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.

Friday, June 25, 2010

There Will Be Fresh Blood

Waterstones’ ‘Fresh Blood’ campaign, currently in its second year, aims to showcase ‘some of the best new crime writers around’. The fact that one quarter of this year’s list is taken up by Irish writers is a sign of just how healthy 2009 was for Irish crime writing: step forward Alan Glynn (WINTERLAND), Gene Kerrigan (DARK TIMES IN THE CITY) and Stuart Neville (THE TWELVE, aka THE GHOSTS OF BELFAST).
  Unsurprisingly, all three novels finished in the top four (along with John Connolly’s THE LOVERS) in the inaugural ‘Crime Always Pays Irish Crime Novel of the Year’, with THE TWELVE topping the poll - no mean feat for a debut novel. Mind you, and as I said at the time, the fact that WINTERLAND was published in November worked against it, voting-wise, and I have no doubt it would have polled even better had it had a longer shelf-life.
  Anyway, the bottom line is that all three are terrific novels. Clickety-click here for a review of THE TWELVE, and here for a review of WINTERLAND, and here for DARK TIMES IN THE CITY. Or better still, go out and buy them, all three.
  Oh, and if anyone reading this has read any (or all) of the titles, don’t be shy about telling us what you thought about them. You know what to do …


Gerard Brennan said...

I've been lucky enough to have read all three and they very much deserve their place in the Fresh Blood list. Kind of a shame though. It'd make for a better discussion if I was of a mind to accuse everybody of talking through their hats in their assessment of these novels.

I will say that it's a crying shame McKinty's 50G isn't in the list. And what about Brian MacG's work? It's still fresh. And while we're at it, we should include...

Ach, you know what? This could go on. Maybe next time they can do an Irish Fresh Blood list.


Sean Patrick Reardon said...

Of the list, I have only read THE TWELVE as THE GHOSTS OF BELFAST in the US. I would certainly like to read a few more on the list. TGOB was the first Irish crime novel I ever read, and if I didn't see it on Stephen King's best reads of 2009 list, I would never have discovered all the great novels and authors I am now into.

I really enjoyed TGOB and I think it deserves all the accolades it has received, but I'm now finding out that it wasn't a groundbeaking novel if you were familiar with the genre, which I was not at the time. I'll admit that some of the original luster has dulled a tiny bit. For anyone unfamiliar with IC, like I was, it does come off as a spectacular story. The people I have recommended it to, have al enjoyed it.

Photographe à Dublin said...

Your post was so enjoyable it inspired me to some updated thoughts on "Winterland".

I think the book is set to gather importance with time and reviewers have been so positive so far it will be found in many libraries and in many reading group lists.

Photographe à Dublin said...

I thought that a link to various thoughts on
might be of use.

Also, just in case you have not discovered the Topsy search engine, it is a useful way of keeping up to date with
"Crimealwayspays Tweets.