A comprehensive romp through modern Irish crime writing it is, too, with Val covering the influence of the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’, the boom-and-bust of the Celtic Tiger, and the crime novel as a Protestant art form. There are even shades of Winston Churchill, as Val compares Ireland to the Balkans as a place unable to contain the history bursting from its seams. Contributors include Ruth Dudley Edwards, Brian McGilloway, Colin Bateman, Declan Hughes, Eoin McNamee, Tana French, Stuart Neville, No Alibis owner David Torrans, and one Declan Burke, who is the editor of an - allegedly - ‘influential’ blog on the subject.
John Connolly fans may be a tad disappointed that the Dark Lord doesn’t feature in person, but never fear - virtually everyone quotes John Connolly at some point.
Meanwhile, Ruth ‘Cuddly’ Dudley Edwards has the good grace to mention DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS, the collection of essays, interviews and short stories by Irish writers on the subject of Irish crime writing in the 21st century, which will be published by Liberties Press next month. Nice one, Ruth.
Elsewhere, Gerard O’Donovan - author of THE PRIEST - had an interview with Val McDermid in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph on the same subject. Quoth Gerard:
“Writers such as Tana French, whose Dublin-based psychological thrillers have topped the US fiction charts, and Stuart Neville whose soul-searing tale of a former terrorist haunted by his victims, THE TWELVE, have been swamped in critical acclaim. Writers such as the pioneering Ken Bruen and Colin Bateman, Declan Hughes, Gene Kerrigan, Declan Burke, Niamh O’Connor, Brian McGilloway and, dare I say it, myself are attracting not just local but worldwide attention. The Irish economy may be on its knees, the political system in tatters, confidence at an all-time low. But in crime fiction at least Ireland has never been so vibrant.”For the rest of the feature, clickety-click here ...
So there you have it. Irish crime fiction: the cat’s meow, the bee’s knees or the dog’s bollocks? YOU decide.