Erm, Des? The good news is that I haven’t, so you’re not missing much.
Meanwhile, and for a different kind of viewing experience entirely, Declan Hughes and Arlene Hunt (right) appeared on TV3’s Ireland AM last week.They were there, ostensibly, to chat about the programme’s book of the week, Bateman’s THE DAY OF THE JACK RUSSELL. As you’ll see if you clickety-click the link, poor old Bateman hardly got a mention, as the conversation veered off almost immediately into exploring the whys and wherefores of the explosion in Irish crime fiction. Still, it’s a good chat, and anyway yon Bateman is rich as Croesus, and doesn’t need any unnecessary plugs from mere mortals.
Rounding off this less-than-comprehensive round-up of crime fic doings in Ireland this week is an interview with Stuart Neville over at that bastion of all things Irish and manly, Joe.ie. For those of you still unaware of the fact that Neville’s COLLUSION, which is the follow-up to THE TWELVE but not strictly a sequel, will be appearing on a shelf near you next month, it’s a nice little refresher as to how the bould Stuart’s debut took on all comers last year and ended up as the LA Times’ Mystery / Thriller of the Year.
I’m about halfway through COLLUSION right now, and it’s terrific stuff. All the pace and punch of THE TWELVE, but with a snarkier edge, particularly when it comes to detailing the more squalid aspects of The Troubles. To wit:
‘Everybody knows it all, but no one says anything. Look, collusion worked all ways, all directions. Between the Brits and the Loyalists, between the Irish government and the Republicans, between the Republicans and the Brits, between the Loyalists and the Republicans.’ Toner ran out of breath and his face reddened. He pulled hard on his cigarette and coughed. ‘All ways, all directions. We’ll never know how far it went. All the small things, all the big things. Loyalists supplying Republicans with fake DVDs and Ecstasy tablets. Republicans wholesaling laundered diesel and bootleg vodka to Loyalists. Feeding off the hate, letting on they’re fighting for their fucking causes when all the time they’re making each other rich. And the killings. How many of our own did we set up for the Loyalists to take out? How many of their own did the Loyalists set up for us? How many times did I get a taxi to some club or other on the Shankhill with a name in an envelope, and two days later, some poor cunt from the Falls gets his head took off?’Stirring stuff. Let’s hope no Loyalist / Republican sympathisers go rushing over to Amazon to give COLLUSION a negative review on the basis of that little lot, eh?