“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.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Who Reviews The Reviewers? # 2,012: Piss-Poor Journalism, Oz-Style

All three regular readers of CAP will know that I think Squire Declan Hughes is a rather tasty writer, a man who’s doing very fine things with the private eye story, not least of which is the fact that Ed Loy is a believable and compelling means by which Hughes, a man with interesting things to say about Ireland, gets to say interesting things about Ireland.
  Teri Louise Kelly at Australia’s Independent Weekly doesn’t agree. Her review of ALL THE DEAD VOICES runs thusly:
It seems to me that when it comes to the current crop of crime/thriller writers, there might just be a tendency to pen with a television series forefront in the author’s mind. Understandable, I guess, but writing in a way that is easily transferable to the small screen somehow detracts from the hardcopy novel itself.
  All the Dead Voices is a case in point. Declan Hughes' latest foray into investigation for his character, Ed Loy, is set in modern Dublin, but, haunted by ghosts of an IRA kind, it never really catches into the kind of fire one would hope, given the setting and all of its obvious intricacies.
  It’s a murky world of old meets new for Loy, but not quite murky enough for a seasoned reader. Looking into a 15-year-old cold case, which the newly established police cold case unit has dismissed as solved, Loy begins to unravel a not-so-tangled web of old grudges, scores and affiliations, all dog-eared by abundant locale and landmark topography.
  In many ways, Hughes has written a standard story, topically contrived, with sufficient “past” to perhaps interest those from that era, but unfortunately, not for those interested, but lacking adequate knowledge. This is what I meant when I referred to writing for serialisation on the giggle-box, where, a la Taggart, Rebus and every other small-screen crime-fighter, the plot is simple enough to retain short-term attention, but rarely over-complex.
  In the end, I would probably prefer watching the Ed Loy stories on television – so maybe Declan Hughes is right. Or maybe we are just saturated with crime fighters and their stereotypical foibles?
  Leaving aside the piss-poor journalism of the first paragraph, which blends generalisations, lousy opinion, erroneous supposition and Homeric ignorance (not to mention an implied affinity with the genre Ms Kelly patently lacks), the review misses the point by a distance roughly that of the distance between Oz and Ireland. What Ms Kelly fails to realise is that ‘the ghosts of an IRA kind’ haven’t gone away, you know, if I can paraphrase Gerry Adams for a moment, and that ALL THE DEAD VOICES has for one of its subplots the rather important theme, and not just for Ireland, of what happens to paramilitary organisations when their criminality is finally shorn of its political fig-leaf. Ironically enough, given Ms Kelly’s verdict that Squire Hughes has ‘written a standard story, topically contrived, with sufficient “past” to perhaps interest those from that era,’ a number of serious incidents, some of them fatal, were perpetrated by dissident Republicans in weeks before ALL THE DEAD VOICES was published a month or so ago, which suggests that the novel is certainly topical, although no more contrived than the best fiction tends to be.
  I could go on, and get bitchy about lines like ‘it never really catches into the kind of fire one would hope’, but, being (almost) a gentleman, I won’t.
  I could also point out that Declan Hughes spent almost two decades writing plays for the stage before he started writing novels, something that Ms Kelly could have discovered with the bare minimum of research, which is perhaps why she believed she detected a desire to write for TV between the lines – presuming, of course, she didn’t come to write the review with that prejudice already in place.
  It would be incredibly annoying if this was (yet) another case of lazy journalism dismissing a genre / writer / novel on the basis of prejudice and / or stupidity. What makes this one worse is that Teri Louise Kelly is an author. “As a chef,” claims the blurb for her book, “Teri Louise Kelly strutted the line in big kitchens with a cocky impudence and girlish hips; as a writer, she brings to the page a furnace-like blast of candidness coupled with an eye for detail sharp as a sniper’s.”
  And good for her. Maybe next time she’s reviewing someone else’s work, she’ll bring along that sniper’s eye for detail and leave the supposition, guesswork, half-baked opinions and crass generalisations at home.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Farewell Then, Book, I Knew Thee Well …

