I’m a wee bit conflicted, I think, about the overlap between crime fiction and true crime. It’s difficult to argue against the notion that fiction writers are influenced, to some extent at least, by the real crimes that take place beyond their writing caves; by the same token, I’m a bit wary of drawing parallels between a rise in murder statistics, say, and the number of novels being written about murders. Mostly, I think I’m a bit squeamish about the idea that fiction writers can trade in the very real misery and pain that is the consequence of many kinds of crime, all for the sake of it what is, for the greater part, entertainment and profit.
Anyway, such notions may or may not be discussed at next week’s Irish PEN Event, ‘Crime Writing - Fiction and True Crime’, which takes place at the United Arts Club, 3 Upper Fitzwilliam St., Dublin 2, at 8pm on December 8th. The event will feature three Irish writers: Arlene Hunt, whose current novel is THE CHOSEN, and which opens with a Columbine-style high school massacre; Sandra Mara, a private investigator whose most recent title is DEAD MEN TALK; and Abigail Rieley, a freelance journalist and court reporter who has published two non-fiction crime titles, THE DEVIL IN THE RED DRESS and DEATH ON THE HILL.
Sounds like a fascinating evening in prospect. All the details, including booking details and fee, can be found on the Irish PEN website …
“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. “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.