Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “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, November 20, 2018

One to Watch: DARKEST TRUTH by Catherine Kirwan

Solicitor Catherine Kirwan publishes her debut novel, DARKEST TRUTH (Arrow), a story set in Cork and featuring the solicitor Finn Fitzpatrick. Quoth the blurb elves:
It only takes one person to break the silence.
  When solicitor Finn Fitzpatrick is approached by a man to investigate the death of his daughter, her first instinct is to refuse.
  The father is grieving, and unable to accept that his daughter committed suicide. And yet something about the man’s story chimes with Finn.
  Why did a bright, confident, beautiful young girl suddenly drop out of school, isolating herself from everyone who cared about her?
  Could it be that the father’s suspicion is right and that his daughter was groomed and abused by the most famous film director in Ireland? If the story is true there are bound to be other victims.
  The more she investigates, the darker and more twisted the picture becomes.
  Soon Finn herself is in danger.
  Because these are powerful people she is trying to expose. And they are willing to do anything to protect their secrets.
  DARKEST TRUTH will be published on January 10th.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Publications: Irish Crime Fiction 2018/19

Being a list of Irish crime fiction titles published / to be published in 2018/19. To wit:


IN THE COURT’S HANDS by Fiona Gartland (October 1)
TELL NOBODY by Patricia Gibney (October 3)
UNDER THE NIGHT by Alan Glynn (October 4)
A HOUSE OF GHOSTS by W.C. Ryan (October 4)
THE VISITOR by Zoe Miller (October 4)
MURDER AT GREYSBRIDGE by Andrea Carter (October 4)
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF LOUIS BLOOM by Paul Charles (October 12)
THE VOGUE by Eoin McNamee (October 18)
THE HOUSE ON VESPER SANDS by Paraic O’Donnell (October 18)
IN THE DARK RIVER by Conor Brady (October 19)

IN THE GALWAY SILENCE by Ken Bruen (November 1)
WOLVES OF EDEN by Kevin McCarthy (November 6)
WHEN YOUR EYES CLOSE by Tanya Farrelly (November 15)

THE LISTENERS by Anthony J. Quinn (December 6)
FALLOUT by Casey Hill (December 10)


SERENA FLANAGAN: BOOK 3 by Stuart Neville (January 10)
DARKEST TRUTH by Catherine Kirwan (January 10)
APPLE OF MY EYE by Claire Allan (January 19)
TWISTED by Steve Cavanagh (January 24)

DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS by Jo Spain (February 7)
IF SHE RETURNED by S.A. Dunphy (February 7)
THE WYCH ELM by Tana French (February 19)

INTO THE FIRE by Arlene Hunt (March 7)

CRUEL ACTS by Jane Casey (April 4)
THE KILLER IN ME by Olivia Kiernan (April 4)
A BOOK OF BONES by John Connolly (April 18)

FORGET ME NOT by Claire Allan (May 16)

NIGHT BOAT TO TANGIER by Kevin Barry (June 6)
LOST YOU by Haylen Beck (June 27)

THE CITY IN FLAMES by Michael Russell (July 4)
THE HOODED GUNMAN by John Curran (July 11)
THE BOY WHO FELL by Jo Spain (July 11)

THE SCHOLAR by Dervla McTiernan (September 19)

  NB: Publication dates are given according to Amazon UK, and are subject to change.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Event: Classic Crime Novels at Lucan Library

I’m delighted to be taking part in Lucan Library’s ‘Classic Crime Club’ series, as part of which I will be talking about the great American crime novels from the 1970s to the 1990s. Among the titles under consideration will be George V. Higgins’ THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE, Sara Paretsky’s INDEMNITY ONLY, Donald Westlake’s COPS AND ROBBERS, Sue Grafton’s A IS FOR ALIBI, James Ellroy’s WHITE JAZZ and Elmore Leonard’s GET SHORTY.
  The event takes place at 6.30pm on November 19th at Lucan Library, Newcastle Road, Lucan, Co. Dublin. It’s a free event, but booking is advisable on

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Public Interview: Ian Rankin in Belfast

Ian Rankin (right) makes a rare public appearance in Ireland tomorrow evening, when the creator of John Rebus takes to the stage in a public interview with the inimitable Brian McGilloway. To wit:
Event: A Noirish Night with Ian Rankin
Venue: Hilton Belfast, Belfast
Date: Fri 16 Nov 2018 at 7:30PM
Section: Lagan Suite
  Tickets cost £10, and can be booked here.
  Meanwhile, the NOIReland crime fiction festival is set to return in March 2019. Watch this space

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Publication: WHEN YOUR EYES CLOSE by Tanya Farrelly

Tanya Farrelly publishes her second thriller, WHEN YOUR EYES CLOSE (Killer Reads), on November 15th. Quoth the blurb elves:
  Nick Drake is determined to get his life back on track. And if hypnosis has even a chance of working, he’ll give it a try. But as his eyes close, Nick sees something that terrifies him.
  Michelle Carlin is Nick’s girlfriend. She’s determined to stick by Nick no matter what, but she can tell he’s hiding something from her, something dangerous.
  Caitlin Davis is still reeling from the suspicious disappearance of her husband a year ago. But she has secrets of her own which could ruin her and everything she holds dear.
  These three people’s lives are set to collide. And as long-buried secrets, lies and betrayals come to light, they will be lucky to escape unscathed
  For more on Tanya Farrelly, clickety-click here

