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Graeme Macrae Burnet, Janice Galloway and Douglas Skelton head Tidelines Festival Programme 2018 @TidelinesFest

The Tidelines Festival is fast becoming an unmissable attraction in the calendar of Scotland’s book festivals. This year the sixth Tidelines Book Festival will run from Thursday 27th to Sunday 30th September.

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18 events will take place in 4 venues around Irvine’s charming Harbourside area and a schools programme will run in addition to the main Festival schedule.

The Festival begins this year with music on the opening night as Tidelines welcomes the traditional music-influenced band, Tide Lines, fresh from their sell-out Spring tour, who appear regularly at HebCeltFest and Belladrum.
Carry On Sleuthing, the troupe of actors, all crime writers, will wrap up the Festival in the traditional way with their new play, the riotously funny and utterly unmissable Murder at the Knickerage.  Authors Caro Ramsay, Theresa Talbot, Michael Malone, and Douglas Skelton will tread the boards once more. Can the audience spot the killer in this whodunit full of ad libs, dodgy accents – and a pantomime horse?


Douglas Skelton will also launch his new and much anticipated thriller, The Janus Run, at the Festival . Described as “Jason Bourne meets the Sopranos” and set in New
York, the action ranges across the Five Boroughs, with Coleman Lang dodging bullets and bodies, while chased by the mob and the feds.

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Douglas Skelton (minus the ears)

There are two new events to encourage writers: one to encourage anyone who fancies picking up a pen and one to support those who are already writing.

Last year one of the many festival highlights was the naughty cocktails and banned books event. This year Fifty Shades of Fiction will feature thriller writer Gordon Brown, and actress Claire Gray of Still Game will host the event once more, while Nippy Nora dispenses cocktails ‘hidden’ in her teapots.

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Nippy Nora

For family fun, The McDougalls return this year with Singalong Storybook on Saturday.

The ever popular Ayrshire historian, Dane Love returns to talk about skulduggery and subterfuge involving the most daring fraudsters in Scotland with The Man Who Sold Nelson’s Column and Other Scottish Frauds and Hoaxes.

Cameron McNeish will discuss his life from Glasgow childhood to successful broadcaster and journalist, living and working in the beauty of the great outdoors with There’s Always The Hills.

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Cameron McNeish

Best-selling author, Fiona Gibson, will present a workshop with lots of tips from how to start writing to finding a publisher. She will also read from her latest book The Mum Who’d Had Enough.

Pitch and Punt is a new addition this year and is is for new writers to tell their stories to an audience with a panel of supportive professionals.

Helen Bellany will discuss her book The Restless Wave, a candid insight into her life with the artist John Bellany.

The life and career of Nan Shepherd, author of The Living Mountain and whose face graces the new Royal Bank of Scotland five pound notes, is discussed by Erlend Clouston  in his Zen and the Art of Rucksack Maintenance. This event was a sell-out at last year’s Edinburgh Book Festival.

Corinne Squire, co-editor of Voices from the Jungle, Stories from the Calais Refugee Camp, is joined by Majid Adin, as they discuss the extraordinary journeys, and hopes of those living in the Camp. This promises to be an unmissable highlight in the Festival’s events calendar.

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Struan Stevenson brings to the table The Course of History: Ten Meals That Changed The World. Many decisions which changed the world were made over a dinner table and his book explores those decisions and the personalities, and the influence played by the food and drink at those times.

Kilmarnock-born Graeme Macrae Burnet, short-listed for the 2016 Man Booker Prize and winner of the Saltire Society Fiction Book of the Year for His Bloody Project, will discuss The Accident on the A35 ,a darkly humorous mystery.

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Graeme Macrae Burnet

To mark the centenary of Muriel Spark’s birth,  Janice Galloway will give her talk There’s Something About Muriel, The Genius of Mrs Spark.  The work, wit, and no-nonsense style of one of Scotland’s most original writers is being presented as part of the national Muriel Spark 100 programme.

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Janice Galloway

Current writer for the Sunday Post’s Francis Gay column, David McLaughlan, joins the Festival to read and discuss the enduring appeal of Mr Gay, a feature of the paper for 117 years (longer than Oor Wullie or The Broons).

Crime writer, Alex Gray, reads from her new book, Only The Dead Can Tell, and discusses her career as a writer against a backdrop of appearance and reality.
Pat Young’s new book, I Know Where You Live, is the sequel to Till The Dust Settles. Hear Pat read from her new book and discuss the scope and setting of the story as it moves from New York to Ayrshire.