Yet more noodlings on the future of books, folks, this time from a piece I had published in the Evening Herald yesterday (Thursday), titled – rather cleverly, I thought, albeit not by me – ‘Book Online’. The intro runneth thusly:
You’ve probably never heard of Cayla Kluver, but the 14-year-old American girl made history last month when her debut novel was published by Amazon.com. That’s ‘published’ by Amazon, not ‘sold’. That difference, between Amazon publishing and selling, is just one of the reasons the books industry is going through a revolution akin to Gutenberg inventing the printing press way back in 1439.
  As always, the main reason for the seismic tremors is new technology. Amazon’s Kindle arrived last year to great fanfare, when it was marketed as "an iPod for books", whereby a reader can download books electronically from Amazon and read them on the Kindle ‘e-reader’ (short for ‘electronic reader’), which does its best to imitate the authentic reading experience. The jury is still out as to how user-friendly the Kindle is, and -- given how pricey it is -- whether readers would be happy bringing it onto the beach or lugging it around at the bottom of a bag. But all electronic devices have their early teething problems, and the Kindle -- and its counterpart, the Sony Reader -- is long-range targeting a demographic that is just as comfortable with electronic devices -- mobile phones, iPods, laptops, et al -- as it is with traditional books.
  There’s good and bad news in this for readers and writers alike …
  For the rest, clickety-click here

Thursday, June 11, 2009

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?”: Peter James

Yep, it’s rubber-hose time, folks: a rapid-fire Q&A for those shifty-looking usual suspects ...

What crime novel would you most like to have written?
BRIGHTON ROCK [by Graham Greene] it is my all time favourite novel and has, I think, one of the psychologically darkest and most satisfying endings ever written.

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Sherlock Holmes. He had such style, such amazing powers of observation, yet, like me, was flawed.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Jeremy Clarkson - a fellow petrol head!

Most satisfying writing moment?
After winning Le Prix Polar Noir in France, giving my acceptance speech in French and managing to get a laugh out of the audience!

The best Irish crime novel is …?
LIES OF SILENCE by Brian Moore. But I think young Brian McGilloway is going to be a big new star. I loved his GALLOWS LANE.

What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
LIES OF SILENCE - I don’t understand why it has never been filmed, it is an extraordinary book.

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The worst is that I live in fear that my next book will be a disaster! The best is the freedom to write what I want and where I want.

The pitch for your next book is …?
A serial rapist who takes his victims’ shoes is on the prowl in Brighton. Is it the same man who last offended twelve years ago, or a copycat?

Who are you reading right now?
Several reference books: One on shoe fetishists, two on the psychology of stranger rapists, and a book of true life accounts of rape victims and how their lives have subsequently been affected.

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
If God appeared I would realize I had an awful lot of reading to do. Starting with the Bible, all the way through …

The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Fascinated by crime.

Peter James’ DEAD TOMORROW is published by Macmillan.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Snoop Piggy Pigg; and Stona Fitch

The universe and / or the interweb works in mysterious ways. I was writing up Bob ‘No Relation’ Burke’s debut offering, THE THIRD PIG DETECTIVE AGENCY, which has the blurb elves wibbling thusly:
A rather silly detective story in the spirit of Jasper Fforde. Harry Pigg, the only surviving brother from the Big Bad Wolf attacks, has set up business as a private detective in Grimmtown, only things aren’t going too well. Down on his luck, with bills to pay and no clients in sight, the outlook is poor. But then in walks local businessman Aladdin who needs someone to help him track down an old lamp. What follows is a case of nursery rhyme noir. Funny, thrilling and always entertaining, Harry Pigg is an old breed of hero for a new generation. It’s as if Humphrey Bogart or James Cagney had walked into the middle of a bedtime story. A comedy caper for all ages. The first in a major new series.
  With the post written and ready to upload, I logged on to the web to upload it. Dropping by Twitter before heading for Crime Always Pays, I found Allan Guthrie tweeting about Stona Fitch. I’d been talking with Allan earlier today, and he’d mentioned Stona Fitch, so I clicked through to Me and My Big Mouth, where Scott Pack was describing Stona (love that name) as “ a shining beacon of fucking brilliance in an increasingly conservative and scared publishing industry.” An excerpt from the interview runs like this:
SP: What sort of reaction have you been getting from other writers and publishers? I’m assuming a mixture of admiration and fear.
SF: “The response has been overwhelmingly positive from readers, writers, bookstore owners, publishing gurus, and even traditional publishers. Concord Free Press has been called a grand experiment in subversive altruism, the Robin Hood publishing model, and (our favourite) generosity-based publishing. We’re simply exploring new, innovative ways to think about books and connecting with readers, not trying to figure out what’s wrong with publishing. That’s beyond our scope.”
  Terrific stuff, and I want to donate a book to Stona Fitch. Clickety-click here, and so will you …
  Anyway, just as I was about to leave Me and My Big Mouth, I noticed he had Bob Burke’s THE THIRD PIG DETECTIVE AGENCY in his sidebar. Quoth Scott: “Three pages in and they’d already laughed about a dozen times. I think we are on to a winner here.”
  Coincidence? Fate? Spooky action at a distance? YOU decide …
  Meanwhile, here’s the ‘literal’ version of Bonnie Tyler’s immortal Total Eclipse of the Heart, which was written, of course, by the immortal Jim Steinman. Roll it there, Collette …

Everything Goes Better With An E

All three regular readers of CAP will be aware that I’m planning to upload a book to Kindle in the very near future, so I’m more exercised by the whole e-book / e-reader phenomenon at the moment than I generally would be. Still, even the luddest of Luddites should be intrigued / alarmed / horrified by a couple of interesting pieces that popped into my email this morning. The first was from the Guardian:
In the first Terminator movie he tried to extinguish all human life. Now, as governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to make textbooks history in favour of digital formats.
  Schwarzenegger, trying to plug a budget hole of $24.3bn (£15bn), thinks he can make savings by getting rid of what he decries as expensive textbooks. The governor is serious about an idea that might make Gutenberg turn in his grave. He appeared in class yesterday to push an idea he set out in the San Jose Mercury News newspaper.
  “It’s nonsensical and expensive to look to traditional hard-bound books when information today is so readily available in electronic form,” Schwarzenegger wrote. “Especially now, when our school districts are strapped for cash and our state budget deficit is forcing further cuts to classrooms, we must do everything we can to untie educators’ hands and free up dollars so that schools can do more with fewer resources.”
  The second piece was from Reuters:
The recent Book Expo publishing industry convention held in New York accelerated the impression that the industry is rapidly embracing new technology. Many attendees remarked that e-books pervaded every discussion they had on the convention floor. “It has tipped,2 tweeted Todd Sattersten, president of Milwaukee-based 800-CEO-Read, an influential online source of business books. “Buckle in for the ride.”
  Indeed, the last few weeks have seen a flurry of announcements across the book-to-technology spectrum. Amazon (AMZN) informed users of a small-but-meaningful tweak to the Kindle that now allows users to export their reading notes. Google (GOOG) revealed its own e-book distribution system, publishers launched book-specific iPhone apps in the United Kingdom, and computer makers unveiled new ways to incorporate e-ink technology into highly portable but robust computing devices [ … ]
  So with all of this fast-paced activity, are we hurtling into a brave new reading world where authors deal directly with their readers and keep more of the profits? Not yet. For all of the publishers’ fumbling with e-books, they retain one important advantage highlighted by all of this activity. There’s a blizzard of standards out there that only a big company can manage. Without an established standard, size matters in the supply chain. Publishers have it; authors don’t.
  Dang, there goes another get-rich-quick scheme.
  Speaking of get-rich-quick schemes … I’d no sooner announced that I was thinking of uploading THE BIG EMPTY, the sequel to EIGHTBALL BOOGIE, to Kindle, when a publisher stepped in and asked to see it before it goes to Kindle. Which was nice. And this morning, I got a call from a movie producer guy saying he’d read THE BIG O, and was keen on optioning it, and was I free to sit down for a meeting next week …?
  Guess I’ll have to postpone washing my hair next week ...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

