Tuesday 13 October 2009

Adrienne Carlson Guest Blog

Adrienne Carlson is well clued up on Forensic Science, and as such, you should be pretty damn interested in finding out what kind of crime fiction she enjoys. So I was delighted to hear from her. She offered to take a break from the site she regularly writes for (The Forensic Science Schools) to pen me a short article on her favourite Irish crime writers.

You may remember a similar article from Kat Sanders who also writes for The Forensic Scientist Blog. There's a danger of this becoming a series. No bad thing, as it allows me to concentrate solely on my fiction for the day.

Take it away, Adrienne!

Why Irish Crime Fiction is Gaining in Popularity?

There’s no doubt about it – there’s a wave of crime sweeping through the Irish community, and it sure is arresting. Now before you think that Ireland is becoming a nation of bloodshed and violence, let me reassure that it’s all on paper, and it’s all very good. A host of Irish authors are making names for themselves, adding to the crowd of already established ones like Declan Hughes and John Connolly. And considering the fact that Ireland is a tiny nation where everyone seems to know everyone and the crime rate is relatively low when compared to most other parts of the world, it’s surprising that crime fiction is a genre that has gained immense popularity in recent years.

When we look at the reasons for the surge in the demand for Irish crime fiction, we find that:

• Well established authors like Hughes, Connolly and Gene Kerrigan have inspired other wannabes to try their hand at writing whodunits; and with the new generation like Alex Barclay, Brian McGilloway and Arlene Hunt jumping on this bandwagon and tasting success on a grand scale, others are bound to follow suit.

• Irish crime authors base their books and stories in the USA because plot lines and police procedurals work more effectively when the tales are set in cities and locations where crimes do tend to take place as a matter of routine.

• The Irish Book Awards have included Alex Barclay’s Blood Runs Cold, Arlene Hunt’s Undertow and Brian McGilloway’s Gallows Lane, a move that goes to show that crime fiction is now gaining acceptance into elite literary circles.

• Crime fiction rarely makes it to the acceptable list of must-read books, so when one gets picked to be the Book of the Month, it is bound to boost the popularity of this genre. With author Alex Barclay receiving tumultuous applause for her debut novel, Darkhouse, her new bestseller Blood Runs Cold was included in the Book Club Choice. Other authors have since followed suit what with various discussions and programs boosting the popularity of this genre.

• Booker Prize winner John Banville has now turned to crime fiction using the pseudonym Benjamin Black, thus showing that this is a genre that even award winning authors endorse.

• Besides this, the sheer number of current Irish crime writers – Brian McGilloway, Alex Barclay, Gene Kerrigan, Declan Hughes, Arlene Hunt, John Connolly, Tana French, Ken Bruen, John Banville and Ava McCarthy, Adrian McKinty, Pauline McLynn, Stuart Neville and Ed O’Loughlin - to name just a few, are making this genre more and more appealing to not just fans in Ireland, but all over the world as well.


This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of forensic scientist schools. Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: adrienne.carlson83(at)yahoo.com


Michael Stone said...

Nice article, Adrienne!

Tales from the Birch Wood. said...

This is a very interesting and topical.

There is a lot of analysis on the subject of Irish writers and the crime genre. In fact, many, like Alan Glynn are tending towards literary thriller and noir, which is much less grisly.

Also much is being discussed about the fact that women are great book buyers but that they are less likely to be lured towards the thriller and crime sections in bookshops.

You have given us a lot to think about.

Thank you for such a well written post.