In the 1880s the Dublin Metropolitan Police classified crime in two distinct classes. Political crimes were ‘special’, whereas theft, robbery and even murder, no matter how terrible, were ‘ordinary’.Sounds like it could be an absolute cracker. Brady, incidentally, has previously published the non-fiction GUARDIANS OF THE PEACE, ‘a political history of the Irish Police, or Garda Síochána’. We’ve had historical Irish crime fiction from Cora Harrison and Kevin McCarthy to date, and while one Swallow (koff) doesn’t make a summer, the late 19th century in Ireland could well be very fertile ground for a very interesting series. We’ll keep you posted …
Dublin, June 1887: the mutilated bodies of a man and a child are discovered in Phoenix Park and Detective Sergeant Joe Swallow steps up to investigate. Cynical and tired, Swallow is a man living on past successes in need of a win.
In the background, the city is sweltering in a long summer heatwave, a potential gangland war is simmering as the chief lieutenants of a dying crime boss size each other up and the castle administration want the celebration of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee to pass off without complication. Underneath it all, the growing threat of anti-British radicals is never far away. With the Land War at its height, the priority is to contain ‘special’ crime. But these murders appear to be ‘ordinary’ and thus of lesser priority. When the evidence suggests high-level involvement, and as the body count increases, Swallow must navigate the waters of foolish superiors, political directives and frayed tempers to investigate the crime, find the true murderer and deliver justice.
A JUNE OF ORDINARY MURDERS captures the life and essence of Dublin in the 1880s and draws the reader on a thrilling journey of murder and intrigue.
“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.
Friday, January 27, 2012
A Murder Less Ordinary
New Island next month. Quoth the blurb elves: