Thirteen may be considered unlucky for some, but not to the thirteen on the Man Booker Prize longlist which includes three Irish authors this year. Donal Ryan’s "From a Low and Quiet Sea" is his second nomination for the prize after "Spinning Heart" in 2013. Anna Burns and Sally Rooney both receive their first nominations for "Milkman" and "Normal People" respectively. Belfast born Anna Burns was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, now the Women's Prize for Fiction, in 2001 for her debut; "No Bones". Sally Rooney, at 27, is the joint youngest author to be nominated this year. She can add that to an already impressive resume that includes being the 2017 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. Upon ditching the requirement of the author to be either from the U.K. or the Commonwealth two years ago, the two most recent winners of the prestigious accolade have both been from the U.S. Ireland can hold its head high to have the same number of nominations as the U.S. this year. There is only one previous winner nominated this year, Michael Ondaatje, whose book "The English Patient" was crowned the best Man Booker Prize winner of the last 50 years. This year he is nominated for his captivating novel "Warlight", set in post Blitz London in 1945. In a departure for the prize, this year sees a graphic novel, "Sabrina" by Nick Drnaso, nominated for the first time. Judges are quoted as being blown away by Drnaso's "oblique, subtle and minimal" style in a work that explores the chilling effect of 24-hour news after a girl has disappeared.Farouk's country has been torn apart by war. Lampy's heart has been laid waste by Chloe. John's past torments him as he nears his end. From a Low and Quiet Sea centres around the refugee, the dreamer and the penitent. From war-torn Syria to small-town Ireland, three men, scarred by all they have loved and lost, are searching for some version of home. Each is drawn towards a powerful reckoning, one that will bring them together in the most unexpected of ways.In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with the Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes 'interesting'. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous. "Milkman" is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.Connell and Marianne both grow up in the same town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. But they both get places to study at university in Dublin, and a connection that has grown between them despite the social tangle of school lasts long into the following years. Sally Rooney's second novel is a deeply political novel, just as it's also a novel about love. It's about how difficult it is to speak to what you feel and how difficult it is to change. It's wry and seductive; perceptive and bold. Normal People will make you cry and you will know yourself through it.As a nation that has the most Nobel Laureates per capita in the world, Ireland has always punched far above her weight in the literary world. Donal Ryan, Anna Burns and Sally Rooney continue the hallowed Irish tradition of captivating their readers with their touching and unflinchingly human stories. We wish them the very best of luck and hopefully one of them will be the fifth Irish Man Booker Prize winner.The Man Booker Prize Longlist:Snap, Belinda BauerMilkman, Anna BurnsSabrina, Nick DrnasoWashington Black, Esi EdugyanIn Our Mad and Furious City, Guy GunaratneEverything Under, Daisy JohnsonThe Mars Room, Rachel KushnerThe Water Cure, Sophie MackintoshWarlight, Michael OndaatjeThe Overstory, Richard PowersThe Long Take, Robin RobertsonNormal People, Sally RooneyFrom a Low and Quiet Sea, Donal RyanPress on the Man Booker:Three Irish Authors nominated for Man Booker Prize 2018 (Irish Times)First Graphic Novel nominated for Man Booker Prize 2018 (The Guardian)About the Man Booker:The Man Booker Prize is one of the world's most famous literary prizes for contemporary fiction. From 2014 eligibility for The Man Booker Prize was extended to include novels originally written in English and published in the UK, regardless of the nationality of their author. Previously it was only awarded to the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland.