Monday, November 12, 2018

Publication: A COLD FLAME by Aidan Conway

Aidan Conway published A COLD FLAME (Killer Reads), the second in his Rome-set Detective Rossi series, on September 6th. Quoth the blurb elves:
Five men burnt alive.
  In the crippling heat of August in Rome, a flat goes up in flames, the doors sealed from the outside. Five illegal immigrants are trapped and burnt alive – their charred bodies barely distinguishable amidst the debris.
  One man cut into pieces.
  When Detective Inspectors Rossi and Carrara begin to investigate, a terror organisation shakes the city to its foundations. Then a priest is found murdered and mutilated post-mortem – his injuries almost satanic in their ferocity.
  One city on the edge of ruin.
  Rome is hurtling towards disaster. A horrifying pattern of violence is beginning to emerge, with a ruthless killer overseeing its design. But can Rossi and Carrara stop him before all those in his path are reduced to ashes?
  For more on Aidan Conway, clickety-click here

Friday, November 9, 2018

Shortlist: Irish Crime Fiction Book of the Year

It’s that time of the year again, when the shortlists for the Irish Books of the Year awards are announced, and as always the Crime Fiction category offers some fascinating choices. To wit:
Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year

Skin Deep – Liz Nugent (Penguin Ireland)
A House of Ghosts – W. C. Ryan (Bonnier Zaffre)
The Confession – Jo Spain (Quercus)
One Click – Andrea Mara (Poolbeg)
The Ruin – Dervla McTiernan (Sphere)
Thirteen – Steve Cavanagh (Orion)
  Meanwhile, there’s five crime titles in the six nominees for the Ryan Tubridy Listener’s Choice Award. To wit:
RTE Radio One’s The Ryan Tubridy Show Listeners’ Choice Award

Ladder to the Sky – John Boyne (Doubleday)
The Stolen Girls – Patricia Gibney (Bookouture)
The President is Missing – Bill Clinton and James Patterson (Century)
Ruin – Dervla McTiernan (Sphere)
Skin Deep – Liz Nugent (Penguin Ireland)
The Woman in the Window – A.J. Finn (HarperCollins)
  Hearty congratulations to all the nominees; the winners will be announced on November 27th. To vote for your favourite title, clickety-click here

Launch: WOLVES OF EDEN by Kevin McCarthy

Kevin McCarthy’s previous novels were set during the Irish Civil War, but his latest offering, WOLVES OF EDEN (W.W. Norton), opens in the wake of the American Civil War. Quoth the blurb elves:
Dakota Territory, 1866. Following the murders of a frontier fort’s politically connected sutler and his wife in their illicit off-post brothel, Lieutenant Martin Molloy and his long-suffering orderly, Corporal Daniel Kohn, are ordered to track down the killers and return with “boots for the gallows” to appease powerful figures in Washington. The men journey west to the distant outpost in a beautiful valley, where the soldiers inside the fort prove to be violently opposed to their investigations. Meanwhile, Irish immigrant brothers Michael and Thomas O’Driscoll have returned from the brutal front lines of the Civil War. Unable to adapt to life as migrant farm laborers in peacetime Ohio, they reenlist in the army and are shipped to Fort Phil Kearny in the heart of the Powder River Valley. Here they are thrown into merciless combat with Red Cloud’s coalition of Native tribes fighting American expansion into their hunting grounds. Amidst the daily carnage, Thomas finds a love that will lead to a moment of violence as brutal as any they have witnessed in battle-a moment that will change their lives forever. Blending intimate historical detail and emotional acuity, WOLVES OF EDEN sets these four men on a deadly collision course in a haunting narrative that explores the cruelty of warfare and the resilience of the human spirit.
  Kevin McCarthy launches WOLVES OF EDEN at the Central Hotel, Exchequer Street, Dublin 2, on Wednesday, November 14th. For more on Kevin McCarthy, clickety-click here

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Publication: IN THE GALWAY SILENCE by Ken Bruen

Ken Bruen, aka the Godfather of Irish Noir, publishes IN THE GALWAY SILENCE (Head of Zeus) on November 1st, the 14th in the Galway-set Jack Taylor series. Quoth the blurb elves:
After too much tragedy and violence, Jack Taylor might have at long last found contentment. Of course, he still knocks back too much Jameson and dabbles in uppers, but he has a new woman in his life, a freshly bought apartment, and little sign of trouble on the horizon, unless you count looking after his girlfriend’s spoilt nine-year-old.
  But once again, trouble comes to him, this time in the form of wealthy Frenchman Pierre Renaud, who wants Jack to investigate the double-murder of his twin sons. Entitled, drug-addled, les enfants terribles were bound to a wheelchair, mouths glued shut and pushed off the pier.
  He shouldn’t, but Jack reluctantly agrees to investigate and it opens the door to the past again ...
  For more on Ken Bruen, clickety-click here

