THE LOST AND THE BLIND: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. SLAUGHTERS HOUND: “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL: “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. THE BIG O: “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. EIGHTBALL BOOGIE: “One of the sharpest, wittiest books Ive read for ages.” – Sunday Independent.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Event: ‘Putting it Write’ at the Bray Literary Festival

I’m really looking forward to taking part in the ‘Putting it Write’ strand of the Bray Literary Festival, where I’ll be chatting with Rebecca O’Connor and Rob Doyle about all things writing- and editing-related. Rebecca is a poet, novelist and editor; Rob is a novelist, editor and short story writer; I’ve written novels and edited short story and essay collections.
  I’m currently up to my oxters in copy edits on THE LAMMISTERS, which will be published by No Alibis Press in November (more of which anon), so I’ll be the one blinking in dazed and gormless fashion as I gaze around in awe at the wonderful sight of anywhere that isn’t my dimly lit garret.
  ‘Putting it Write’ takes place at 11.30am on Sunday, September 29th, at Bray Town Hall. For all the details, clickety-click here

Monday, September 16, 2019

Character is Mystery: A Creative Writing Workshop

I’ll be hosting a creative writing workshop in Dundalk this coming Thursday, September 19th, titled ‘Character is Mystery’. I’ve stolen the title (and much else, of course) from John Connolly’s words of wisdom on the business of writing, this on the basis that talent borrows but genius steals; and I’ll be using SKIN DEEP by Liz Nugent (who recently appeared in Dundalk as part of the Creative Spark series of talks) and Patricia Highsmith’s THE TALENTED MR RIPLEY as example texts. The details:
Date: Thursday 19th September
Time: 11am-1pm (coffee before session at 10:30am)
Price: FREE (but booking essential)
Location: Creative Spark, Clontygora Ct, Muirhevnamore, Dundalk, Co. Louth
  For all the details, including how to book your spot, clickety-click here

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Culture Night

I’m delighted to be taking part in Culture Night on Friday, September 20th, when I will be giving a talk at Blessington Library in Wicklow about the business of writing, and chatting about the whys and wherefores of my latest tome, THE LAMMISTERS, which will be published in November by No Alibis Press. Quoth the blurb elves:
Join us in Blessington Library in conversation with Declan Burke about his new book The Lammisters, a comic novel, which will be published by No Alibis Press in November 2019. Declan Burke is from Sligo but currently lives in County Wicklow. He is an author, editor and journalist and has also taught courses in crime fiction writing with the Irish Writers Centre. In 2017 he was appointed a UNESCO/Dublin City Libraries writer-in-residence. Declan will appeal to a broad audience, if you are an avid crime fiction reader or follower of Irish fiction don’t miss this event.
  The event is free to attend, although you need to book in advance. For all the details, clickety-click here

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Review: WHAT YOU DID by Claire McGowan

Claire McGowan established a very strong reputation with her Northern Ireland-set series featuring the forensic psychologist Paula Maguire, but What You Did (Thomas & Mercer) is a standalone domestic noir which opens with six friends convening for a cosy Saturday night college reunion, which is blown apart by a shocking allegation of rape. The novel’s narrator, Ali, is horrified – but should she believe her husband, Mike, who denies the allegation, or should she believe her best friend, Karen? There’s enough plot there to generate a whole novel, and especially as Ali is the Chair of her local Women’s Refuge, but Claire McGowan piles twist upon twist, riddling the story with moral dilemmas to the point where Ali despairs that ‘the events set in motion on Saturday night were like a Greek tragedy, and would continue to unfurl until everything was destroyed.’ Not content with that, McGowan folds in a sub-plot from the friends’ time in Oxford, ‘when the six of us had brushed against something dark, and come away intact.’ The result, a story rooted in #metoo and #timesup, is unapologetically political, and one of the most engrossing Irish crime novels in years. ~ Declan Burke

  This review appeared in the Irish Times last Saturday, as part of my latest crime fiction column. Other titles reviewed include REWIND by Catherine Ryan Howard, WITCHFINDER by Andrew Williams, 47 SECONDS by Jane Ryan, and HEAVEN, MY HOME by Attica Locke. For the full column, clickety-click here

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Public Interview: Jeffery Deaver