During the Festival West Kilbride’s Timberbooks will run a pop-up bookshop at the Harbour Arts Centre.

The full programme details are available at www.tidelinesbookfest.com.

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Email: info@tidelinesbookfest.com

Mark Billingham and Steve Cavanagh with Chris Brookmyre, Waterstone’s Glasgow @SSCav @MarkBillingham @CBrookmyre @Lauren_BooksPR

What a fantastic evening with three great crime writers tonight. Mark Billingham and Steve Cavanagh were in town promoting their latest books, Mark’s The Killing Habit and Steve’s Thirteen, which I have reviewed here.

As you’d expect from two such entertaining writers, it was an evening full of fun and laughter. Mark kicked off by answering the old trope of “where do you get your ideas from.” By telling us that in the case of his current book, it came from a small item item in a London paper about a cat killer who operates in the most horrendous way.

In the course of his research, he discovered that 55m birds are killed by cats every year. So clearly the finger of blame must point towards a crazed ornithologist. Steve also delighted in telling us that also as part of his research, Mark had signed up to an online dating agency, only he wouldn’t pay the fee, so all he got were blurred photos of the women.

That, in turn, led to Steve telling us how he met his wife, Tracy, which is a lovely story, but one which he needs to tell. Steve reckons that the best places to find a predator are online dating sites, taxi drivers and long distance lorry drivers, do I made the decision there and then to take a bus home…

There was a lot of great chat about the daft ness of some criminals who have done the kinds of things that readers would simply not believe if they were to put them in their books. Steve told a great story about a robber who tried to hold up a post office with a dead seagull!

We also heard that in America, the most common middle name for a serial killer is Wayne, so remember that the next time you are in the States and meet a handsome stranger.

The craic was excellent, with Mark regaling us with some of his best one star reviews to much laughter.

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Ably chaired by Chris Brookmyre, it was a splendid way to while away an hour or two. Great to see loads of colleague bloggers there too, including Llainy Swanson, Sharon Bairden and the fabulous Noelle Holten, as well as Mason Cross, Alexandra Sokoloff, Craig Robertson and Neil Broadfoot from the crime writing fraternity.

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It was lovely to see Lauren Woosey from Orion there too.

All in all, a great night and I gotthe odd book signed too….

 

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McILVANNEY PRIZE FOR SCOTTISH CRIME BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018 – LONGLIST ANNOUNCEMENT #BloodyScotland @BloodyScotland @brownleedonald

 

“Forty-one years ago, William McIlvanney rocked the British literary world with Laidlaw, a gritty and socially conscious crime novel that brought Glasgow to life more vividly than anything before. This year’s longlistees for the McIlvanney Prize demonstrate how modern Scottish crime writing has flourished from those seeds. From debutants to authors with more than 20 books, spy thrillers to long-running detective series, nineteenth-century mysteries to futuristic space station noir, there’s an amazing range of talent on show.”
Craig Sisterson – Chair of the Judges 2018
‘I went to Bloody Scotland and I was just knocked out… this event was so friendly, so supportive I was honestly overwhelmed’
William McIlvanney – speaking on BBC Scotland, 2012

Two years ago the Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award was renamed the McIlvanney Prize in memory of William McIlvanney who established the tradition of Scottish detective fiction. This year his son, Liam McIlvanney, has made the longlist for the 2018 McIlvanney Prize.

The complete longlist, revealed today, has been chosen by an independent panel of readers:

Lin Anderson, Follow the Dead (Macmillan)
Chris Brookmyre, Places in the Darkness (Little, Brown)
Mason Cross, Presumed Dead (Orion)
Charles Cumming, The Man Between (Harper Collins)
Oscar De Muriel, The Loch of the Dead (Michael Joseph)
Helen Fields, Perfect Death (Harper Collins)
Alison James, Now She’s Gone (Bookouture)
Liam McIlvanney, The Quaker (Harper Collins)
James Oswald, No Time to Cry (Headline)
Caro Ramsay, The Suffering of Strangers (Severn House)
Andrew Reid, The Hunter (Headline)
Craig Robertson, The Photographer (Simon & Schuster)

It features an intriguing mix of previous winners, established crime writing luminaries, some emerging talent and a debut.  The award recognises excellence in Scottish crime writing, includes a prize of £1,000 and nationwide promotion in Waterstones.

The judges for the next round will be chaired by Craig Sisterson and include comedian and crime fiction fan, Susan Calman who like Craig is joining the panel for a second year and crime reviewer, Alison Flood.