A little behind on this one, as the winners were announced in London on the 11th October last. But never too late to bring your attention to the books making the news and winning the accolades. Should you be wondering, the CWA (Crime Writers’ Association) Daggers, awarded annually, celebrate the best in crime and thriller writing.Probably the standout winner this year is first-time American novelist Bill Beverly who has won the Crime Writers’ Association’s Gold Dagger for the best crime novel of the year as well as the John Creasey New Blood Dagger for the best debut crime novel. One award is good, two is better! Well done him.The Diamond Dagger, which some might deem the Crime Writers' Association's highest honour, and awarded for "a career's outstanding contribution to crime fiction", was actually announced last January and went to Peter James. James has written 28 novels and sold over 18 million books worldwide, and is best known for his series of crime books featuring Detective Superintendent Roy Grace.Ireland's very own John Connolly, author of the Charlie Parker series, won the short story dagger for his rather long titled short story 'On the Anatomization of an Unknown Man (1637) by Frans Mier'.Having a particular interest in crime fiction in translation, it was interesting to note that Pierre Lemaitre, author of the Camille Verhœven series, won the International Dagger for 'The Great Swindle'. This is his third time winning the award, his book 'Alex' sharing the award in 2013 with Fred Vargas's 'The Ghost Riders of Ordebec', while his 'Camille' was the winning book in 2015. You may note too that 'The Great Swindle' is on the recently announced Dublin Literary Award longlist for 2017. And coincidentally, I am about to start reading this very same book!Here is a list of the category winners with links to the library catalogue:The Diamond Dagger - Peter James.Goldsboro Gold – for the best crime novel of the year: Bill Beverly with Dodgers (Library Journal Review)Ian Fleming Steel – for the best crime thriller of the year; Don Winslow with The CartelJohn Creasey New Blood – for the best debut crime novel; Bill Beverly with DodgersEndeavour Historical – for the best historical crime novel; David Young with Stasi ChildGold Dagger for Non-Fiction – for non-fiction crime; Andrew Hankinson with You Could Do Something Amazing With Your Life [You Are Raoul Moat]Short Story – for a short crime story published in the UK; John Connolly with 'On the Anatomization of an Unknown Man (1637) by Frans Mier' (from Nocturnes Volume 2: Night Music)International – for crime fiction translated into English and published in the UK; Pierre Lemaître with The Great Swindle, translated by Frank WynneDagger in the Library – for the author of the most enjoyed collection of work in libraries; Elly GriffithsDebut Dagger sponsored by Orion Books – for the opening of a crime novel by a writer with no publishing contract at time of submission: Mark Brandi with Wimmera.The CWA (Crime Writers' Associations) Dagger Awards were started in 1955 and nine Daggers are awarded annually, though this figure can vary.Library Staff Take Note!The Crime Writers Association are looking for nominations for their 2017 Dagger in the Library award from library staff throughout Ireland and the UK. The award is for crime writers for their body of work (at least four novels) and all library staff are encouraged to nominate through the website.Left: The Woman in Blue by Elly Griffiths, the 2016 Dagger in the Library winning author.The Crime Writers Association’s Dagger in the Library is a prize for a body of work by a crime writer that users of libraries particularly admire. Only library staff can nominate an author for the prize and only library staff (aside from the previous winner) sit on the judging panel. The Dagger in the Library’s previous winners represent the very best of crime writing and The CWA have combined with The Reading Agency to make the 2017 prize an opportunity for libraries and, in particular, reading groups to engage with the longlisted and shortlisted authors. From January 2017 until the winner is announced at the end of June The Reading Agency’s website, Reading Groups for Everyone and The CWA Dagger Reads website will be hosting Reading Group material for novels by the longlisted and shortlisted authors and giving libraries across the UK and Ireland the opportunity to have crime writers come and visit.Nominations must be in before December 31st. To find out more, download a poster to be displayed in your library, ask for a crime writer visit and to nominate your library’s favourite crime writer.
The Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards shortlists were announced on Thursday (5th Nov) , and one of the categories I'm delighted to say is crime fiction. I wrote back in October 2013 about how Irish Crime Fiction (was) in a Healthy State, and I think it safe to say that hasn't changed.Right: Last year's winner, Unravelling Oliver by Liz NugentThis year's shortlist is:-Even the Dead by Benjamin BlackAfter the Fire by Jane CaseyAre You Watching Me? By Sinead CrowleyFreedom's Child by Jax MillerOnly We Know by Karen PerryThe Game Changer by Louise PhillipsBook DetailsEven the Dead'Even the Dead' is the 7th title in the Quirke series. When a body is found, Quirke is called in to verify the apparent suicide of an up-and-coming civil servant. But Quirke can’t shake a suspicion of foul play. When the trail eventually leads to Quirke’s own family, the past and present collideDeclan Burke in the Irish Times - "the story is... concerned with the malign power exercised by those who mix politics and religion... the lush prose is underpinned by a brutally noir moral relativism".Tanya Sweeney in the Irish independent - "Quirke is called in to verify the apparent suicide of a civil servant and he is drawn into the shadowy world of Dublin's elite. Stylish and pacy, as one might expect." Benjamin Black, should you not have known, is the pen name of author John Banville. After the Fire'After the Fire' is also the 7th in a series, this time the series features London-based Detective Constable Maeve Kerrigan. A fire rips through a North London tower block resulting in three deaths, two prostitutes and an MP, the latter who either fell to his death or was thrown. The question - what was the politician doing in that particular location?Decla Burke again - "Casey writes with a deft wit and immense skil... The Maeve Kerrigan books keep getting better and better". This Northern Crime reviewer - "Anyone who hasn’t found this series yet, you simply must READ THEM ALL... Totally recommended. Jane Casey has a stonking good series in this one." Are You Watching Me'Are You Watching Me' is Sinéad Crowley’s second novel, and features Detective Claire Boyle, who was pregnant during Crowley's debut novel, 'Can Anybody Help Me?'. Boyle investigates the apparently pointless murder of the ageing, gentle James Mannion in his home, while Liz, a media executive and the face of Tír na nÓg, a drop-in-centre for men who are down on their luck, has acquired a stalker.I've notes contrasting views on this book, Declan Burke saying - "a compulsively readable thriller... an absorbing variation on the "domestic noir" genre.", while this writing.ie reviewer says - "the narrative is a bit weak... really enjoyed 'Can Anybody Help Me?' and was a little disappointed with this sequel", but she finishes by saying "still a good thriller and an ideal summer read, as it is well paced and is not too demanding".Freedom's Child'Freedom's Child' is the debut novel of US-born but Dublin-based author, Jax Miller. Freedom Oliver is in witness protection in the US, is a drunk and hard case, and needs to find her daughter. A daughter she only ever held for a brief moment some twenty years before. But the family of her dead husband, whose death she was initially charged with but acquitted, is hell bent on revenge.Margaret at writing.ie likes it - "Horror, mistrust, deception and a cracker of a female protagonist. A top-notch, right rollicking read". In the words of this Kirkus Review - "a thrilling if excessively plotted debut." Read Jax Miller on Freedom’s Child (Irish Times). Only We Know'Only We Know' is the second book by the crime writing duo Paul Perry and Karen Gillece, aka Karen Perry. Previous book was 'The Boy That Never Was.' This latest is a psychological thriller that looks at a child’s death in Kenya thirty years before present day events. The novel moves back and forth between 1982 and the present, between Dublin and Nairobi, and between characters. It is in part about children trying to keep a deadly secret, and the destructive nature of that secret on their adult lives.Michelle at Eurocrime has this to say - "an interesting novel, but I did find it a little difficult to care too much about the main characters, I had to work quite hard to piece everything together and as a result I wasn’t entirely gripped by the story, in perhaps the way I would have liked to have been." Andre at crimefictionlover says - "for the first 100 pages, Only We Know feels like a pretty formulaic thriller... However, once the action moves from Dublin to Nairobi in the present day, the story settles down and the plot kicks in... the authors’ real strength is gripping prose that is hugely readable. Don’t be surprised if you devour Only We Know in a single sitting".Should you wonder how a duo deliver a novel in partnership, read this interview with Paul and Karen.The Game ChangerThe Game Changer, the fourth novel by 2013 winner Louise Phillips, is a psychological thriller featuring Dr Kate Pearson who provides suspect profiles to the Gardai. Could the suspected suicide of an ex-headmaster in Dublin and a brutal murder in New York be connected to Kate's own abduction as a child years before? Was her father involved? While Kate delves deeper into the recesses of her memory to uncover the truth, a murderous cult leader is bearing down on her.Huber at writing.ie is in no doubt when he says that this is "absolute top drawer crime writing by Ireland’s finest crime writer". Sean in the Irish Independent says "Kate and Adam are plausible and well-drawn characters... The dialogue throughout is handled excellently... the author's capacity for descriptive prose is given full expression... (Lousie) is a first-class crime writer".Previous Winners2014 - 'Unravelling Oliver' by Liz Nugent2013 - 'The Doll's House' by Louise Philips2012 - 'Broken Harbour' by Tana French2011 - 'Bloodland' by Alan Glynn.Read also Irish Book Awards 2015 shortlists announced. Visit The Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards website.