To Vote Or Not To Vote? I’m Glad You Asked Me That Question, Bob …

We had local and European elections in Ireland last week, while I was washing my hair.
  Shame on me, right? Men and women fought and died so that I could have the right to vote.
  If you don’t vote, you’re not entitled to complain.
  Etc.
  Okay, so here’s how I see it:
  If you do vote, you’re not entitled to complain. If you vote, you’re simply perpetuating the same old rubbish – bland policies that are minute variations on centre-right economics, dreamed up by the scions of political dynasties that have little to recommend them bar their longevity.
  If you want to complain, you have to be prepared to sacrifice your right to representation, stand outside the system, and piss into the tent.
  Because if the best this country has to offer as leaders of its two main political parties are Brian Cowen and Enda Kenny, then there’s a good chance the problem lies with the system itself.
  And if a tent can’t take a good pissing-into once in a while, we’re probably best off without that particular tent. God forbid you’d be camping out some night and the weather would turn rough …
  Here’s the thing:
  You wouldn’t let someone run a McDonald’s without a degree in management. Right? You wouldn’t let someone run a football team without a coaching badge.
  So why do we elect people to run the entire country who haven’t spent so much as a wet afternoon studying political theory?
  Now, you might be sitting there thinking that that’s elitist and anti-democratic. Not everyone gets to go to university and get themselves a fancy degree. In fact, most people don’t.
  Maybe that’s why there’s a resistance in this country to intelligent politicians, while the cerebrally-minded likes of Alan Shatter, Garrett Fitzgerald, Alan Dukes and John Bruton spent the vast majority of their political lives in opposition. And maybe it’s just because they were all Blueshirts, I honestly don’t know.
  Anyway, the point is this: I don’t want ‘most people’ running the country. I don’t want you running it, and I certainly don’t want me. I want the best and the brightest. And I definitely don’t want someone performing heart-surgery on me or mine on the basis that his or her father was a heart-surgeon.
  So here’s a modest proposal. The current government, being composed for the most part of the morons who squandered the wealth of the Celtic Tiger and are now penalising the people for their venal pandering to vested interests, should do the patriotic thing and resign en masse for the good of the country.
  President McAleese should then dissolve the Dail forthwith and turf everyone out on their ear.
  Any TD who wants to apply for re-election can do so, but only after obtaining a degree in political science, a degree that should ideally encompass (in no particular order) ethics, management, economics, accountancy, ethics, political theory, and ethics.
  Just so the politicos don’t miss out on their perks and junkets, the course will include mandatory internships attached to another country’s political system, preferably Sweden’s.
  Of course, this leaves us with a minimum of a three-year gap before there’ll be sufficient graduates to go forward for election, so we’ll have to throw ourselves on the mercy of the EU and apply for a form of bridging government.
  A degree in political science being the bare minimum required, anyone wishing to apply for ministerial posts should continue their studies to gain a master’s degree. This, however, can be achieved by attending night-school and / or the Open University while serving as a TD.
  This might affect the running of a politician’s constituency office, of course, and result in far fewer drink-driving charges being quashed. Still, we’ll just have to hope it’ll all work out for the best.
  Sure, it’ll be chaotic for a couple of years, and the rudderless country might well be devastated by a combination of political stagnation, EU meddling and economic recession …
  Oh.

No GUTTED, No Glory

CAP’s good friend Tony Black (right) has a new novel coming your way, GUTTED being the follow-up to PAYING FOR IT, and featuring the reluctant PI Gus Dury. “Maybe the best novel I’ve read all year … A stunning piece of work,” says Allan Guthrie, no slouch himself when it comes to penning stunning novels. And agent-type representing of Declan Burke, for that matter. Anyway, seeing as how he has already filled in the standard Q&A, we fired a few fresh Qs at Tony. To wit:

You’ve a new novel coming, called GUTTED. Tell us a little about it and its protagonist, Gus Dury.
“GUTTED kicks off with Gus staking out badger baiters on Edinburgh’s Corstorphine Hill and after a bit of a pagger with the local young crew, who are torturing a dog, he finds himself tripping over the gutted (see what I did there!) corpse of a known villain. Gus is mad enough to hang about and call plod, who turn up and promptly put him in the frame.
  “The real fun ensues, though, when Gus finds the investigating officer is dating his ex-wife, Debs, and that fifty grand belonging to city ganglord Rab Hart has been snatched from the corpse. Roll on corruption, casual violence and a stack of characters so unsavoury they make the first book look like an episode of Chuckle Vision.”

What was the one thing you learned about writing and publishing PAYING FOR IT that helped most when you came to GUTTED?
  “To try and enjoy it. Seriously I got myself so stressed out with the first one that I forgot about how frickin’ hard I’d tried to get published. I made a conscious decision not to do that this time round, so I’m way more laid back … enjoying the ride. I’ve spoken to a few writers about seeing their first novel published and to a one, none have enjoyed the process first time round - it’s just too nerve wracking.”

