“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.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Irish Crime Fiction Debuts: Jo Spain and Michael O’Higgins

It’s been a very good year for Irish crime fiction debuts, and two of the best have just been published: WITH OUR BLESSING by Jo Spain (Quercus) and SNAPSHOTS by Michael O’Higgins (New Island). To wit:
It’s true what they say . . . revenge is sweet.
  1975. A baby, minutes old, is forcibly taken from its devastated mother.
  2010. The body of an elderly woman is found in a Dublin public park in the depths of winter.
  Detective Inspector Tom Reynolds is working the case. He’s convinced the murder is linked to historical events that took place in the notorious Magdalene Laundries. Reynolds and his team follow the trail to an isolated convent in the Irish countryside. But once inside, it becomes disturbingly clear that the killer is amongst them . . . and is determined to exact further vengeance for the sins of the past.

SNAPSHOTS by Michael O’Higgins
Dublin, 1981. One cop. One curate. One hardman. One boy. When a brutal attack on a prison officer puts these four on a collision course, the outcome will be as startling as it is unsentimental. Gritty, authentic and emotionally charged, SNAPSHOTS is at once a taut crime thriller and a reflection of our world, one in which the worst human horrors are found closest to home, and the most destructive transgressions are committed behind closed doors.
  I’ll be reviewing both books in the Irish Times crime column later this month …

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