Lemaitre's Camille wins the CWA International Dagger
'Camille' by Pierre Lemaitre (translated by Frank Wynne, published by Quercus, March 2015) was last night announced as the winner of the Crime Writers' Association (CWA) International Dagger. For my part I am delighted with the selection, even though I haven't yet read this, the third in the trilogy starring Commandant Camille Verhoeven (what an admission!). The first two titles I can highly recommend, and if 'Camille' is anything like as good then I have no hesitation in saying that the selection is well justified. Let me quickly add that I presently await the arrival of my library copy; I expect it any day now.The International category of the CWA Awards (there are several categories needless to say) is one I have particular interest in as I have a keen interest in crime/thriller writers in translation and they very much dominate my reading. This International award is for crime novels (including thrillers, suspense novels and spy fiction) not originally written in English but translated for UK publication during the Judging period.This is Lemaitre's second time winning the Award, now in its 10th year. His novel 'Alex' shared the 2013 award with 'The Ghost Riders of Ordebec' an equally wonderful read by that other French great, Fred Vargas. Lemaitre's novel 'Irène' was shortlisted in 2014, losing out to the eventual winner 'The Siege' by Arturo Perez-Reverte. Between them, Lemaitre and Vargas have had six of the eleven winners of the Award (2013 having joint winners), so French dominance looks set to remain unchallenged for some time yet. My inkling before the announcement was that 'Camille' would get the nod, despite the shortlist including other strong contenders, one being 'Cobra' by South Africa's Deon Meyer, another of my favourite authors.'Irène' is the first novel in a trilogy by Lemaitre, yet it did not appear in translation until after 'Alex', its sequel. Should you not yet have read any in the trilogy I would strongly recommend that you read them in order as revelations in the second, should you take them out of order, can spoil somewhat your reading of the first. Lemaitre is an excellent writer, and he is equally strong when it comes to plot development, characterization and atmosphere. There is suspense, there is tension, plus there are dark and unsettling moments. In this regard a word of caution: his portrayal of violence is not for the meek, and may put off some. So while you would be forgiven for moving quickly on at some points, you should not let it detract from your pursuit of otherwise top quality crime writing.You can read too my reviews of Irène (review) and Alex (review) in previous posts here on the library blog.Read also::"CAMILLE is an intense, complex and very intelligent book." Eurocrime blog (contains spoilers of the previous books).Camille review: Another winner from Pierre LeMaitre, a French master (Sydney Morning Herald)The winner announcement on the CWA website.
The winners in the various categories of the 2014 CWA (Crime Writers' Association) Dagger Awards have (nearly) all been revealed following the recent announcement of the winners in the final categories. Most of the category winners were announced in July, with the Gold, Steel and John Creasey Awards revealed in late October. The winner of the Dagger in the Library Award is. I understand, to be announced in November.And no, your eyes are not deceiving you, the winners in two categories do share the same title!I can now reveal (nearly) all of the category winners (each title links to the book's library catalogue entry):- Gold Dagger: 'This Dark Road to Mercy' by Wiley Cash- Steel Dagger: 'An Officer and A Spy' by Robert Harris- John Creasey Dagger: 'The Axeman’s Jazz' by Ray Celestin- International Dagger: 'The Siege' by Arturo Perez-Reverte- Diamond Dagger: Simon Brett- Endeavour Historical Dagger: 'The Devil in the Marshalsea' by Antonia Hodgson- Non-Fiction Dagger: 'The Siege' by Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark- Short Story Dagger: 'Fedora' by John Harvey in 'Deadly Pleasures'- Debut Dagger: 'The Movement' by Jody Sabral (not is stock)- Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read of the Year: 'Entry Island' by Peter May- Dagger in the Library: Winner to be announced in November. (see longlist) International Dagger ShortlistThis particular category always holds special interest for me as I have a keen interest in writers in translation and they happen to very much dominate my reading. It was no surprise therefore that three in particular - Indridason, Lemaitre and Vargas - made the shortlist, as these authors would readily figure in my top six 'crime authors to read' should I be ever asked. So it came as a shock to me to realise I haven't yet read the Vargas title, how that one escaped me I can't say. So it's being fast-tracked to the top of my 'to read' list. Not yet having read the winner, I can't comment on the judges' selection, but it's another to add to my list. 