“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “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.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Down These Green Streets: Gerard Brennan on Adrian McKinty

As all Three Regular Readers will be aware, DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS: IRISH CRIME WRITING IN THE 21st CENTURY will be published later this month by Liberties Press, with yours truly responsible, in my role as editor, for all gaffes therein. Inspired by Stuart Neville’s big-up of Gene Kerrigan’s latest novel, THE RAGE, I thought it might be a nice idea to ask some of the GREEN STREETS contributors to nominate their favourite Irish crime novel. Last week it was Adrian McKinty on Flann O’Brien’s THE THIRD POLICEMAN. This week: Gerard Brennan on Adrian McKinty’s DEAD I WELL MAY BE:
“When asked to name and explain my favourite Irish crime novel I panicked a little. There are so many of them out there and I can barely choose my favourite author at the best of times. The more I think about it the harder it is to narrow down. And even now that I’ve made a decision that I’m somewhat happy about, I kind of want to cheat and name my favourite trilogy rather than my favourite book. That would be the Dead Trilogy by Adrian McKinty. But damn it, I need to learn to be more decisive. So I’m picking the first McKinty book I read. DEAD I WELL MAY BE. From that ‘Belfast Confetti’ opening, I was hooked. McKinty’s debut crime novel has a gangster vibe going for it that would appeal to those who guiltily rooted for Tony Soprano (The Sopranos), Omar White (The Wire) and/or Walter White (Breaking Bad). Also included -- top notch writing, a badass protagonist and some of the most terrifying prison scenes I’ve ever read. And to the best of my knowledge, nobody gets called a Sligo cow-fucker in the first book, which has got to mean something to Declan Burke, right?” - Gerard Brennan
  Erm, no. I know nowt about cow-fuckers, in Sligo or anywhere else. Mooo-ving on swiftly …
  Staying with GREEN STREETS, the very generous folk at Shots Magazine are currently hosting a competition / giveaway for two copies of said tome, and the best bit is that you don’t even have to answer any pesky questions. Clickety-click here for your chance to win a copy
  In other news, I wandered along to the Gutter Bookshop last night to hear Brian McGilloway and Sean Black read from their new tomes, LITTLE GIRL LOST and GRIDLOCK, respectively. Well, that was the plan, but Sean Black refused to read at all, given that his American hero Ryan Lock might come off a little mid-Atlantic if rendered in a Scottish accent. All good clean fun it was too, with the McGilloway-Black double-act very neatly marshalled by resident MC Guttershop Bob, who’s not entirely unlike Sideshow Bob, with a tad less hair. Kevin McCarthy of PEELER fame dropped by, as did Arlene Hunt of Arlene Hunt fame, and a very pleasant evening was had by all. Well, by me, anyway. Best news of the night came twice, as it happens, when I was approached, separately, by two gentlemen wishing to inform me that they would be publishing novels in the very near future, both of which sounded like pretty impressive prospects. We’ll name no names as of yet; suffice to say that already it looks like the Irish crime writing debut quota is well on is way to being filled.
  While we’re on the subject of impressive prospects: Ava McCarthy’s forthcoming title, the third in the Harry Martinez series, will be called HIDE ME. It’s due in October, with the blurb elves wittering thusly:
Harry Martinez, ace hacker turned private eye, is hired to expose a casino cheating crew in the Basque country. Her native Dublin no longer feels like home and her already fragile relationship with her mother has broken down for good. So she figures it’s time she escaped to explore the Spanish side of her identity. Her client is Riva Mills, head of a casino empire who believes someone is using computers to cheat her roulette wheels. The head of the crew conning the casinos is Franco Chavez, and once upon a time, Riva meant the world to him. But now she’s his target and he’s out to exact a bitter revenge. When the crew’s expert hacker is brutally murdered, Harry is pulled in as a replacement. As a dangerous criminal underworld opens up for her, Harry begins to see that for Chavez, cracking the casinos is just pocket change. She is so desperate to hide away and deceive even herself, that she gets trapped in a world of global corruption, where the stakes are sky-high and the currency is death…
  ‘The currency is death’? Hmmm, sounds like an ECB / IMF bailout. Anyhoo, Ava McCarthy is just one of the panellists who’ll be taking part in an event at next weekend’s Kildare Readers’ Festival, on Saturday, May 14th, where she’ll take to the podium in the company of Alex Barclay and the aforementioned Arlene Hunt, with yours truly doing his level best to bring some badly needed glamour to the occasion and asking the occasional question. For all the details, clickety-click here
  Another potentially intriguing crime writing event is Murder in the City, which takes place on Wednesday, May 11th, under the umbrella of the Dublin UNESCO City of Literature. Quoth the PR elves:
Enter the murky world of crime and murder as writers from Czech Republic, Finland, France, Italy and Scotland read and discuss their works. An atmosphere of suspense and intrigue will be created by musicians from Dublin Institute of Technology. Crime journalist and writer, Niamh O’Connor, will introduce this exhilarating cast of contemporary crime writing talent.
  Sounds like it could be a cracker. For all the details, you know what to do

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