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.

Monday, August 10, 2009

All Aboard The Brandwagon

Brandon Books delivered a rather tasty package late last week, which contained the latest offerings from Sam Millar and Paul Charles. First up, Sam Millar’s sequel to BLOODSTORM, which rejoices in the title THE DARK PLACE and is set in Northern Ireland:
Young homeless women and drug addicts are being abducted before being brutally mutilated and murdered and the city is held in a grip of unspeakable terror. The police are unable - or unwilling - to apprehend the elusive serial killer and corrupt politicians turn a seemingly blind eye to the catalogue of murders. But by abducting Katie, the young daughter of legendary private investigator Karl Kane, the killer has just made his first mistake - and one which may well be his last.
Nice. Incidentally, Sam recently carved himself a weblington out of cyberspace; drop on over and say hello …
  Paul Charles, meanwhile, is generally to be found writing about DI Christy Kennedy, who pounds the Camden Town beat over in London Town. FAMILY LIFE, the follow-up to THE DUST OF DEATH, is the second in the Inspector Starrett series, which is set in north Donegal, and precariously close to Brian McGilloway’s turf. To wit:
In ones and twos, the Sweeney clan arrive at Liam Sweeney’s farm on the outskirts of Ramelton, County Donegal, to celebrate Liam’s birthday. The banter and storytelling is great as they await the arrival of the single missing family member. But when Inspector Starrett arrives unexpectedly at the farm it becomes clear that all is not well. The body of a Sweeney family member has just been discovered in the courtyard of a waterfront warehouse in the nearby town and the circumstances are suspicious to say the least …
  Incidentally, if we take Donegal to be a part of Northern Ireland – which it is, culturally and geographically, if not politically – then the last couple of months have seen novels from Norn Iron crime writers such as – obviously – Millar and Charles, Garbhan Downey, Adrian McKinty, Brian McGilloway, The Artist Formerly Known as Colin Bateman and Stuart Neville. What is it, exactly, they’re putting in the water up there? And can I have some?


adrian mckinty said...

Certainly the accent's more or less the same across most of Ulster wouldn't you say, although in Derry they have adorable way of saying "keear" for car.

And dont forget that last year there were books from David Park and Eoin MacNamee.

It's interesting that the crime writing renaissance in Ireland is so regionally based. I think you yourself are down in the Wicklow Mountains, Mr Bruen is over in Galway, Garbhan and Brian are in Derry, Stuart's in Armagh, Eoin's in Sligo and Bateman's in Bangor.

I wonder if that's part of the reason why the Dublin literary establishment can't quite get a handle on what's been happening in Irish fiction over the last couple of years. Perhaps they think that if it comes from the regions, it can't be real writing.

Declan Burke said...

I'm in the Wicklow Foothills rather than Mountains, squire. And round these here parts, we calls it Wickla.

As for the Dublin literary establishment - I don't know, there's been a bit of a sea-change this year. Dec Hughes gave a crime writing workshop at the Listowel Festival this year, which is usually pretty 'literary'. The Books of the Year Awards had a crime fic category for the first time this year. The Dublin Writers Festival had Arlene Hunt interviewing Val McDermid and Kate Summerscale; the Flat Lake Festival has Eoin McNamee hosting a panel of Dec Hughes, Brian McGilloway and myself next weekend; and next month's Books 2009, as I said yesterday, has a pretty decent indigenous and international line-up. So I think there's been a good representation in 2009 ...

Cheers, Dec

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