I’m hugely looking forward to interviewing Jeffery Deaver later this month, as part of the Midsummer Murder One mini-festival. Jeffery will be appearing at City Hall on May 24th at 7.30pm. Quoth the blurb elves:
Jeffery Deaver is the No.1 international bestselling author of more than thirty novels, three collections of short stories, and a nonfiction law book. His books are sold in 150 countries and translated into 25 languages. His first novel featuring Lincoln Rhyme, The Bone Collector, was made into a major motion picture starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.
  Deaver’s stunning new thriller, The Never Game, the first in an exciting series featuring enigmatic investigator Colter Shaw, is out on 16th May.
  For all the details, including how to book your tickets, clickety-click here

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Creative Writing: ‘The Art of Murder’ at the IWC

I’m delighted to be hosting ‘The Art of Murder’ at the Irish Writers’ Centre this summer, an eight-week course focusing on the crime novel which starts on May 8th. Quoth the blurb elves:
From the whodunit to domestic noir, private eyes to comedy capers, police procedurals to serial killers, the crime / mystery genre is a very broad church. ‘The Simple Art of Murder’ is an eight-week course covering those elements integral to all novels – plot and character, language, voice and setting – while paying particular attention to those aspects of the crime / mystery novel which make it the most popular genre in the world. This practical course will involve weekly assignments and interactive feedback, and will provide aspiring writers with an overview of the crime fiction genre and the means by which they can adapt their unique skills to the genre’s demands.
  For all the details, including how to book, clickety-click here

Friday, April 5, 2019

Publication: CRUEL ACTS by Jane Casey

Jane Casey publishes CRUEL ACTS (HarperCollins), the latest in her superb Maeve Kerrigan series, on April 18th. Quoth the blurb elves:
How can you spot a murderer?
  Leo Stone is a ruthless killer – or the victim of a miscarriage of justice. A year ago, he was convicted of the murder of two women and sentenced to life in prison. But now he’s free, and according to him, he’s innocent.
  DS Maeve Kerrigan and DI Josh Derwent are determined to put Stone back behind bars where he belongs, but the more Maeve finds out, the less convinced she is of his guilt.
  Then another woman disappears in similar circumstances. Is there a copycat killer, or have they been wrong about Stone from the start?
  For more on Jane Casey, clickety-click here

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Review: THE SCHOLAR by Dervla McTiernan

Dervla McTiernan’s debut, The Ruin (2018), introduced Detective Cormac Reilly, recently relocated to Galway from Dublin. In her follow-up, The Scholar (Sphere, €15.99), Cormac’s partner Emma discovers the body of a young woman who has been killed, and badly disfigured, during a hit-and-run outside the Galway laboratories of Darcy Therapeutics. The victim is initially thought to be Carline Darcy, the granddaughter of billionaire pharmacist John Darcy and reputed to be one of the finest young scientific minds of her generation – but when the victim’s true identity is learned, Emma herself becomes a suspect in Cormac’s case. There are shades of Ross Macdonald in McTiernan’s sophomore novel: an austere patriarch, successive generations of a family manifesting the same flawed gene, a self-crippling lust for power, money and status (‘To Carline they were the bloody Kennedys. Everything Carline did, she did because she was trying to earn a ticket to Camelot.’). McTiernan employs the police procedural form rather than that of the private eye, however, and where a single private detective might have been able to turn a blind eye to Emma’s possible involvement in murder, Cormac Reilly has obligations to a more public code of conduct. The result is a complex, densely plotted murder investigation in which the investigators are professionally and emotionally compromised, not least because their opinion of the fabulously wealthy Darcy family is nowhere as impartial as it should be: ‘There was always something morbidly fascinating about the super-rich. It was like sniffing at a piece of meat that had been hung a bit too long, that had a taint of rot about it.’ ~ Declan Burke

  This review appeared in the Irish Times’ crime fiction column for March, which also included new titles from Jo Spain, Stina Jackson, William Boyle and Sofie Laguna.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Publication: THE GHOST FACTORY by Jenny McCartney

Jenny McCartney publishes her debut novel, THE GHOST FACTORY (Fourth Estate), on March 21st. Quoth the blurb elves:
The Troubles turned Northern Ireland into a ghost factory: as the manufacturing industry withered, the death business boomed. In trying to come to terms with his father’s sudden death, and the attack on his harmless best friend Titch, Jacky is forced to face the bullies who still menace a city scarred by conflict. After he himself is attacked, he flees to London to build a new life. But even in the midst of a burgeoning love affair he hears the ghosts of his past echoing, pulling him back to Belfast, crying out for retribution and justice.
  For an interview with Jenny McCartney, clickety-click here