“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, July 28, 2011

You Wait Two Thousand Years For A Messiah To Arrive …

… and then you realise there were two all along. Glenn Meade doesn’t get as much play on these pages as he should, largely because his high-concept thrillers aren’t set in Ireland, or have very little to do or say about the place. Of course, you can say the exact same thing about John Connolly’s novels, so I guess what I’m really trying to say is that I’m a lazy sod who needs to get his radar tuned to a different frequency. (Can you tune radars? Do they even work on frequencies?)
  Anyway, Glenn Meade’s latest offering, THE SECOND MESSIAH, sounds like a cracker; Publishers Weekly certainly took a shine to it. To wit:
The Irish-born author (SNOW WOLF) teeters on the edge of genius and sacrilege with this thriller about a subject known since the time of Christ. When archaeologist Jack Cane discovers ancient documents that point to the existence of another messiah, he also quickly finds out that both Israeli and Catholic authorities have reason to possess, or suppress, such documents. Racked with the pain of personal loss, he meets up with an old friend, Lela, who is part of an Israeli police team investigating multiple crimes, including a cold case involving the possible murder of Cane’s parents—also archaeologists—20 years earlier. Some who have avoided Christian fiction or only dipped in will find this departure from the mould refreshing, even while some regular readers of Christian fiction may find certain passages revolting. Fans of Davis Bunn or Dan Brown won’t bat an eye at Meade’s unblinking look at the Vatican and the religious secrecy that fuels such novels. With a plot that screams, a controversial edge, and characters with attitude and something to prove, this has all the makings to be the next DA VINCI CODE. - Publishers Weekly
  Incidentally, there’s a growing trend for Irish crime writers to set their novels beyond these shores; John Connolly, as noted, has always done so, and most of Adrian McKinty’s novels are set in the US; Alex Barclay’s most recent offerings have been set in the US; forthcoming novels from Arlene Hunt and Ava McCarthy are set in the US and Spain, respectively; Eoin Colfer’s PLUGGED was set in New Jersey; Ken Bruen began writing about London settings, and has since set his non-Jack Taylor books in the US; Conor Fitzgerald’s novels are set in Rome; William Ryan’s books are set in Stalin-era Russia; Jane Casey’s novels are set in London.
  Meanwhile, the whispers filtering down from the higher echelons of publishing is that Ireland, despite producing a significant number of very good writers, is ‘too parochial’ a setting to be commercial. Exactly where that leaves the best-selling Tana French, to name just one example, is anyone’s guess.
  But back to Glenn Meade. There’s a very nice interview with Glenn over at Laurence O’Bryan’s blog, which kicks off with Glenn explaining how he was bitten by the crime bug at a very young age, when he found himself hiding under a table with an escaped prisoner. Great expectations, indeed.

3 comments:

Michael Malone said...

Too parochial? Utter crap. Where do these people come up with these opinions?

seana said...

What a bizarre idea. I wouldn't want any Irish writer to think he or she was limited to Ireland, but you know, this guy named Joyce got quite a lot of material out of one little day in one little city there.

Rob Kitchin said...

I've recently had the 'good but too parochial' rejection from an American publisher. I've also had one that said that book didn't fit with the editor's vision of Ireland, whatever that vision is - I suspect some kind of time-locked rural idyll with sheep on the road the only form of traffic jam. Which ironically is wonderfully parochial.