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.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Yet More Independent Publishing, Sort Of

The Irish Independent has launched yet another of in its series of free books, this one focusing on 20 contemporary female Irish writers. First down the road less travelled is Edna O’Brien’s In the Forest, to which the Indo’s legion of blurb elves addressed themselves thusly:
Edna O’Brien’s novel In the Forest tells the dark story of a beautiful young woman and her little son who live in a cottage on the edge of a forest in rural Ireland and are murdered by a deranged killer who has become obsessed with her. The book is based on the true story of Imelda Riney and her son Liam, who were murdered by Brendan O’Donnell in Co Clare in 1994. The mentally disturbed O’Donnell went on to kill local priest Fr Joe Walshe. When the book was first published in 2002 it caused a lot of controversy and O’Brien was accused of exploiting the grief of the families involved. But if the novel makes use of a real life event, it does so for a valid artistic reason. This book is a brilliant exploration of exactly how such a horror -- and others that have happened since then -- can come to pass. It takes us deep into the mind of the killer and makes us feel the unspeakable terror of the victims. It is told in a calm and factual way, but in language of such intensity that the reader feels part of what is happening. It is at once terrifying and spell-binding to read.
All of which leads us to wonder when the Indo will get around to a series of contemporary Irish crime novels. Our humble suggestion runs, in no particular order and excluding novels currently in the first flush of publication, thusly:
1. Quinn by Seamus Smyth
2. The Guards by Ken Bruen
3. Dead I Well May Be by Adrian McKinty
4. The Dead by Ingrid Black
5. Every Dead Thing by John Connolly
6. The Polling of the Dead by John Kelly
7. Little Criminals by Gene Kerrigan
8. Divorcing Jack by Colin Bateman
9. The Guilty Heart by Julie Parsons
10. Bogmail by Patrick McGinley
11. Death the Pale Rider by Vincent Banville
12. The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe
13. The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien
14. In the Forest by Edna O’Brien
15. The Colour of Blood by Brian Moore
16. Revenge by KT McCaffrey
17. The Assassin by Liam O’Flaherty
18. Resurrection Man by Eoin McNamee
19. Death Call by TS O’Rourke
20. A Carra King by John Brady
Anyone you think we might have left out? As always, canvassing will immediately qualify …

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