“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “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.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Event: Writing the Crime Novel with Declan Burke

The lovely people at the Irish Writers’ Centre have been in touch to ask if I’d be interested in facilitating a one-day course on writing the crime novel. It takes place on December 3rd in Co. Tyrone (details below), and I’m very much looking forward to it. To wit:
All great crime fiction stems from the fact that character is mystery. From whodunits to psychological thrillers, via private eyes and police procedurals, we’ll uncover the crucial elements that make for a memorable crime / mystery novel. Embracing plot and character, the authorial voice, style and language, setting and tone, this course employs classic and contemporary crime writing to illustrate the way forward for authors seeking to hone their craft and maximise the impact of their writing.
  Declan Burke is an award-winning author of six novels, and the editor / co-editor of two non-fiction titles on crime writing. He is the editor of the short story anthology Trouble is Our Business (New Island).

Saturday 3rd December
Time: 10.30am – 4.30pm
Duration: 1 day
Venue: Ranfurly House, Co. Tyrone
Cost: €28/£25
  For all the details, clickety-click here

Monday, November 21, 2016

Launch: TROUBLE IS OUR BUSINESS at No Alibis

I’m hugely looking forward to my annual pilgrimage to No Alibis in Belfast, where we’ll be conducting the Northern Ireland launch of TROUBLE IS OUR BUSINESS (New Island) on Friday evening. If you’re in or around Belfast that evening, we’d love to see you there. The details:

Fri 25th November 6.30pm,
No Alibis, 83, Botanic Avenue, Belfast


An evening of chat about Crime Fiction on the Emerald Isle with Declan Burke, John Connolly, Louise Phillips and Others

Thrilling, disturbing, shocking and moving, Trouble Is Our Business: New Stories by Irish Crime Writers is a compulsive anthology of original stories by Ireland’s best-known crime writers.

Patrick McGinley, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Colin Bateman, Eoin McNamee, Ken Bruen, Paul Charles, Julie Parsons, John Connolly, Alan Glynn, Adrian McKinty, Arlene Hunt, Alex Barclay, Gene Kerrigan, Eoin Colfer, Declan Hughes, Cora Harrison, Brian McGilloway, Stuart Neville, Jane Casey, Niamh O’Connor, William Ryan Murphy, Louise Phillips, Sinéad Crowley, Liz Nugent.

Irish crime writers have long been established on the international stage as bestsellers and award winners. Now, for the first time ever, the best of contemporary Irish crime novelists are brought together in one volume.
Edited by Declan Burke, the anthology embraces the crime genre’s traditional themes of murder, revenge, intrigue, justice and redemption. These stories engage with the full range of crime fiction incarnations: from police procedurals to psychological thrillers, domestic noir to historical crime – but there’s also room for the supernatural, the futuristic, the macabre. As Emerald Noir blossoms into an international phenomenon, there has never been a more exciting time to be a fan of Irish crime fiction.

Reviews:

‘This collection can be confidently recommended to anyone who reads any type of crime fiction. They will find something to tease and tantalise their inner detective.’ – The Irish Times

‘Trouble Is Our Business is one of the essential literary fiction compendiums in Irish publishing this year.’ – Sunday Independent

‘A crime anthology certain to keep you on the edge of your seat’ – The Sunday Times

Thursday, November 17, 2016

News: Tana French Wins the Irish Crime Novel of the Year Award

Hearty congratulations to Tana French, who last night won the Crime Fiction Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards with THE TRESPASSER. No shocks or surprises, then – it’s been a very strong year for Irish crime fiction, but Tana French is a phenomenon, and THE TRESPASSER is one of her finest offerings to date.
  Happily, Tana’s wasn’t the only crime novel to win on the night – Liz Nugent’s LYING IN WAIT (which was also shortlisted for the crime fiction gong) scooped the RTE Radio One Ryan Tubridy Listeners’ Choice Award, and Graham Norton’s HOLDING won the Popular Fiction Book Award.
  Commiserations, of course, to all the other shortlisted authors – there’s always next year. For the full list of winners at the Irish Book Awards, clickety-click here

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Publication: A HUNT IN WINTER by Conor Brady

