“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, September 27, 2013

A Former Editor Writes

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there has been a tremendous boom in Irish crime fiction in the last couple of years. When I first started writing here about Irish crime, we’d be lucky to see two debut writers in a whole year. These days it’s not uncommon to find two writers making their debut in the same month.
  It’s not just about individual writers being published, either. By the end of 2013, the Irish Writers’ Centre will have run three dedicated crime writing courses. Trinity College will host Irish Crime Fiction: A Festival. Plans are afoot for an Irish crime writing festival next year. The Irish Book Awards will, yet again, include a Best Irish Crime Novel category. RTE radio is currently running a four-part documentary series called ‘Irish Noir’. And it’s become increasingly rare for an Irish literary festival not to include at least one panel on crime fiction.
  It’s terrific to see, and long may it continue.
  The downside for yours truly is that it has become increasingly difficult to keep up with all the new writers, the new books from more established writers, and all the various events and newsworthy items. In the grand scheme of things, that’s a wonderful development; in terms of this blog, which is a labour of love, it’s become almost impossible to do justice to them all.
  In fact, and as the more eagle-eyed among you will have noticed already, the coverage has been rather patchy of late. It’s been pretty busy lately here at CAP Towers, with work and my own writing, and I’ll be starting into a new book any day now. Rather than pretend that I’m providing any kind of decent service in terms of information about Irish crime writing, I’d much prefer to acknowledge that I can’t keep up, and bow out gracefully.
  This hasn’t been an easy decision to make, although to be fair it’s a decision a lack of time has made for me. I’ve met a host of wonderful people through this blog, and the goodwill has been terrific. Moreover, I have a special interest in Irish crime writing, and I know I’ll particularly miss writing about new Irish authors. Ultimately, however, with my time being squeezed on all sides, I simply need to be sensible and concede that I can’t do everything I’d like to do.
  I will be maintaining this blog for my own ends, of course, as it’s been a brilliant way of meeting other readers and writers over the years. I do hope you’ll stick around for the occasional news update, review or interview. Cheers, Declan