“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.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Irish Are Coming

At the risk of sounding excessively parochial, Wednesday was a good day for the world of Irish crime writing letters, when the LA Times announced its Book Prize Mystery-Thriller finalists. For yea, verily, two of said finalists are Irish, Tana French and Stuart Neville. The full line-up runneth thusly:
Mystery-Thriller

Tom Franklin, CROOKED LETTER, CROOKED LETTER (William Morrow)
Tana French, FAITHFUL PLACE (Viking)
Laura Lippman, I’D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE (William Morrow)
Stuart Neville, COLLUSION (SoHo Press)
Kelli Stanley, CITY OF DRAGONS (Minotaur Books /A Thomas Dunne Book)
  It’s also worth noting in passing that COLLUSION is Stuart Neville’s second novel, and that this represents his second nomination for the LA Times’ Mystery-Thriller shortlist. In fact, THE TWELVE - aka THE GHOSTS OF BELFAST - strolled away with the gong last year.
  So it’s a hearty congrats to Tana and Stuart, and long may they remain standard-bearers for the Irish crime novel.
  That said, I’m a bit torn about pretty much every title on the shortlist. For example, I’m also delighted to see an old mucker of mine, Kelli Stanley, nestling comfortably in such a rarefied atmosphere; and my very few dealings with Laura Lippman, herself a formidable novelist, have been characterised by intelligence and graciousness (hers, not mine). Meanwhile, CROOKED LETTER, CROOKED LETTER is the best novel I’ve read so far this year.
  The bottom line, I suppose, and putting away that pesky parochialism for a moment, is that it’s a very fine shortlist indeed; every title on it could hold its head high in any company. No matter who walks away with the prize, the real winner is the mystery / crime reader. Happy days, people.

2 comments:

seana said...

Great line-up. We shall see. Collusion is actually the only one I've read, but I've heard a lot about the others.

kathy d. said...

"Faithful Place" is s-o-o-o-o good, am reading it now. It's actually made me tear up a few times, not the usual for a mystery. It's moving in many ways, a slice of the human condition.

Loved "City of Dragons," so-so about "I'd Know You Anywhere."

Will read the other two.