The finalists will be revealed at the beginning of September and the winner kept under wraps until the ceremony itself which this year will take place at the Church of the Holy Rude in Stirling and followed by a torchlight procession – led by the winner accompanied by Denise Mina and Val McDermid – to their first event at the Albert Halls.

Both the opening ceremony and the torchlight procession are open to the public but tickets are selling fast and capacity is less than at the castle last year so people are urged to book them now.
Previous winners are Denise Mina with The Long Drop 2017, Chris Brookmyre with Black Widow 2016, Craig Russell with The Ghosts of Altona in 2015, Peter May with Entry Island in 2014, Malcolm Mackay with How A Gunman Says Goodbye in 2013 and Charles Cumming with A Foreign Country in 2012.

Bloody Scotland is Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival, providing a showcase for the best crime writing from Scotland and the world, unique in that it was set up by a group of Scottish crime writers in 2012. The festival uses a number of atmospheric, historic venues in Stirling’s Old Town setting it apart from other literary festivals. Full information at www.bloodyscotland.com

 

The Blood Road by Stuart MacBride (Logan McRae #11) @StuartMacBride @HarperCollinsUK @fictionpubteam

 

Source: Netgalley

Publication: 14 June 2018 from Harper Collins

Pp: 496

ISBN-13:978-0008208219

 

What drives someone to murder?

Some things just won’t stay buried…

Logan McRae’s personal history is hardly squeaky clean, but now that he works for Professional Standards he’s policing his fellow officers.

When Detective Inspector Bell turns up dead in the driver’s seat of a crashed car it’s a shock to everyone. Because Bell died two years ago, they buried him. Or they thought they did.

As an investigation is launched into Bell’s stabbing, Logan digs into his past. Where has he been all this time? Why did he disappear? And what’s so important that he felt the need to come back from the dead?

But the deeper Logan digs, the more bones he uncovers – and there are people out there who’ll kill to keep those skeletons buried. If Logan can’t stop them, DI Bell won’t be the only one to die…

 

If you haven’t tried this series, you should, you really, really, should. Stuart MacBride is so on form with the latest in his Logan McRae series that you’d almost think he is enjoying himself.

It is perfectly easy to dip into The Blood Road from a standing start without having read the others, but why deprive yourself? Get the whole set and begin with Cold Granite.

What the blurb doesn’t tell you is that at the heart of this book is a really wicked and horrible set of crimes involving young children. Yet this is extremely well handled by MacBride who uses the crimes as a central point but without lingering too much on the substance, so whilst this is a chilling read, it is still readable.

Our accident prone D.I. McRae is now working for Professional Standards. If you’ve ever wondered why Police Scotland might need a Professional Standards team, you won’t after reading this. Never has there been such a shambles of a Police operation. Too many crimes, not enough officers, labs backed up, pathologists stretched to breaking point and that’s before you deal with sickness and leave and an Aberdeen Press that’s not so much hostile as starving for a headline story wherever they can get it.

It’s no wonder Logan’s boss, DCI Hardie, is so often to be found with his head in his hands.

Logan is investigating the somewhat embarrassing case of the fatal car crash of DI Bell. Embarrassing because this is the same D.I.Bell whose funeral he had attended 2 years previously. So who was buried in that grave; where has D.I.Bell been and what has brought him back to Aberdeen, only to be placed back on the pathologists table?

Logan has to go back into Bell’s cases to find the answers he is looking for, at the same time trying to bring in D.S. Lorna Chalmers for a chat about her current erratic behaviour. D.S. Steel is avoiding him, but that’s no surprise, none of his colleagues are keen on being seen, far less quizzed, by Professional Standards.

Logan has lost none of his irascible charm. Much battered and bruised over the years, he’s now taking his anti-psychotic meds regularly and only really talks to his cat, Cthulhu, when he needs the company. Saddled with the irredeemably bouncy Rennie and working again with the fabulous DC ‘Tufty’ Quirrell, a character I adore, he also spends a great deal of time battling and bantering with DS Roberta Steel with whom he has, to say the least,  a complex relationship.

It is in the midst of this chaos, banter and tumult that McRae excels. Determined to the point of thrawnness, he will never back down on getting his criminal. It is to Stuart MacBride’s credit that he can keep McRae fresh and relevant and produce a novel that while it has a deep and chilling subject matter, also has dialogue that zings.

MacBride tells this story with brio and insight at the same time as leaving the reader gasping for breath as we wait to see who will survive the outcome of Police Scotland’s latest Aberdeenshire outing.