What is it about Gus Dury that you, as a writer, find so compelling? And, for the uninitiated reader, what sets him apart as a reluctant PI?
  “Good question. I’ve never really examined it that closely and I’m a bit reluctant to try in case some of the magic rubs off … y’know, like I’ll understand him and lose all fascination. But, to try and answer the question, I guess there’s something in the fact that he’s an escapist figure; he’s a hardcore alky, a man who sorts his problems with his fists, he just doesn’t give a shit.
  “What sets Gus apart is, and again I’m guessing because really it’s not for me to say, but I think he’s a man that’s fallen so low, who’s so completely wrecked himself, that there’s a certain curiosity to see what keeps him putting his boots on in the morning.”

The decision to set the novels in Edinburgh – not taken lightly, I presume, given the shadow cast by Ian Rankin?
  “Well, there was never going to be anywhere else to set them, I’m from Edinburgh and the character of Gus is so closely associated with the city that he wouldn’t be the same man elsewhere.
  “Every writer brings something different to the work so my Edinburgh isn’t going to be Ian Rankin’s or Irvine Welsh’s, or Muriel Spark’s for that matter … but I hear what you’re saying, Dec, and the honest answer is that if I looked at the sheer quantity and unbelievable quality of writing that’s come from this place I’d never open the laptop.”

Ken Bruen has been loud in his praise, and PAYING FOR IT was compared with the work of Ian Rankin, Simon Kernick and Mark Billingham. Did you feel any pressure to match that standard when it came to the ‘difficult second novel’?
  “God, isn’t Guv’nor Bruen a true saint of a man … I can absolutely die happy tomorrow knowing what Ken’s said about my work. As far as I’m concerned he’s the best there is. Bar none. To get his praise, to get any praise, as a new novelist is a surreal experience.
  “The pressure was there alright with GUTTED, from the get-go. I was told that there’d be folk queuing up to give me a kicking if the second book wasn’t as good as the first. Thankfully I’m never satisfied with anything I do so am constantly finding fault and looking to improve on what I‘ve just done. It was another shock when folk started to get excited about GUTTED, but, God, I’ve just delivered the third, called LOSS, and they thought that was better yet … I keep expecting to get a call saying, ‘Hahahaha, we were joking you actually totally suck!’”

Who are the writers who got you writing? Is there one novel you can pinpoint as the novel that exploded the flashbulb above your head, and got you saying, “I can do that!”?
  “The first book I can remember reading and being utterly transported by was Twain’s ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN … I must have been about eight or so, I was really captured by the adventure of it all. Same happened with Stevenson’s TREASURE ISLAND a bit later.
  “The first time I started seriously to think about writing though, was after reading Hemingway’s A FAREWELL TO ARMS, must have been eighteen then and was blown away by what writing could do. In terms of the crime stuff, that was Bruen’s RILKE ON BLACK … the style and the sheer force of the storytelling dazzled me.”

Is Gus Dury going to be around for the long haul? Do you plan and plot books ahead, or how does a character and story unfold for you as you’re writing?
  “Gus is there for a wee while yet, I’ve got a four-book deal and although I might do some standalones in there I do have a fourth episode for Gus all mapped out. I don’t look much further ahead than the next book, I’m in awe of these writers who can envisage a grand arc covering several books. Couldn’t manage that. So, yeah, I take a loose idea and try to add layers as I go along, then rewrite and rewrite again.”

You work as a journalist. Do you find being a journalist a help or a hindrance when it comes to writing fiction?
  “Well, there’s advantages and disadvantages - Hemingway said hackwork was good for a writer as long as they got out soon enough and I think I know what he meant. I still do bits and pieces here and there but I couldn’t still do a full-time reporter’s job and write around it … I did that for about six or seven years before I got a deal and it was too much. But, the discipline of putting down words that journalism teaches you, as you know yourself, is useful. I’ve never heard a hack griping about writer’s block or a lack of inspiration … the muse doesn’t write daily newspapers!”

Why do you think so many journalists take up writing crime fiction?
  “The game’s gone to balls … Christalmighty, when PR starts to look like a better option, journalism has hit the skids. Crime fiction’s a far better gig than Macy Ds, I suppose.”

