“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, October 22, 2016

Event: The ‘Something Wicked’ Crime Fiction Festival at Malahide

Something Wicked, Ireland’s only standalone crime fiction festival, takes place this year from October 28th – 30th, featuring Alex Barclay, Liz Nugent, Arlene Hunt, RenĂ© Gapert, Dave Rudden and Sam Blake. Quoth the blurb elves:
Murder comes to Malahide on the October bank holiday weekend in the form of the Something Wicked Crime Writing Festival, which runs from Friday 28th to Sunday 30th. Over the course of the three days, there will be something for all ages interested in crime, crime fiction and children’s books.

On Friday October 28th a panel of bestselling authors will discuss how they write about murder and violent crime. The panellists are Alex Barclay (Darkhouse, Blood Runs Cold), Sam Blake (Little Bones) and Liz Nugent (Unravelling Oliver, Lying in Wait) and will be hosted by Bert Wright (Administrator of the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards). The event will be held at Malahide Lawn Tennis Club at 7:30pm. Tickets €12.50*/€15 (*early bird)

‘Malahide Murder Morning’ takes place on Saturday Oct 29th. This is a forensics and crime scene workshop where participants will witness the procedures and protocols following the discovery of a dead body. They will also learn how to write authentic crime fiction. The workshop will be led by Forensic Anthropologist RenĂ© Gapert, Deputy State Pathologist Linda Mulligan and Garda Vanessa Stafford, with actor and screen writer Paddy C. Courtney acting as host. Award winning crime novelist Arlene Hunt (Vicious Circle, The Chosen, The Outsider) will complete the line-up, as she discusses how to incorporate the panellists’ information into a crime novel. The three-hour workshop takes place in the Malahide Parish Centre at 10am. Tickets €20*/€25 (*early bird)

Manor Books on Church Road will be the venue for ‘Killer Kids’ at 11am on Sunday October 30th. Bestselling author Dave Rudden (Knights of the Borrowed Dark) will host a workshop for children, who will learn the art of storytelling through the medium of crime fiction. Tickets €5.
  For all the details, clickety-click here.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Publication: IRON MAN: THE GAUNTLET by Eoin Colfer

I’ve spent the last few weeks harping on about the diversity of Irish crime fiction and the way in which Irish writers are happy to explore every nook and cranny of the genre, but it’s fair to say that Eoin Colfer – in this respect, as in most other things – is out there on his own. To date Eoin has penned one of the all-time best-selling YA series with his Artemis Fowl novels; written an instalment in Douglas Adams’ increasingly improbable Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy; a pre-teen private eye novel; books for young children; and comedy caper crime thrillers for adults.
  To cap it all – for now, at least; no doubt there’ll be even more maverick offerings from the Wexford man – Eoin publishes IRON MAN: THE GAUNTLET, in which the Marvel superhero comes to Ireland. To wit:
Tony Stark is known as many things: billionaire, inventor, Avenger, but mainly for being the invincible Iron Man! People expect strength and pizzazz from him at all times and he’s not about to let them down. But when he heads to an international eco-summit, he detects an anomaly off the coast of Ireland. Stark decides to investigate and that’s when the party really starts. Find out how he tackles both inner and outer demons in this all-action adventure from Eoin Colfer, the best-selling author of Artemis Fowl.
  So there you have it. For an excerpt from IRON MAN: THE GAUNTLET, clickety-click here

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

TROUBLE IS OUR BUSINESS: News and Reviews

It’s been a busy couple of weeks since TROUBLE IS OUR BUSINESS (New Island) was launched, and the reaction – happily – has been pretty favourable to date.
  First off, hearty congratulations to Jane Casey, whose story ‘Green, Amber, Red’ has been longlisted for the Short Story of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. Sponsored by Writing.ie, the shortlist will be announced on October 25th, and if Jane’s chilling story isn’t on it then there’s something very rotten in the state of Denmark.
  Staying with Writing.ie, Hubert O’Hearn writes a very nice appreciation of the anthology, with the gist running thusly:
“Trouble is our Business is a uniformly excellent selection of twenty-four crime stories written by two dozen Irish writers. Not all of them are murder mysteries per se, although some are; not all are identifiably Irish in speech or setting, although again some are. Each one though polishes a different facet of the whole crime writing genre and just as with the wine sampler mentioned above, by the time you are finished reading this anthology you will certainly have discovered at the very least several writers you’ll list for future enjoyment.”
  Over at the Sunday Independent, Hilary White is also very positive about the book, describing it as “One of the essential literary fiction compendiums in Irish publishing this year.” I haven’t found a link to the review to date, but I’ll hoist it here when I do.
  Meanwhile, to coincide with the publication of TROUBLE IS OUR BUSINESS, there’s been a few pieces published about Irish crime fiction in general. RTE’s new Culture website hosts an imaginatively titled piece called ‘Crime Spraoi’, the Irish Times hosts another on why ‘Irish crime writers are a law unto themselves’, and The Journal.ie interviews John Connolly, Louise Phillips and yours truly on why Irish crime writing is having ‘a killer moment right now’.
  Finally, if you’re in the mood to sample a couple of the stories from TROUBLE IS OUR BUSINESS, the Irish Times carries Gene Kerrigan’s ‘Cold Cards’, while the RTE Culture website carries Sinead Crowley’s ‘Maximum Protection’. We do hope you enjoy …

Monday, October 17, 2016

Debut: THE GIRL BEHIND THE LENS by Tanya Farrelly

Tanya Farrelly’s debut, THE GIRL BEHIND THE LENS (Killer Reads), is a dark psychological thriller which will be published as an e-book on October 28th and in paperback on December 15th. Quoth the blurb elves:
When every word’s a lie …
  A picture is worth a thousand.
  Oliver Molloy never meant to hurt his wife. It was an accident, not his fault. A respected lawyer, he needs to make sure no-one finds out the truth. But there’s someone watching him, waiting for him to slip up.
  Photography student Joanna Lacey has always been close to her mother. But when Rachel Arnold turns up on her doorstep, Joanna’s world falls apart. The father she never knew has been found in the canal – a married man, now dead.
  Joanna and Oliver’s paths cross when they meet at the funeral. Convinced everyone she loves is lying to her, Joanna turns to him for help. But Oliver is the most dangerous liar of all.
  Can she uncover the truth before the past destroys them both?
  For Tanya Farrelly’s essay on ‘The Fruits of Perseverance’, clickety-click here