Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Belfast Noir Update



In case you don't know I'm editing a volume called Belfast Noir with Stuart Neville for the prestigious Akashic City Noir series. We got some good news this week: we've got a preliminary cover (right) which I think kicks ass and Johnny Temple, the series editor, told me that Belfast Noir is going to come out as a simultaneous audiobook when the hardback is published later in the year. A quick Nate Silver style analysis reveals that only about 1/3 of the City Noir books actually become audiobooks too, so this I think bodes quite well...
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Just to remind you we were delighted to get stories from Glenn Patterson, Eoin McNamee, Garbhan Downey, Lee Child, Alex Barclay, Brian McGilloway, Ian McDonald, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Claire McGowan, Arlene Hunt, Steve Cavanagh, Lucy Caldwell, Sam Millar and Gerard Brennan. A pretty impressive list I think you'll agree. 
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With the success of the new BBC drama The Fall and the best seller status of a surprising number of crime writers from Ireland I think the wheel may finally turning towards Northern Irish fiction. For years the words "The Troubles", "Northern Ireland" and "Belfast" caused book buyers, programme makers and publishers to either shrug with indifference or shudder in horror; but the new generation of writers coming out of Belfast is so good that a previously reluctant audience has had their interest piqued. I've been saying on this blog for the last three years that the Scandinavian crime boom is going to end and the Irish crime boom is going to begin and I still believe that. The depth of talent is there. All it needs is a spark, hopefully Belfast Noir will add kindling to a growing fire...
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Incidentally Steve Cavanagh, one of our contributors, identified this (right) as Upper Church Lane in central Belfast and says - on twitter - that he used to hang out in the very portico where the dudes are hanging out in the picture. Why was he hanging out there? I'll leave you to speculate on that gentle reader...
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Are you still reading all the way down here? Boy are you patient, well I might as well plug me then: The Boston Globe reviews Sean Duffy #3, today, here