A HUNT IN WINTER (New Island), set in Victorian Dublin, is the third in Conor Brady’s series of mystery novels to feature Detective Inspector Joe Swallow. Quoth the blurb elves:
Joe Swallow, newly promoted to detective inspector, is back, and life looks to be taking a turn for the better. But his new-found peace will soon be chaotically upturned, with far-reaching consequences.
  In Dublin, a series of violent attacks against women leads to an outbreak of panic and fear, and things on the home front are about to change in an unexpected way.
  In London, Charles Stewart Parnell tirelessly pursues the Irish cause for Home Rule. While the British are eager to discredit the Irish parliamentary leader and to quash the growing movement towards independence, Swallow’s conflicted loyalties pull him in different directions.
  Swallow has no choice but to traverse this volatile political scene, while his continuing hunt for a terrifying killer takes him across Europe in pursuit …
  For a review of Conor Brady’s THE ELOQUENCE OF THE DEAD, clickety-click here

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Publication: HIMSELF by Jess Kidd

London-born, with roots in Mayo, Jess Kidd sets her debut novel HIMSELF (Canongate) in County Mayo, and it sounds like quite the delight: Louis de Bernières describes it as ‘a magic realist murder mystery set in rural Ireland,’ while ML Stedman reckons that “Himself is a sort of Under Milk Wood meets The Third Policeman meets Agatha Christie.” Quoth the blurb elves:
When Mahony returns to Mulderrig, a speck of a place on Ireland’s west coast, he brings only a photograph of his long-lost mother and a determination to do battle with the lies of his past.
  No one - living or dead - will tell Mahony what happened to the teenage mother who abandoned him as a baby, despite his certainty that more than one of the villagers knows the sinister truth.
  Between Mulderrig’s sly priest, its pitiless nurse and the caustic elderly actress throwing herself into her final village play, this beautiful and darkly comic debut novel creates an unforgettable world of mystery, bloody violence and buried secrets.
  For more on Jess Kidd, clickety-click here

Friday, November 11, 2016

Publications: Irish Crime Fiction 2016 / 2017

Herewith be a brief list of Irish crime fiction titles published / to be published in 2016 / 2017, a list I’ll be updating on a regular basis. To wit:

2016

THEY ALL FALL DOWN by Cat Hogan (July 1)
LYING IN WAIT by Liz Nugent (July 7)
SO SAY THE FALLEN by Stuart Neville (July 7)
BLOOD FOR BLOOD by JM Smyth (July 14)

THE CONSTANT SOLDIER by William Ryan (August 25)
THE BLUE POOL by Siobhan MacDonald (August 26)

THE WONDER by Emma Donoghue (September 8)
TROUBLE IS OUR BUSINESS, ed. Declan Burke (September 21)
BENEATH THE SURFACE by Joanne Spain (September 22)
THE TRESPASSER by Tana French (September 22)

THE CITY IN DARKNESS by Michael Russell (October 3)
HOLDING by Graham Norton (October 6)
HIMSELF by Jess Kidd (October 27)
A HUNT IN WINTER by Conor Brady (October 28)

PURSUIT by John McAllister (November 1)
TRESPASS by Anthony J. Quinn (November 3)
THE DEVIL’S LUCK by T.R. Croke (November 7)

THE GIRL BEHIND THE LENS by Tanya Farrelly (December 15)

2017

POLICE AT THE STATION AND THEY DON’T LOOK FRIENDLY by Adrian McKinty (January 5)

LET THE DEAD SPEAK by Jane Casey (March 9)
BLOOD TIDE by Claire McGowan (March 23)
HEADBANGER / SAD BASTARD by Hugo Hamilton (March 23)

A GAME OF GHOSTS by John Connolly (April 6)
HERE AND GONE by Haylen Beck (April 6)

BAD BLOOD by Brian McGilloway (May 18)

WOLF ON A STRING by Benjamin Black (June 6)
UNTITLED NOVEL by Stephen Burke (June 15)
ONE BAD TURN by Sinead Crowley (June 29)

CANDYLAND by Jax Miller (July 13)

CARDINAL WITNESS by Conor Fitzgerald (August 15)

