“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, March 15, 2012

When In Rome, Change Your Name

An Editor Writes: Conor Fitzgerald’s THE NAMESAKE arrived in the post yesterday, which got me all fired up to write a post about it - and then I realised I already had, last November. Bummer. Oh well, I guess I can take the day off now, and go lounge in my gold-plated hammock with the diamond-encrusted hookah …

It’s only November, but already 2012 is shaping up to be yet another very fine year in Irish crime writing. I’ve already noted that Adrian McKinty’s latest, THE COLD COLD GROUND will be published in January, with Brian O’Connor’s MENACES to follow in February.
  One novel I’m particularly looking forward to is Conor Fitzgerald’s third offering, THE NAMESAKE, which is due in March. Quoth the blurb elves:
When magistrate Matteo Arconti’s namesake, an insurance man from Milan, is found dead outside the court buildings in Piazzo Clodio, it’s a clear warning to the authorities in Rome - a message of defiance and intimidation. Commissioner Alec Blume, interpreting the reference to his other ongoing case - a frustrating one in which he’s so far been unable to pin murder on a mafia boss operating at an untouchable distance in Germany - knows he’s too close to it. Handing control of the investigation to now live-in and not-so-secret partner Caterina Mattiola, Blume takes a back seat. And while Caterina embarks on questioning the Milanese widow, Blume has had an underhand idea of his own to lure the arrogant mafioso out of his hiding place ...
  I’ve been a fan of Conor Fitzgerald since his first outing, THE DOGS OF ROME, and I thought that the follow-up, THE FATAL TOUCH, was sufficiently good to propel him to the first rank of crime writing, Irish or otherwise - if memory serves, I was moved to compare that novel with John Banville’s THE BOOK OF EVIDENCE. If THE NAMESAKE represents a similar improvement on THE FATAL TOUCH, then God help us all …
  Incidentally, it’s interesting that Fitzgerald, who writes under a pseudonym, and is the son of noted Irish poet Seamus Deane, is here playing with notions of identity, and the truth (or otherwise) of names. Post-modern meta-fiction flummery, or simple coincidence? You - yes, YOU! - decide …

1 comment:

William Ryan said...

Hi Declan,

I wish THE DARKENING FIELD was my third novel but it's really THE BLOODY MEADOW being published in America.

The third novel is an ongoing struggle and isn't due until 2013.

Great to see you at the Irish Book Awards.

Bill Ryan