Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “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.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The ‘Crime Always Pays’ Irish Crime Novel Of The Year: The Shortlist

A trumpet parp there, please, maestro …
  Last week (or maybe the week before) I posted about the inaugural but rather less than prestigious ‘Crime Always Pays’ Irish Crime Novel of the Year Award, which was, above all else, designed to remind people of how many excellent Irish crime novels were published in 2009. If memory serves (although more often than not, it stands and waits), the post involved detailing a forthcoming shortlist and what were in retrospect horribly complicated voting procedures. By which I mean, of course, that the voting would have been fairly straightforward, but the collating and counting would have been unnecessarily time-consuming for yours truly.
  Anyway, to cut a long story short, I cheated, and went with a system akin to that of the Professional Football Association’s ‘Player of the Year’ award, in which the players themselves vote on the best player. To that end, I contacted as many Irish crime writers as I know, and asked them to nominate their best Irish novels of the year, and preferably in the order of 1-2-3. Each ‘1’ vote gets 10 points, each ‘2’ vote gets five points, and a ‘3’ vote gets one point.
  The votes are still coming in, but already a pattern has emerged. It’s tight: to date only six novels have been nominated, and the one currently in first place has 32 points, while the one in sixth place has 16 points, a very narrow spread that confirms the quality of the books involved. So – if you’re an Irish crime writer who received a ‘voting’ email, and you haven’t yet voted, please crack on. I’ll be posting the results on this coming Friday, December 4th, and your vote – yes, YOURS! – could make all the difference.
  For the non-writers among you, I’d mentioned in the original post that whoever predicted the 1-2-3 in correct order would go into a hat for a draw for a bundle of rather fine Irish crime novels. The ‘shortlist’ – aka the list of six novels already nominated – runneth thusly, in alphabetical order (by author):
John Connolly – THE LOVERS
Adrian McKinty – FIFTY GRAND
Stuart Neville – THE TWELVE
  If you want to be in with a chance of winning said bundle of novels, leave your 1-2-3 predictions in the comment box below before noon on Thursday, December 3rd. Et bon chance, mes amis …
  I haven’t voted myself, by the way, and won’t be, simply because I know a few of the Irish writers at this point, and there’s a very great danger I’d be biased in favour of those.
  One last thing: I didn’t say anything in the ‘voting’ email I sent out about writers being precluded from voting for themselves, on the basis that to do so would be to insult their intelligence. Happily, no one has voted for his or her own book. Frankly, I’m not surprised.