“There’s a frequent lament that artists have been slow to respond to our economic depression, but the commentators who take this view surely haven’t immersed themselves in the work of our excellent new generation of crime writers, several of whom, including Tana French, set their work very much in the here and now. In BROKEN HARBOUR, as well as delivering a gruesome murder scene and some clever sleuthing, she picks away at the psychological damage the economic meltdown has done behind the glossy front doors of the new suburbia.” - Bernice Harrison, Irish TimesThat’s fair comment, I think. Not every Irish crime writer is interested in pulling up the carpets and writing exposés of our current woe, etc., but a significant number are, and are doing very interesting work.
Equally interesting, perhaps, is the news that Fintan O’Toole has been appointed Literary Editor at the Irish Times. In an op-ed piece which appeared in the Old Lady in 2009, O’Toole was one of the first of the establishment commentators to recognise that Irish crime writing was saying important things, concluding his piece with the line, ‘In creating an Ireland with no faith in authority and no belief that the bad guys will be vanquished by naming their names, they get closer to reality than most literary fiction has managed.’
That article is now behind a firewall, but if you can find DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS in a library, the article was republished therein.
Meanwhile, for the rest of Bernice Harrison’s review of BROKEN HARBOUR, clickety-click here …
UPDATE: The Observer weighed in on BROKEN HARBOUR yesterday, with the gist running thusly:
“BROKEN HARBOUR is a tale about the different facets of obsession and insanity, and it winds up to a finale that is almost too distressing. The best yet of French’s four excellent thrillers, it leaves its readers – just like the Spains – “throat-deep in terror”.” - Alison Flood