Richard Coulter is a man who has everything. His beautiful new wife is pregnant, his upstart airline is undercutting the competition and moving from strength to strength, his diversification into the casino business in Macau has been successful, and his fabulous Art Deco house on an Irish cliff top has just been featured in Architectural Digest. But then, for some reason, his ex-wife Rachel doesn't keep her side of the custody agreement and vanishes off the face of the earth with Richard’s two daughters. Richard hires Killian, a formidable ex-enforcer for the IRA, to track her down before Rachel, a recovering drug addict, harms herself or the girls. As Killian follows Rachel’s trail, he begins to see that there is a lot more to this case than first meets the eye, and that a thirty-year-old secret is going to put all of them in terrible danger …Lovely, lovely, lovely.
It’s looking like another bracing year for Irish crime fiction, folks. My extensive research* reveals that Tana French and John Connolly will be doing the needful, as is traditional at this point, with BROKEN HARBOUR and THE BURNING SOUL, respectively (and the Dark Lord chipping in the YA HELL’S BELLS for good measure); Gene Kerrigan returns with THE RAGE; Eoin Colfer publishes his first adult crime novel, PLUGGED; Niamh O’Connor has her second novel, TAKEN, published; Alan Glynn’s BLOODLAND is on the way; Ava McCarthy’s third novel (where does the time go?) will be THE DEALER; Brian McGilloway publishes the standalone LITTLE GIRL LOST; Benny Blanco is back with A DEATH IN SUMMER; Conor Fitzgerald’s sophomore offering will be THE FATAL TOUCH; William Ryan is back with THE BLOODY MEADOW; while perennial faves Colin Bateman, Arlene Hunt, Declan Hughes have yet to show their hands, on Amazon at least. And then there’s the intoxicating prospect, as always, of debutants arriving to swell the numbers of the Irish crime fic crew.
Last and most definitely least will be DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS: IRISH CRIME WRITING IN THE 21ST CENTURY, a rattle-bag collection of essays, interviews and short stories about the phenomenon of Irish crime writing, by the Irish crime writers themselves, a collection that includes offerings from (deep breath): John Connolly, Declan Hughes, Arlene Hunt, Niamh O’Connor, Tana French, Gene Kerrigan, Eoin McNamee, Adrian McKinty, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Brian McGilloway, Stuart Neville, Alex Barclay, Ken Bruen, Cormac Millar, Professor Ian Ross, Cora Harrison, Paul Charles, John Banville, Ingrid Black, Colin Bateman, Kevin McCarthy, Jane Casey, and more. The book will be published by Liberties Press, in April, with your humble host as editor.
So, a good year in prospect already, and it’s still only halfway through January. Will 2011 be the year Irish crime fiction breaks out a la Scandinavia? Only time, that notoriously doity rat, will tell …
* a three-minute click-frenzy around Amazon, natch.