These are all such good stories. I end where I started. Buy them, read them.

Verdict: Logan McRae is in a class of his own. Top notch crime fiction.

Amazon                                                Waterstones

About Stuart MacBride

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Stuart MacBride was born in Dumbarton, near Glasgow and moved to Aberdeen at the age of two. After dropping out of university to work offshore he went to work for himself as a graphic designer, eventually becoming studio manager for a nationwide marketing company. He gave it all up to have a go at becoming an actor, until it became clear to him that he was never going to be good enough to make a decent living out of it.

Whilst progressing through a whole new career in the IT sector, ending up as project manager for a global IT company, Stuart also wrote in his spare time. He is now the No.1 bestselling author of the Logan McRae series and the Ash Henderson series.

His novels have won him the CWA Dagger in the Library, the Barry Award for Best Debut Novel, and Best Breakthrough Author at the ITV3 Crime Thriller awards. In 2012 Stuart was inducted into the ITV3 Crime Thriller Hall of Fame.

Stuart’s other works include Halfhead, a near-future thriller, Sawbones, a novella aimed at adult emergent readers, and several short stories.

He lives in the north-east of Scotland with his wife, Fiona and cats Grendel, Gherkin, Onion, and Beetroot, some hens, horses, and a vast collection of assorted weeds..

Follow Stuart on Twitter
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Website

In Your Defence : Stories of Life and Law by Sarah Langford @wigsandwords @sophiechristoph @DoubledayUK

 

Source: Review Copy

Publication: 28 June 2018 from Doubleday

Pp 320

ISBN 13: 978-0857525284

 

Sarah Langford is a barrister. Her job is to stand in court representing the mad and the bad, the vulnerable, the heartbroken and the hopeful. She must become their voice: weave their story around the black and white of the law and tell it to the courtroom. These stories may not make headlines but they will change the lives of ordinary people in extraordinary ways. They are stories which, but for a twist of luck, might have been yours.

 To work at the Bar is to enter a world shrouded by strange clothing, archaic rituals and inaccessible language. So how does it feel to be an instrument of such an unknowable system? And what does it mean to be at its mercy? Our legal system promises us justice, impartiality and fair judgement. Does it, or can it, deliver this?

 With remarkable candour, Sarah describes eleven cases which reveal what goes on in our criminal and family courts. She examines how she feels as she defends the person standing in the dock. She tells compelling stories – of domestic fall out, everyday burglary, sexual indiscretion, and children caught up in the law – that are sometimes shocking and often heart-stopping. She shows us how our attitudes and actions can shape not only the outcome of a case, but the legal system itself.

 

When you read as much crime fiction as I do, it’s impossible not to become fascinated by all the component parts of seeking justice from forensic examinations through to the courts procedures and processes. There are, of course, a number of different non-fiction books on the subject of crime and the courts. From the self-aggrandising to the polemical, these play their part in the cannon of articulating what justice means in our society.

What struck me immediately about Sarah Langford’s book, In Your Defence, is her tone of voice. This is beautiful, heartfelt writing that is neither self-publicising nor overly sentimental. Rather it is a series of cases from the criminal and family courts that shed some light on the way that society treats those on whom it would pass legal judgement.  Langford relates these stories as case studies, with the names and locations changed, but all are real cases she has been involved in. She is an intelligent and compassionate narrator, never fearful of showing where she feels she took the wrong step, and taking us through her thoughts and actions as she handled these cases.

None of these cases are big trials, rather they are the day in day out bread and butter of a barrister, yet Langford learns very early on to remember just how important these cases are to those who are in court to face them.

I love the way that each case is titled with a first name; these are people first and cases second. From the terrifying, misdiagnosed psychopath to the small child pulled apart by warring parents, Langford sets out the issues, her feelings and the judgements as she travels up and down the South and West of England, trundling her wheelie case full of papers with her.

This is an immensely thoughtful book that tells us a great deal about the strain that both the legal system and social services is under as well as musing quietly over some of the other, more fundamental issues like what marriage means under the law. But it’s not a book that bashes us over the head with such things, rather we can hear the system groan and strain as each case is considered and to some extent we have to marvel at a system that can still sometimes get it right in the face of such difficulties.

The stories of eleven people are told in this book from the dangerous, to the bad, to the vulnerable and the forgotten. Each is important; some will have their lives changed forever by the court’s decisions. From each of these cases we can take something to make us feel hopeful, though despairing at the pattern of the lives of those who are repeating the same mistakes over and over.

