers

gb

Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks. You may well have a point about Irish attitudes toward criminal elements in Downey's work. This new book has satire and suspense, and it also has a mystery: What will happen to Letemout Lou?

I suppose I've always thought of Downey as a crime writer because I heard about him from crime writers.
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
“Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home”
http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

Declan Burke said...

Peter - I think The Guards sets the Jack Taylor scene so well, it's the right choice ... although, to be fair, Priest is Bruen / Taylor on maximum revs ...

I agree, Adrian - I think John Connolly should have been in there, both for showing what could be achieved, and for doing it so well.

Gerard / Peter - Garbhan Downey definitely writes crime fiction for me ... It's satirical, certainly, and very funny, but it's crime fic, I don't think there's much doubt about that ... and from the sounds of things, The Blue Rose will confirm that.

Cheers, Dec

Peter Rozovsky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Rozovsky said...

I'd call it a decided sign of vitality that there can be disagreement about such a list. American newspapers might even notice Irish crime fiction one of these years.

A murder and the quest for its solution certainly figure prominently in Downey's new book. I don't suppose it matters much if one regards his work as crime, satire or some mix of both as long as this does not hurt the marketing of the books.

And Priest? Man, it brought tears to my eyes, and I can't say that about much crime writing.
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
“Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home”
http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/