“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.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

CAPNYA; Or, The Crime Always Pays Novel of the Year Award

Well, it’s that time of the year again, folks, when we have a look back at the Irish crime titles released in the last twelve months or so, and make a ham-fisted attempt at deciding which was the best of the lot for the not-entirely-coveted Crime Always Pays Novel of the Year Award - or CAPNYA, if you prefer. I say ham-fisted, because all such ‘awards’ are by definition a lottery of subjective opinions, opinion being a polite word for prejudice; the good news there is, opinions are free, and so is leaving a comment in the box beneath this post. So, if you have a few moments to spare, and have an opinion on what might be the best Irish crime title of 2011, please join in the fun.
  To make it (slightly) interesting, and because the real object of the exercise is to bring the titles of great books to the attention of those who might have missed them first time around, I’m going to ask you to name your top three books, in 1-2-3 order, with the person who gets closest to the right 1-2-3 bagging themselves a signed copy of ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL by yours truly (runner-up gets two signed copies, etc.). In the event that two or more contributors tie, the names will go into a bobbly hat.
  The list of books below isn’t so much a longlist as a suggested reading list, and please feel free to include any title that isn’t on it in your 1-2-3. I’m going to run this post for two weeks, with the winner to be announced on Monday, December 19th, and maybe for giggles I’ll post a ‘short-list’ of the most popular books this time next week.
  Incidentally, I’ll be leaving myself and ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL out of the competition. As always, this has less to do with transparency and accountability and the democratic process than it has to do with the horrendous embarrassment that would come with my not winning an award I’m hosting on my own blog. You know it makes sense.
  Anyway, on with the list, which is presented in alphabetical order:
NINE INCHES, Colin Bateman;
A DEATH IN SUMMER, Benjamin Black;
THE POINT, Gerard Brennan;
HEADSTONE, Ken Bruen;
THE RECKONING, Jane Casey;
PLUGGED, Eoin Colfer;
THE BURNING SOUL, John Connolly;
THE FATAL TOUCH, Conor Fitzgerald;
BLOODLAND, Alan Glynn;
TABOO, Casey Hill;
GOODBYE AGAIN, Joseph Hone;
THE CHOSEN, Arlene Hunt;
THE RAGE, Gene Kerrigan;
HIDE ME, Ava McCarthy;
LITTLE GIRL LOST, Brian McGilloway;
FALLING GLASS, Adrian McKinty;
STOLEN SOULS, Stuart Neville;
BLOODLINE, Brian O’Connor;
TAKEN, Niamh O’Connor;
DUBLIN DEAD, Gerard O’Donovan;
THE BLOODY MEADOW, William Ryan;
  So there you have it, folks. Vote early, vote often, and let the games commence …