“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, June 8, 2017

Publication: PRAGUE NIGHTS by Benjamin Black

Benjamin Black (aka John Banville) has published seven novels in the Quirke series, which are set in Dublin in the 1950s, but recently Black’s been wandering into the realms of the standalone. The Raymond Chandler-inspired Philip Marlowe novel THE BLACK-EYED BLONDE (2014) is now followed by PRAGUE NIGHTS (Viking), with the blurb elves wittering thusly:
“The emperor’s mistress had been murdered, and the world had been taken hold of and turned upon its head.’
  Prague, 1599. Christian Stern, a young doctor, has just arrived in the city. On his first evening, he finds a young woman’s body half-buried in the snow.
  The dead woman is none other than the emperor’s mistress, and there’s no shortage of suspects. Stern is employed by the emperor himself to investigate the murder. In the search to find the culprit, Stern finds himself drawn into the shadowy world of the emperor’s court - unspoken affairs, letters written in code, and bitter rivalries. But there’s no turning back now ...
  PRAGUE NIGHTS was published on June 1st. For a review, clickety-click here

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

One to Watch: THE RELUCTANT CONTACT by Stephen Burke

Author and filmmaker Stephen Burke publishes his second novel, THE RELUCTANT CONTACT (Hodder & Stoughton) in September. The first, THE GOOD ITALIAN, was shortlisted for the HWA Debut Crown award, and the RNA’s Best Historical Fiction prize. Quoth the blurb elves:
The Svalbard archipelago, 1977, Norwegian territory, yet closer to the North Pole. Russian engineer Yuri arrives on the last boat to the Soviet mining outpost of Pyramiden, as the Arctic sun disappears for the winter. Yuri still plays by Stalin-era rules: Don’t trust anyone; Keep your head down; Look after number one. Yet when a co-worker is found dead deep in the mine, the circumstances appear strange. Against his better judgement, Yuri breaks his own rules, and decides to investigate. At the same time, he begins a stormy love affair with the volatile, brooding Anya. She has come to Pyramiden to meet someone who has not shown himself in three months, if he exists at all. While the whole island is frozen in 24-hour darkness, Yuri enters a dangerous world of secrets and conflicting agendas, where even the people closest to you are not always what they seem.
  THE RELUCTANT CONTACT will be published on September 7th. For more, clickety-click here

Event: TROUBLE IS OUR BUSINESS at the Belfast Book Festival

I’m hugely looking forward to getting up to Belfast for the Book Festival on June 10th, where I’ll be hosting a conversation between three of the finest Irish crime writers out there, and who – no coincidence – contributed to TROUBLE IS OUR BUSINESS (New Island Books). To wit:
BBF17: TROUBLE IS OUR BUSINESS - NEW STORIES BY IRISH CRIME WRITERS

Saturday 10 June at 2pm
£6 | £4
at the Crescent Arts Centre


Irish crime writers have long been established on the international stage as bestsellers and award winners. Now, for the first time ever, the best in contemporary Irish crime novelists have been brought together in one volume. Author, editor and journalist Declan Burke will be leading the conversation on Irish crime writing with Louise Phillips, Julie Parsons and Stuart Neville.

Declan Burke is a writer, editor, journalist and critic. He has published six crime novels. He edited Trouble Is Our Business: New Stories by Irish Crime Writers in 2016.

Louise Phillips is an author of four bestselling psychological crime thrillers, each shortlisted for Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year. Her second novel, The Doll’s House, won the award. She is currently working on her latest novel, Dark Day In May.

Julie Parsons was born in New Zealand but has lived most of her adult life in Ireland. She was a radio and television producer with RTÉ for many years until the publication of her first novel, Mary, Mary in 1998. Her subsequent novels, including The Hourglass (2005) and I Saw You (2008) were all published internationally and translated into many languages.

Stuart Neville’s crime fiction has won numerous awards, including the LA Times Book Prize. Stuart also writes under the pen name Haylen Beck, whose debut novel, Here and Gone is due to be published this summer and is in development for the screen.
  To book tickets, clickety-click here ...