SLEEPING BEAUTIES by Jo Spain (September 21)

INISHOWEN BOOK 3 by Andrea Carter (October 5)

  NB: Publication dates are given according to Amazon UK, and are subject to change.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Launch: A HUNT IN WINTER by Conor Brady


Detective Inspector Joe Swallow’s life has taken a turn for the better. Not only is he engaged to be married, but he has a baby on the way. But all too soon he is dragged into Dublin’s criminal underbelly. A Hunt in Winter finds Detective Swallow chasing a serial murderer down the dark alleys of Dublin. The only problem is, what he’s hunting may not be human at all. Dressed in a long overcoat and reeking of death and decay, this is a killer like no other. Conor Brady has, once again, crafted a meticulous novel, with the political atmosphere of 1800’s Dublin adding to the terror and darkness we have come to associate with this thrilling, accomplished and atmospheric series.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Diary: The German Tour for THE BIG O

Well, that was a blast. The first leg of the German tour to promote THE BIG O (Edition Nautilus) was terrific fun, taking me from Berlin to Erfurt, on to Braunschweig, back to Berlin, hence to Hamburg, and finally to Unna, for ‘Mord und Hellweg’, the biennial crime fiction festival billed as the biggest in Europe.
  It’s been a crazy week. Highlights included hearing scenes from THE BIG O performed by actors (in German, natürlich – a bizarre experience for yours truly); a reading in front of an audience of 250 in a brewery in Braunschweig, which offered as much beer as you can drink with your admission ticket (why aren’t all literary events held in breweries? – discuss); a reading in a mortuary (!); a guided tour of Hamburg’s St. Pauli and Reeperbahn district (I made my excuses and left, eventually); and trying to explain the term ‘screwball noir’ to German audiences when I haven’t the faintest idea of what it might mean in English.
  The experience, as before, was made utterly painless by my friend, guide and translator, Robert Brack, who is better known in Germany as a best-selling and highly accomplished crime author. For some reason, his novels (35 and counting) have yet to be translated into the English language, although I’d imagine some savvy publisher will do so very soon.
  So – that’s it for the first leg; I’ll be back in Germany again in 10 days’ time, for a couple of sold-out gigs in Berlin. By which time I might even have come up with a definition of ‘screwball noir’ …

Thursday, November 3, 2016

One to Watch: HEADBANGER / SAD BASTARD by Hugo Hamilton

No Exit Press are introducing a new series of ‘classic doubles’ – two books in one – and one of the lead titles will be Hugo Hamilton’s deadly duo HEADBANGER and SAD BASTARD, two seminal Irish crime fiction novels that were a little too far ahead of the curve for their own good when they were first published. Quoth the blurb elves:
Headbanger - Pat Coyne is a Dublin policeman who is passionately devoted to sorting out the world and its problems. For Coyne, such things as cars, crime, pollution and golf are all ominous signs of a disintegrating society. The world is committing suicide, with MTV droning in the background. Coyne’s principal mission is to deal with crime, Ireland’s biggest growth industry. Though only a cop on the beat, he decides to take on the notorious gang leader, Drummer Cunningham. When a murder investigation leaves detectives clueless, he enters into a personal feud with the underworld, resulting in disastrous consequences for himself and his family. Coyne is a Dublin Dirty Harry for whom everything begins to go wrong.

Sad Bastard - Garda Pat Coyne - aka ‘Mr Suicide’ is back. Injured in the line of duty, he is now out of work with too much time on his hands. Living alone, he’s become more obsessive and volatile, developing a fetish for women’s knickers. When a body washes up on the docks, the prime suspect is none other than the former Garda’s son, Jimmy. Like father like son, both Coynes are notorious for their sweeping spells of self-destruction. But while Pat’s motives lean toward cleaning up the world’s messes, Jimmy possesses a taste for mayhem. Coyne’s estranged wife blames him, his mother-in-law berates him, and his therapist labels him psychotic. But when a duo of criminal thugs try to kill his boy, Coyne decides that it’s up to him to straighten things out.
  HEADBANGER / SAD BASTARD will be published on March 23rd, 2017. For all the details, clickety-click here