'The shortlist was:-- Arnaldur Indridason - 'Strange Shores' tr. Victoria Cribb (my review of Strange Shore)- Pierre Lemaitre - 'Irene' tr. Frank Wynne (my review of Irene)- Arturo Perez-Reverte - 'The Siege', tr. Frank Wynne - Winner- Olivier Truc - 'Forty Days without Shadow', tr. Louise Rogers LaLaurie- Simon Urban - 'Plan D' tr. Katy Derbyshire- Fred Vargas - 'Dog Will Have His Day', tr. Siân Reynolds The CWA Daggers ExplainedThe CWA (Crime Writers' Associations) Dagger Awards were started in 1955 and nine Daggers are awarded annually, though this figure can vary.Diamond Dagger: Celebrates an author with an outstanding body of work in crime fiction.Gold Dagger: Given for the best crime novel of the year.Ian Fleming Steel Dagger: Given for best thriller of the year.John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger: Given for first books by previously unpublished writers.International Dagger: Given for best translated crime novel of the year.Dagger in the Library: Given to a "living author who has given the most pleasure to readers". Shortlist is drawn up from submissions by libraries across the UK, and the final decision is made by a panel of librarians.Debut Dagger: Given for a novel not yet published commercially.Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read of the Year: This award is selected by a group of independent publishing experts from the Awards Academy, from a shortlist of 6 great Crime reads featured throughout the Crime Thriller Club Series on ITV3.
The Ireland AM Crime Fiction Book of the Year is... The Doll's House!
The Ireland AM Crime Fiction Book of the Year is... 'The Doll's House' by Louise Phillips!The winning books in each category of the Irish Book Awards were announced tonight.This Dublin-based psychological thriller, published in August 2013, is the second novel from Phillips. It features criminal psychologist Kate Pearson and DI O’Connor.Louise Phillips' debut novel, 'Red Ribbons', was shortlisted for the 2012 Irish Crime Fiction Book of the Year Award.Book SummaryWhen the body of popular talk show host Keith Jenkins is discovered in the icy waters of the canal during the early hours of a chilly Dublin morning, everyone wants to know why. With media attention gaining momentum by the hour, the list of potential suspects is enormous. Is the killer a crazed fan? An angry participant from Jenkins' TV show 'Real People, Real Lives'? Or a completely random vicious attack? DI O'Connor and a new squad of detectives from Harcourt Street team up with criminal psychologist Dr Kate Pearson to profile the killer, in an attempt to narrow down the search.What others thought..."a gripping, suspenseful story peopled with well-drawn characters" (Irish Independent, 10 August 2013)"every bit as good as her debut, 'Red Ribbons'." Writing.ie"I will definitely be seeking out Phillips’ first novel Red Ribbons on the strength of this one, and am delighted to have discovered a new and highly readable author." Raven Crime ReadsThe ShortlistThe Doll's House was selected from a shortlist of six, made up of the following:The Twelfth Department by William RyanThe Convictions Of John Delahunt by Andrew HughesThe Doll’s House by Louise PhillipsInquest by Paul CarsonThe Stranger You Know by Jane Casey Irregulars by Kevin McCarthyIf you haven't done so already, time to get reading!
Last night saw the winners announced in the various TV, film and book categories of the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2013. The Awards grew out of a new TV series about crime writing on ITV3 called the Crime Thriller Club which was first aired in September. The Awards were presented in conjunction with the Crime Writers' Association (CWA).The winners of the 2013 Awards are as follows:CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger for the Best Crime Novel of the Year: 'Dead Lions' by Mick Herron (Soho Press) (sorry, title not yet in stock)CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger for the Best First Book by previously unpublished writer: 'Norwegian by Night' by Derek B. Miller (Faber and Faber)CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the Best Thriller of the Year: 'Ghostman' by Roger Hobbs (Transworld)The Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read: 'The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter' by Malcolm MacKay (Pan) The Film Dagger: SkyfallThe TV Dagger: BroadchurchThe International TV Dagger: The Killing, Season 3The Best Supporting Actor Dagger: Andrew Buchan for BroadchurchThe Best Supporting Actress Dagger: Amelia Bullmore for Scott & Bailey (sorry, not in stock)The Best Actor Dagger: David Tennant for BroadchurchThe Best Actress Dagger: Olivia Colman for Broadchurch