Month: January 2019

Nordy Noir

milkman
Nordy Noir Knocks at the Door
by
Sharon Dempsey
Northern Irish crime writers have been exploring issues relating to the landscape of the Troubles for decades within the confines of a genre that is well-placed to provide close examination of social, economic and character-driven concerns. The success of Anna Burns’s Milkman has brought attention to Northern Irish writing, with some saying now is the time, post-Good Friday Agreement, to explore the complex issues.
When Milkman won the Man Booker prize it was heralded as a win for Northern Irish literature. Yet the attention the novel’s success has brought to the Northern Irish literary scene has been met with partial disdain. After all, the Northern Irish crime-writing fraternity has been producing work that explores the complexities of social unrest and political division for decades. Writers like Adrian McKinty, Anthony Quinn, Stuart Neville, Claire McGowan, Gerard Brennan and Brian McGilloway have made great use of writing about life in a trigger-happy society, with the inherent socio-economic problems providing plentiful material for their work. However, there was something different in Milkman, something that touched a nerve and suggested that now, post-conflict, we were ready to explore our violent past in a new imaginative form.
If ever a place needed retelling, then Belfast is that place. Like most writers, I don’t fully understand anything until I have written an account of it for myself. I feel that it is only now, with time providing distance from the realities of living amidst conflict that we can examine the nuances of how the incendiary atmosphere and ongoing violence has shaped us.

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Fictions of Organised Crime

Call for Contributions: Fictions of Organised Crime – Themed Issue of New Readings
 
organized crime
 
Crime fiction is one of the most significant popular means of exploring the contradictions that emerge from the modern, bourgeois capitalist nation state (Pepper 2016). Most fiction about ‘organised crime’ is preoccupied with violent, interpersonal crime or the behaviours of mafia-like groups. But there are other, more ubiquitous and insidious harmful practices — political, financial, environmental, etc. — that affect all of us and are not necessarily proscribed by law. The ‘slow violence’ inflicted on populations by the carbon industry, the financial harms of politicians and transnational corporations are not always recognised as ‘crime’ and fit less easily within the standard forms of genre fiction. This themed edition of New ReadingsFictions of Organised Crime, asks how culture can address these kinds of carefully organised harms. How does fiction account for the complexities of state-facilitated environmental crime, financial crime and the activities of organisations dedicated to the subversion of democracy? How can locally and regionally produced cultural representations respond to globally organised activities?

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Craic Noir : A Dublin Trilogy

 

The publication, last year, of the fourth and final book in Caimh McDonnell’s Dublin “trilogy” (!) is an invitation  to (re-) discover this recent series of Irish crime novels:

              A Man With One of Those Faces (The Dublin Trilogy Book 1), McFori Ink, 2016

             The Day That Never Comes (The Dublin Trilogy Book 2),  McFori Ink, 2017

            Angels in the Moonlight    (The Dublin Trilogy Prequel, Book 0), McFori Ink,  2017

           Last Orders (The Dublin Trilogy Book 3), McFori Ink, 2018

A brilliant example of the “delicate infractions”  characteristic of Crime Fiction’s tendency (according to Borges) to blur generic demarcations,  this series could aptly be described as “Craic Noir”.  It has justly been praised  both for bringing Irish Noir to an entirely new level of humor, and for putting some Dublin “craic” in the crime genre.

The author is the award-winning stand-up comedian and TV writer Caimh McDonnell : check his Official website here :  WhiteHairedIrishman.com

Here is the blurb from the second book in the series, The Day That Never Comes: 

Remember those people that destroyed the economy and then cruised off on their yachts? Well guess what – someone is killing them.  Dublin is in the middle of a heat wave and tempers are running high. The Celtic Tiger is well and truly dead, activists have taken over the headquarters of a failed bank, the trial of three unscrupulous property developers teeters on the brink of collapse, and in the midst of all this, along comes a mysterious organisation hell-bent on exacting bloody vengeance in the name of the little guy.  Paul Mulchrone doesn’t care about any of this; he has problems of his own. His newly established detective agency is about to be DOA. One of his partners won’t talk to him for very good reasons and the other has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth for no reason at all. Can he hold it together long enough to figure out what Bunny McGarry’s colourful past has to do with his present absence?  When the law and justice no longer mean the same thing, on which side will you stand?  The Day That Never Comes is the second book in Caimh McDonnell’s Dublin Trilogy, which melds fast-paced action with a distinctly Irish acerbic wit.