The world's first genetically-modified blue rose called the "SUNTORY blue rose APPLAUSE" will hit flower shops in Japan today, 4 November 2009, although Derry author, Garbhan Downey has already nipped the subject in the bud, four months to the day to be exact, with his best-selling novel War of the Blue Roses published by Guildhall Press.
War of the Blue Roses – the much-anticipated sequel to Downey’s widely-acclaimed comedy-thriller Running Mates published in 2007 – is a rollicking black comedy set in the world of international politics.
In the book, a US-sponsored gardening competition in the little village of Mountrose outside Derry ends up throwing three governments into turmoil when it sparks a worldwide race to grow the world’s first blue rose. The Irish premier is forced to team up with semi-reformed gangsters to stop British and American politicians shanghaiing the Mountrose Festival and walking off with a billion-dollar patent. Bugging, burglary, sabotage, murder and sexual deceit – it’s all part of the rose-growing business. And the bad guys are even worse…
Downey’s fifth novel has enhanced his reputation as a top-class writer. His last book, Yours Confidentially: Letters of a would-be MP, was listed by a number of reviewers on their ‘Book of the Year’ lists – and was one of the Philadelphia Inquirer’s top seven International Crime Fiction reads of 2008. Downey’s debut novel, Private Diary of a Suspended MLA, was described in the Sunday Times as “the best Northern Ireland political novel of the century”.
Praise for War of the Blue Roses:
“A new peak, a personal best so far.” Derry Journal
“Lashings of spying, killing and romance – a thrilling and intelligent send up of global politics.” Culture NI
“If you think gardening is a clean pursuit, this book will shock you.” Detectives Beyond Borders
“Could well be his finest work to date.” Crime Scene NI
Downey, a former newspaper editor and BBC journalist, will be giving a public reading at Lisburn City Library this Thursday, 5 November at 8pm. For more details, see poster below.
War of the Blue Roses, priced £6.95, is available from all good bookshops and direct from www.ghpress.com and Amazon.co.uk
For further information about the author and details of all of his books, please visit: Guildhall Press and www.garbhandowney.com
For more about the subject of Japan's new 'blue rose': My love is like a blue, blue rose.
Thurs 5 October, 2009 @ 8pm.