Finally, what are the future plans? Are there more Gus Dury books in the works?
  “Well, LOSS is out around February 2010, and after that there might be a standalone I’ve been working on, or the other Dury novel which I’ve got planned out … I’m not looking much further ahead than that. To be honest, this whole writing gig’s such a tough nut to crack, and believe me there was years when I thought I’d never get an in, that just to be able to say I’m published is still a bit unreal.”

Tony Black’s GUTTED is available now.

Monday, June 8, 2009

One Of These Kids Is Doing His Eoin Thing

I had the very great pleasure of meeting with Eoin McNamee (right) over the weekend, a damn fine writer and a pretty good bloke to boot. Like his fellow Norn Ironer, Adrian McKinty, McNamee writes in a number of disciplines – lit-type crime narratives such as RESURRECTION MEN, THE BLUE TANGO and 12:23, thrillers under the pseudonym John Creed, YA novels (the latest of which is available now), and short stories. He’s even published a collection poetry, although I don’t hold that against him, and neither should you.
  He’s modest, too. I met him on Saturday afternoon in the fine hostelry of O’Connor’s of Ballisodare, in Sligo, for a dry sherry and light banter, during the course of which he entirely failed to mention that he’s been shortlisted by Richard Ford for the Davy Byrne’s Irish Writing Award (Short Stories), the winner of which will scoop a rather tasty €25,000. Mind you, the odds are stacked against him, given that he’s the only bloke up against five ladies … The Irish Times has all the details.
  Anyway, the point of meeting McNamee was to harangue him into finishing the essay he’s promised me for DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS. Which he has now sworn to do, once he finishes off the novel and two screenplays he’s currently working on … Actually, part of the reason for meeting him was to find out exactly what the essay was about – the fact that McNamee lives in deepest, darkest Sligo means that the communications technology isn’t everything it should be. When he told me, I was bowled over – it’s a terrific idea, and possibly controversial, and one that’s sure to toss a pigeon or two among the cats when it sees the light of day.
  Anyway, as I mentioned in passing last week, we’ve had a very strong nibble from a publisher interested in bringing DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS to market, which is all kinds of good news. For those of you unaware of what DTGS is, it’s a collection of essays, articles, interviews and short stories by Irish crime writers on Irish crime writing, and is a veritable Who’s Who of contemporary Irish crime writing, to wit:
Michael Connelly: a brief introduction.
Professor Ian Ross of Trinity College, Dublin: an in-depth introduction on the history of the crime narrative in general, and Irish crime writing in particular.
John Connolly: the Irish Gothic novel as a precursor to the crime novel.
Ruth Dudley Edwards: the proto-crime novels of Liam O’Flaherty.
Alan Glynn: literary crime narratives, from Flann O’Brien to John Banville.
Paul Charles: crime and punishment in Camden Town, London.
John Banville: interview on the crime narratives of John Banville and Benjamin Black.
Declan Hughes: the influence of American culture on Irish crime writing.
Gene Kerrigan: Irish crime fiction and its relationship with real crime.
Arlene Hunt: the urban-rural divide in Irish crime writing.
Colin Bateman: ‘Divorcing Jack’, and comedy crime writing in ‘Troubles’ Belfast.
Adrian McKinty: an account of Northern Ireland crime writing, 1940s-1990s.
Gerard Brennan: an account of post-‘Troubles’ crime narratives in Northern Ireland.
Alex Barclay: a short story.
Brian McGilloway: crossing the line – borders in Irish crime narratives.
Tara Brady (film critic): crime narratives in Irish cinema.
KT McCaffrey: crime narratives in Irish theatre.
Ken Bruen: a short story / movie in three acts.
Cormac Millar: the forerunners of the current crime-writing generation.
Neville Thompson: an odyssey through the mean streets.
Niamh O’Connor: true crime writing and journalism.
Eoin McNamee: the Puritan soul and Irish noir.
Tana French: interview on crime fiction and the post-Celtic Tiger Irish identity.
Cora Harrison: setting and history in the Irish crime narrative.
Declan Burke: lost classics of Irish crime fiction.
  Given the way these things tend to pan out, I’ve no doubt details will change. Still, that’s the general gist, and I’m seriously looking forward to seeing it on the shelf …