A marvellously readable book that asks us to consider what justice really means and whether we can still deliver it, this is a book to treasure. I really loved it and would highly recommend it to everyone.

Verdict: Warm, compassionate and completely riveting. A real keeper.

Amazon                                                                       Waterstones

 

About Sarah Langford

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Sarah Langford has been a practising barrister since 2006, both in London and around the country, principally in criminal and family law. She studied English at the University of the West of England. She worked as a barmaid, legal secretary and note-taking clerk before completing a law conversion, in which she gained a distinction. She was awarded a scholarship from Gray’s Inn of Court and went on to train as a barrister. She lives with her husband and two small boys in London and Suffolk.

Follow Sarah on Twitter @wigsandwords

Perfect Dead (D.I. Frank Farrell #2) by Jackie Baldwin @JackieMBaldwin1 @KillerReads @LoveBooksGroup #PerfectDead #bookreview #blogtour

Source: Review copy

Publication: 15th June 2018 from Killer Reads

Pp 400

ISBN-13: 978-0008294328

 

Sometimes perfection is worth killing for…

Each murder brings him one step closer to the perfect death.

Ex-priest DI Farrell is called on to investigate gruesome death in rural Scotland. All evidence points to suicide, except for one loose end: every light in the cottage was switched off. Why would he kill himself in the dark?

The question sparks a murder investigation that leads to the mysterious Ivy House, home of ‘The Collective’, a sinister commune of artists who will do anything to keep their twisted secrets hidden.

And when the remains of a young girl are uncovered on a barren stretch of coastline, Farrell realises that there is something rotten in this tight-knit community. Now he must track down a ruthless killer before another person dies, this time much closer to home…

 

I’m really pleased to be on the blog tour for Perfect Dead because I’m Frank Farrell fan. I loved Dead Man’s Prayer because the character of Frank, the former priest turned Police Detective, is so good and Jackie Baldwin brilliantly conveys the inner tension between his spiritual and vocational pull and his more secular existence as a policeman.

Flawed policemen are of course nothing new, but this unique character twist gives Baldwin the opportunity to exploit her protagonist’s inner tension and stretch his mental health without compromising his moral integrity.

In Perfect Dead Farrell and his bright and sparky D.C. Mhairi McLeod are called to a death in Kirkcudbright where it appears that Monro Stevenson, an artist, has shot himself. But Farrell’s gut tells him that something just doesn’t feel right and the fact that the death appears to have occurred in the dark and there seems to be a glass missing suggests that Farrell’s instinct is once again spot on.

But a suspicious death is not the only case that the Dumfries MIT has to deal with. DCI Lind, one of Farrell’s oldest friends as well as his boss has a major forgery case going on which D.I. Kate Moore is spearheading and Farrell’s inkling that his suicide may be a suspicious death isn’t putting Superintendent Walker in a sparkling mood, either. So their team is stretched as far as it can be and when the murder is confirmed and is then closely followed by another, the investigation leads Farrell to Ivy House, a somewhat decaying mansion which houses a libertarian group of artists.

Monro Stevenson had once been part of the self-styled ‘Collective’, but Farrell’s suspicions about this group of ageing hippies is exacerbated when the remains of Ailish Kerrigan are found on a nearby Firing Range. Ailish was last seen several years ago leaving Ivy House where she had been having a relationship with one of the artists.

What makes this book really work for me is in the three dimensional characters that you really feel you are getting to know. We learn more about Mhairi McLeod and her new relationship; we are given insights into the difficulties D.C.I. Lind is facing and of course we learn more about the tortured soul that is Frank Farrell. Cleverly weaving the personal and the professional together is a talent that Baldwin has mastered.

This all happens alongside a multi-layered and cleverly executed plot with lashings of mystery, a good helping of tension and some neat misdirects thrown in for good measure. The pace is excellent and the plot twists and turns until the surprising denouement.

Jackie Baldwin is an exciting addition to the Scottish crime writing family and I look forward to more of Frank and Mhairi for some time to come.

Amazon

 

About Jackie Baldwin

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Jackie Baldwin is a Scottish crime writer. Her debut crime novel, Dead Man’s Prayer, was published by Killer Reads, Harper Collins on 2nd September 2016. The second in the series, Perfect Dead was published on 15th June 2018. For most of her working life, she has been a solicitor specialising in Family and Criminal Law. However, she now practices in Dumfries as a hypnotherapist which is where her novels are set. Married, with two grown up children, she has filled her empty nest with Golden Retrievers. She can often be found in a forest walking the dogs, covered in mud and with twigs in her hair.

