Thursday, December 03, 2009

Neville on Top

Last week, author and blogger Declan Burke presented the six contenders on his shortlist for the Crime Always Pays Irish Crime Novel of the Year Award. Today he’s announced the winner of that competition, chosen in a vote among Irish crime writers. It’s The Twelve, by Northern Irish wordsmith Stuart Neville (a book published in the States as The Ghosts of Belfast).

The runners-up, in this order, were: The Lovers, by John Connolly; Dark Times in the City, by Gene Kerrigan; Winterland, by Alan Glynn; All the Dead Voices, by Declan Hughes; and Fifty Grand, by
Adrian McKinty.

“Personally,” Burke remarks in today’s post, “I think all six are terrific novels, and I’m not just woofing: I think that any country, regardless of its size, should be proud of producing six novels of that quality (in any genre or none) in a given year. The bar has been well and truly raised, and it augurs well for 2010.”


kathy d. said...

No worthy works by Irish women mystery writers?

Apparently, there are many.

Kathleen Durkin

J. Kingston Pierce said...

Sorry, Kathy, but this is a very old and tired complaint, and it misses the point of the exercise.

I don't believe Mr. Burke was looking to create a representative list of what was published by Irish crime writers over the last year, but instead wanted authors to choose which works they thought were the most interesting/innovative/accomplished. If this had been a representative sampling, then it would likely have included books by women. And in fact, Mr. Burke started out with two crime novels by women (
crime-always-pays-irish-crime-novel-of.html), but those didn't make the shortlist.

Rather than chide editors and writers for not making sure that they include as many books by women as they do by men on their "best of the year" lists, why don't we discuss what we think about the books actually being mentioned, and then suggest other specific titles that might have been considered, as well. That seems like a more reasonable expenditure of energies.


Declan Burke said...

Kathleen -

There are many Irish women mystery writers. Tana French, Alex Barclay, Arlene Hunt and Julie Parsons have arguably the highest profile, and none of them published a book in 2009.

Cheers, Declan