“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.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

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

A trumpet-parp please, maestro. The votes are in, the counts have been tallied, the hanging chads ignored, and the winner emerges triumphant. The short-list consisted of THE BURNING SOUL by John Connolly, THE RAGE by Gene Kerrigan and FALLING GLASS by Adrian McKinty, and - ta-da! - it’s FALLING GLASS that wins the hardly-coveted-at-all Crime Always Pays Novel of the Year Award!
  Now all I need to do is come up with some kind of trophy to mark the occasion. Meanwhile, it’s a hearty congrats to Adrian McKinty, not least, as I’ve said before, because 2011 was yet another very fine year for Irish crime writing. Incidentally, FALLING GLASS has already secured the significantly-more-coveted Audible.com Best Mystery / Thriller of the Year. Which just goes to prove that the readers of this blog, if not its host, have impeccably good taste …
  I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised, by the way, if McKinty’s forthcoming tome, THE COLD COLD GROUND, doesn’t feature on a number of 2012’s Best Of lists. It’s due in January, and I’ve already gone on the record about it on these pages, with the gist running thusly:
“The hunger strikes mark the bleakest period of Northern Ireland’s ‘Troubles’, and it’s entirely fitting that Adrian McKinty should be the writer to plunge into that darkest of hearts. It’s a rare author who can write so beautifully about such a poisonous atmosphere, but McKinty’s prose is a master-class in vicious poise as he explores the apparent contradictions that underpin Ulster’s self-loathing. Be in no doubt that this novel is a masterpiece: had David Peace, Eoin McNamee and Brian Moore sat down to brew up the great ‘Troubles’ novel, they would have been very pleased indeed to have written THE COLD COLD GROUND.”
  Very pleased I was, not to mention a little gobsmacked, to see a line from that little lot quoted on the back cover blurb of THE COLD COLD GROUND when it fell through my letterbox last Monday morning. But don’t take my word for it. The various blurbs also feature Stuart Neville (“A razor-sharp thriller with style, courage and dark-as-night wit … brilliant”) and Brian McGilloway (“A brilliant piece of work which does for Northern Ireland what [David] Peace’s Red Riding Quartet did for Yorkshire”).
  So there you have it. THE COLD COLD GROUND by Adrian McKinty. Don’t say you haven’t been warned …
  As for my own favourite novels of the year, well, 2011 was a year in which I was fairly spoiled. They are, in roughly the order I read them:
THE TERROR OF LIVING by Urban Waite;
CROOKED LETTER, CROOKED LETTER by Tom Franklin;
THE GLASS RAINBOW by James Lee Burke;
CITY OF THE DEAD by Sara Gran;
THE TROUBLED MAN by Henning Mankell;
THE FATAL TOUCH by Conor Fitzgerald;
THE DEVOTION OF SUSPECT X by Keigo Higashino;
THE CALLER by Karin Fossum;
FALLING GLASS by Adrian McKinty;
THE WATCHERS by Jon Steele;
LASTING DAMAGE by Sophie Hannah;
BLOODLAND by Alan Glynn;
THE BURNING SOUL by John Connolly;
THE END OF EVERYTHING by Megan Abbott;
A SINGLE SHOT by Matthew F. Jones;
DADDY’S GIRL by Margie Orford;
  Winnowing those down for the purpose of picking my overall favourite, I find myself stuck on three titles:
CROOKED LETTER, CROOKED LETTER by Tom Franklin;
THE BURNING SOUL by John Connolly;
THE END OF EVERYTHING by Megan Abbott;
  Trust me, on this much at least: blow your book token vouchers on those three titles, and you won’t be disappointed.
  Finally, it’s over to you, dear reader. What was your favourite crime title of the year? The comment box is now open …

3 comments:

adrian mckinty said...

A big thank you to everyone who voted for me or just voted. As Declan points out Irish crime fiction is booming. Its as diverse, rich and interesting as any crime fiction anywhere so do yourself a favour and investigate some of the books above.

thanks again,

John said...

I've only read "The Burning Soul" of those but my other favourite books were "Iron House", "Three Seconds" and a slight cheat here as I'm not finished yet but based on the story so far: "El Gavilan" by Craig McDonald.

Ayo Onatade said...

I can only say that I read a number of books this year that I really loved. My top five were (for different reasons) New York to Dallas by JD Robb, Absolute Zero Cool by Declan Burke, Plugged by Eoin Colfer, Cut by George Pelecanos and Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly.