“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.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Out Of The Past, Again

Congratulations again to all those shortlisted in the Ireland AM Crime Fiction category at the Irish Book Awards. I know that no one sits down to write a book in order to see it nominated for a prize, but it is a very nice bonus when it does happen, and I’m delighted for everyone involved.
  All told, it’s been another very good year for Irish crime fiction. Looking at my shelves during the week, I realised that the following books were just some of those eligible for the Crime Fiction award, all of them, in my not-very-humble opinion, equally entitled to consider themselves shortlist material:
RATLINES by Stuart Neville
CROCODILE TEARS by Mark O’Sullivan
COLD CASE by Patrick McGinley
SCREWED by Eoin Colfer
GRAVELAND by Alan Glynn
THE DEAL by Michael Clifford
ECHOLAND by Joe Joyce
HOLY ORDERS by Benjamin Black
  There were many more Irish crime novels published this year, of course; those above are just the ones I’ve read. If I’ve missed out on any you think deserve a mention, feel free to let me know.
  Incidentally, it may or may not be interesting that six of the ten novels listed above are historical novels, while three of the six shortlisted for the award are also set in the past. That’s also true of three further novels: Arlene Hunt’s THE OUTSIDER, Conor Brady’s THE ELOQUENCE OF THE DEAD and John McAllister’s THE STATION SERGEANT.
  Maybe the past isn’t such a different country after all; maybe things aren’t done so differently there as we might like to imagine.

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