In the traditional murder mystery, death shatters society’s settled calm, then the killer is caught and punished and normality is restored. But what if society is not normal, if in “a Protestant State for a Protestant people” the killer is a Protestant and his victim a Catholic? Will justice sneak a peek from beneath its blindfold and, with a weather eye on the mob, fix the scales to avert a riot and let justice go hang?For the rest, clickety-click here …
Who will guard the guards, asked Juvenal? Who will judge the judges? Eoin McNamee, damningly, does so here. He has previous. McNamee made his name as an author of psychologically penetrating and stylised literary reimaginings of real-life crimes, a murky world of subterfuge and sabotage, conspiracy and camouflage, from the Shankill Butchers ( Resurrection Man ) to the murderous activities and murder of the undercover British intelligence officer Robert Nairac ( The Ultras ) to the death of Diana, princess of Wales ( 12.23 ).
Blue Is the Night is the third in a loose trilogy based on notorious murders in the North, which begins with the darkly compelling Blue Tango, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2001. Its subject was the murder in 1952 of Judge Lance Curran’s 19-year-old daughter Patricia, the wrongful conviction of Iain Hay Gordon for the crime and the suspicious behaviour of her family.
“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.