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, May 2, 2010

Books With Backbone

The Irish crew mightn’t have done so well in the Edgars this year - odd, really, given that there’s usually an Irish presence, and that 2009 was such a fecund year for Irish crime writing - but they’ve been doing okay in other award ceremonies. Stuart Neville, as you might have heard, won the best Mystery / Thriller section in the recent LA Book of the Year awards for THE GHOSTS OF BELFAST (aka THE TWELVE), and he also nabbed the Best Novel: New Voice gong in the Spinetingler Awards. Meanwhile, and staying with the Spinetinglers, Adrian McKinty got the nod for Best Novel: Rising Star Category for FIFTY GRAND, which is belated recognition for what was one of the best novels of last year, in my rarely humble opinion.
  Incidentally, both McKinty and Neville contribute to the forthcoming compilation of crime short stories based on Irish myths, REQUIEMS FOR THE DEPARTED, which promises to be one of the most intriguing collections of the year.
  Anyway, what makes the Spinetingler a pretty special award, I think, is that it’s voted for by the reading public, and a public that’s steeped in the genre to what is very probably an unprecedented degree. All of that takes serious co-ordination, of course, which translates into a lot of blood, sweat and (possibly) tears, all from a team - Sandra Ruttan, Jack Getze, Brian Lindemuth, the Nerd of Noir, and Keith Rawson - that work year-round to promote crime fiction of all stripes. Quoth the Spinetingler team on this year’s award:
This year’s turnout was greater then last years with a total of 4812 votes cast. That’s a huge increase from last year and we’ve seen growth every year. I think I speak for all of us here at Spinetingler when I say we’re glad to see more people participate in them and we have room for a lot more. We hope you enjoyed the awards as much as we did pulling them together. Hopefully at least one of the nominees made you curious enough to check it out because for us that’s the greatest reward. You all did this. And you did something good.
  No, Spinetingler folks, you did all this. And you did something good. Give yourselves a big fat slap on the back.


Dana King said...

GHOSTS OF BELFAST is on my TBR pile, and I read FIFTY GRAND when it cam e out, so I know it's the shit. Now I'm looking forward to GHOSTS even more than before.

Having met Stuart briefly at Bouchercon and interview Adrian via email, I can also say it couldn't have happened for two nicer blokes.

seana said...

I've read them both and they're pretty fantastic. I keep telling people forget about those damn Scandinavians--these Irish writers are the ones you want to watch. They don't listen yet, but they will.

...Okay, I have to admit that the Scandinavian wave is pretty fantastic too.

Declan Burke said...

They're two great books, folks ... I'd hate to have to choose between them.

Seana - the latest Scandinavian I read was Jo Nesbo's The Snowman - that was a pretty damn good book too.

Cheers, Dec

seana said...

Yes, Nesbo is on my expletive deleted enormous list as well. And he apparently even has a band.