“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.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Preview: The Irish Crime Novel of the Year

It’s that time of the year again – or will be, in about a month’s time – when the shortlists for the Irish Book of the Year arrive to a backing track of whoops of delight, wails of anguish and groans of frustration. It’s been – and please stop me if you’ve heard this before – another bumper year for Irish crime fiction, with over 40 titles providing the basis for – potentially – one of the strongest shortlists to date.
  Below, I offer a potential shortlist, albeit with some caveats: 1. John Connolly’s books never appear on the IBA Crime Novel shortlist. 2. William Ryan’s excellent THE CONSTANT SOLIDER isn’t a crime novel. 3. As always, I haven’t read all the Irish crime titles published this year. 4. Some titles – Graham Norton’s HOLDING, Neil Jordan’s THE DROWNED DETECTIVE and Emma Donoghue’s THE WONDER, for example – might be considered crime fiction titles; then again, they might not. 5. In recent years, the good folks at the IBA have made a virtue of shortlisting debut authors.
  Those caveats out of the way, my shortlist for Irish Crime Novel of the Year – based on the crudely simple basis of the best Irish crime titles I’ve read this year – would look a lot like this:
LYING IN WAIT by Liz Nugent
PARADIME by Alan Glynn
SO SAY THE FALLEN by Stuart Neville
RAIN DOGS by Adrian McKinty
  No debutants on my list, then (Sam Blake, Vanessa Ronan, Annemarie Neary and Catherine Ryan Howard are contenders); Adrian McKinty is a bit of a wild card, given that his (regular) award-winning tends to take place on the other side of the world rather than closer to home; and I’m suggesting three men, whereas the last few years have seen the award dominated by women writers. So I wouldn’t be rushing off to the bookies with your hard-earned cash just yet …
  Anyway, the actual shortlist for the Irish Crime Novel of the Year will be published on October 25th. I’ll keep you posted.

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