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.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Irish Crime Novel Of The Year: And The Winner Is …

Last week I mentioned that I’d asked as many Irish crime writers as I know to vote on their favourite novel(s) of the year, in 1-2-3 order, with each first preference getting 10 points, second getting five points, and third preference getting one point. The results are as follows:
THE TWELVE by Stuart Neville (32)
THE LOVERS by John Connolly (21)
DARK TIMES IN THE CITY by Gene Kerrigan (17)
WINTERLAND by Alan Glynn (15)
ALL THE DEAD VOICES by Declan Hughes (15)
FIFTY GRAND by Adrian McKinty (11)
  Personally, I think all six are terrific novels, and I’m not just woofing: I think that any country, regardless of its size, should be proud of producing six novels of that quality (in any genre or none) in a given year. The bar has been well and truly raised, and it augurs well for 2010.
  One point I think worth making is that Alan Glynn’s WINTERLAND was published only three weeks ago, which meant that it was unfairly handicapped by time. Had it had a six-month run, as most of the other novels had, I believe it would have received more votes.
  It’s also worth mentioning that Stuart Neville is the only debutant author on the shortlist of six, which makes his win even more impressive. I say ‘impressive’ not because the poll was organised through Crime Always Pays, which makes it a small enough thing in itself, but because it was voted top of the pile by his peers, which – were it me – would give the gong a priceless value.
  Finally, there’s a prize going for those who guessed the right 1-2-3 order via the comment box on the post announcing the shortlist, and while no one got it exactly right, I believe that ‘Bill H’ and ‘Speccy’ came closest in that they both predicted THE TWELVE would win, and also mentioned THE LOVERS in their Top 3. If those folks want to drop me a line letting me know their address, some books will be in the post forthwith.
  Thanks to everyone who joined in the fun, and congratulations to Stuart Neville, a thoroughly well-deserved winner of the 2009 Irish Crime Novel of the Year.