For my series this summer, I am providing selections of book reviews by country. Either the author is from the country named in the post, or the book is set there.
Today I look at Ireland. I've reviewed fourteen books from both sides of the border, including a few that go back and forth during the course of the pages, notably Borderlands, Brian McGilloway's excellent debut. From my review: "As with many of the best crime-fiction novels, the strengths of this book lie both in its convincing portrayal of place, and in the shadows of the past, into which Devlin and his junior partner Caroline Williams, have to travel in order to make connections, and hence sense, of the present." I have reviewed the author's subsequent novels: Gallow's Lane, Bleed a River Deep, and The Rising.
Another of my favourite Irish authors is Gene Kerrigan. I haven't archived my review of his debut, Little Criminals, myself, but you can find what I thought of it at Euro Crime. My review begins: "I was not sure I'd want to read a book about an Irish gang who kidnap a businessman's wife and demand a huge ransom. But, persuaded by great reviews by the authors of some of the blogs I regularly read, I decided to try it. And I am glad I did: it is excellent." I have archived my reviews of the next two novels in what can't really be described as a series (though there are recurring characters): The Midnight Choir and Dark Times in the City. Wonderful – noir poetry.
Declan Burke's The Big O is a black comedy caper well worth the read, and Alan Glynn's Winterland is shaping up to be in my top 5 of this year so far. Together with one or two others on a range of themes and in varying styles, my reviews of novels by Irish authors demonstrate amply the crime fiction talent of this part of the world.