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Essay: ‘Walking the Tightrope: Brexit, books and the Border’ by Brian McGilloway

Brian McGilloway (right) published a long-form essay in the Irish Times last weekend, considering the ways in which Northern Irish writers have written about the post-‘Troubles’ landscape in Northern Ireland, and the possible consequences for the re-imposition of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. Sample quote:
It is here where writers become most important. In the absence of a truth commission in the North, it is up to writers to tiptoe between the conflicting versions of history and to tell the truth of the past as we saw it, whether that means considering the impact of the past on the present, or as Adrian McKinty is doing in his superlative Sean Duffy series, revisiting and reliving events of the past with the benefit of hindsight.
  And if writers are indeed our truth commission, their truth of the Border is not that it was a place of security and unity, but one of division, crime and violence. And yet, there are those now wishing to reinforce that very Border again, psychologically if not physically.
  My greatest concern is that Brexit will force those of us who were prepared to move forward and shelf old allegiances and aspirations in the name of peace to look once more to the tribe, to retreat back into our own communities because the hardening of the Border in any sense requires a reassertion of a single identity.
  For the full essay, clickety-click here

Monday, November 5, 2018

Event: ‘Being New York, Being Irish’ at Hodges Figgis

Edited by Terry Golway, BEING NEW YORK, BEING IRISH (Irish Academic Press) is subtitled ‘Reflections on Twenty-Five Years of Irish America and New York University’s Glucksman Ireland House’. The book will be launched at Hodges Figgis on Thursday, November 8th, at 6.30pm, with John Connolly as special guest speaker.
  Glucksman Ireland House has long been a staunch supporter of Irish crime writing, not least due to the good works of Dr John Waters and the inimitable Joe Long, among others. A particularly fond memory is the launch of DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS at Glucksman Ireland House in 2011, which involved John Connolly, Alex Barclay, Arlene Hunt, Declan Hughes and Colin Bateman, and which – being frank – was a surreal experience for yours truly.
  Anyway, Thursday night should be a fascinating event at Hodges Figgis – if you’re in the vicinity, do drop by …

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Publication: THE BRANCHMAN by Nessa O’Mahony

With four volumes of poetry already under her belt, Nessa O’Mahony recently published her debut crime novel, THE BRANCHMAN (Arlen House), which is set in the wake of the Irish Civil War. Quoth the blurb elves:
The Civil War may be over, but there’s no peace, not by a long chalk, and we need a very special type of man to be its guardian.
  East Galway, 1925. Detective Officer Michael Mackey of the newly-created Special Branch has been sent to the Garda Barracks in Ballinasloe on a mission to root out subversives. Soon he has a murder to solve, stolen arms to recover, and a lost love to rescue. But who can he trust?
  For more on Nessa O’Mahony, clickety-click here

Friday, November 2, 2018

Review: TOO CLOSE TO BREATHE by Olivia Kiernan

First published back in April, and issued in paperback on January 10, Olivia Kiernan’s TOO CLOSE TO BREATHE (riverrun) was one of the finest crime debuts of 2018. To wit:
Olivia Kiernan’s debut TOO CLOSE TO BREATHE introduces Det Chief Supt Frankie Sheehan, who investigates the death of Eleanor Costello, a woman discovered hanged in her home and initially believed to have killed herself before Sheehan’s sharp eye detects anomalies that result in a murder investigation. Delivered in propulsive, minimalist prose, Sheehan is precisely the kind of gruff, no-nonsense cynic you’d want investigating your own murder. TOO CLOSE TO BREATHE is an exhilarating police procedural, not least because Sheehan is a complex, layered character who, suffering from PTSD after a frenzied knife attack that left her physically and psychologically scarred, declares herself “a living token of the murder. Proustian memory. I’m a direct path of access to the thrill of the kill.” Noir in tone (“We’re all the murdering kind, given the right motivation,” Sheehan’s superior tells her), and sharply observed – “hard-looking rusted metal furniture stands like a lonely family in the corner” – TOO CLOSE TO BREATHE reads like a hard-boiled take on Tana French and immediately establishes Olivia Kiernan as a talent to watch. ~ Declan Burke
  This review was first published in the Irish Times.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Public Interview: Liz Nugent and Ali Land at Murder One

I’m very much looking forward to interviewing Liz Nugent and Ali Land at Smock Alley on November 2nd, a public interview which opens the Murder One crime fiction festival. To wit:
Domestic Noir takes as its premise the belief that the domestic sphere can be a dark and dangerous environment for women. Two fresh and highly-successful new voices discuss with Declan Burke how their work fits into the genre.
  Ali Land’s debut novel Good Me Bad Me became a Sunday Times and international bestseller. It was short-listed for Dead Good Reader Awards and for the Crime Writers Association New Blood Dagger. It also became a Richard and Judy book club pick. Ali is currently working on her second novel.
  Liz Nugent has become one of Ireland’s most popular and successful novelists. With her three intriguing and deeply sinister novels, Unravelling Oliver, Lying in Wait, and most recently Skin Deep, she has built an enormous following both at home and abroad.
  For all the details, including how to book tickets, clickety-click here