Peace in Northern Ireland and the economic boom and bust in Southern Ireland have led to a recent rise in crime fiction.
Val McDermid looks at the way real life violence has been dealt with in the work of authors including Tana French, Eoin McNamee, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Stuart Neville and Declan Hughes. We meet David Torrans - whose bookstore in Belfast has been fictionalised in Colin Bateman's series of crime novels. Declan Burke - author of the blog Crime Always Pays - takes us on a tour of Dublin locations featured in crime novels from the modern Docklands offices which inspired Alan Glynn's novel Winterland to the hotels and shops of 1950s Dublin featured in the crime fiction of Booker winner John Banville - who writes under the name Benjamin Black.
I had a listen and enjoyed it very much. It's great that the Irish crime fiction movement has garnered this level of interest. Kudos to Val McDermid for her efforts.
If you listen to the show and your interest is piqued, there's a collection of crime fiction short stories that ties into it nicely. Requiems for the Departed features stories from Brian McGilloway, Stuart Neville, Arlene Hunt and Ken Bruen, to name just those who were mentioned in the programme. It was also blurbed by Colin Bateman, 'Taut, terrifying, terrific.' and reviewed by Declan Burke at Crime Always Pays. And it was launched at No Alibis. Could it be more Emerald? How about this...? It's stories are based on Irish mythology...
Why not give it a lash?
I've also come away from my listening experience with an unsettled feeling. It's about time I was finished with my latest novel-in-progress. If I can get this ending sorted out, it might stand a chance in the publishing world. The Irish crime fiction bar has been set extremely high, though. I'm beginning to worry that I might not reach it.