Follow Jackie on Twitter @JackieMBaldwin1

See what others are saying about Perfect Dead. Follow the blogtour here:

Perfect Dead Blog Tour graphic final

City of Woe by Christopher Ryan (Mallory and Gunner Series # 1)- a Turn Back Time post – books from depths of the TBR pile. #bookreview

 

Source: Netgalley

Publication: Seamus and Nunzio Productions, LLC on 17 July 2012

Pp 359

ISBN-13: 978-1475159233

What if Paul Farrington, a veteran fixer for a shady corporation, found himself targeted for elimination just as he was trying to finance his daughter’s Ivy League education? How far would he go to provide for his family and keep them safe?

What if detectives Frank Mallory and Alberto “Gunner” Gennaro were forced to play catch up with a killer who may or may not be a demon and who leaves trails of Dantesque murders, each one occurring further south in Manhattan and deeper into his version of The Inferno?

How could these situations be connected? How long can the detectives stick to strict police procedural facts when confronted with increasingly bizarre events, especially once they begin invading Mallory’s private life? And how does he find a balance between his rejection of the case’s alleged demonic elements and his strong desire to believe his dying father’s visions of long dead relatives beckoning him to heaven?

When must a detective reconsider what exists outside man’s law? These are the dominant concerns of City of Woe, a novel combining Ryan’s personal experiences, knowledge of the family business (the NYPD), an understanding of literary classics and a love for classic rock and roll. Running 327 double-spaced manuscript pages, readers have noted obvious references to Dante’s The Inferno, subtle nods to Joyce’s Dubliners and Ulysses and the influences of Elmore Leonard, Walter Mosley, and Richard Price.

I‘m ashamed it’s taken me so long to read this book, but now that I have, I think it was the extraordinary book blurb above that put me off. I’m not a great fan of long book blurbs that tell you the whole plot before you have opened a page, and there’s something quite disconcerting about a set of cheery references to other books that encompass Dante, James Joyce and Walter Mosley.

Setting my personal prejudices aside, however, City of Woe is an easy and perfectly decent read. Detectives Mallory and Gunner hunt for a vicious but very clever serial killer on the streets of NYC.

Frank Mallory is a second generation cop of Irish descent; a family man with a couple of kids he adores. His partner Al Gennaro is overweight, single but has the gift of the gab when it comes to the ladies; he can sweet talk his way into their lives as easily as warm butter on a hot loaf.

These two are our protagonists, though most of the action focuses on Frank- as the killer, not content with simply violently brutalising his many victims, sets out to taunt the cops and to bring his special brand of fear into the Mallorys’ home.

The first murder seems random enough, a young man found tied in brutally disfigured in the entrance to a subway. But before long a second body is found and the index cards found on the second body match those on the first and the cops know they have a dangerous serial killer to contend with.

Decent police procedure gets them their first break but Ryan cleverly misdirects the reader and leads us into darker territory. Is mental illness at play here and can that explain the many references on the index cards to Dante’s Inferno – or is this, as a local priest claims, an instance of a dybbuk – a ghost or disturbed soul that possesses the body of a living being and directs that being’s actions?

The interplay between the religious and the secular explanations is well done and makes for an interesting debate, more so because Mallory’s father is seriously ill in hospital and Mallory has to confront his lapsed Catholic beliefs head on in a personal way.

Ryan’s writing flows well and his characterisation is good. I liked the plot, but felt that it fell away somewhat in the second half and should have had a stronger finish.

Nevertheless, it was a perfectly good read and I’m glad I finally got to it.

 

Amazon

 

About Christopher Ryan

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Christopher Ryan spent eight years as an award-winning Bronx crime and politics reporter, winning awards as Best News columnist/NYS Newspaper Association, Journalist of the Year/Children Are Precious, and a DeWitt Clinton Masonic Award for Community Service, among others.

His latest work,  Simple Rebellion is Christopher Ryan’s eleventh work of fiction. He earned his MA and Rutgers University’s English Award for Highest Distinction in Literary Studies for his “master’s thesis” — his first novel, City of Woe, The debut novel earned theBookcast.com’s first-ever “Book of Exceptional quality” and “Best New Voice (fiction) honors from the Independent Book Publishers Association. City of Woe features detectives Mallory and Gunner, who have also been featured in its sequel City of Pain, and a prequel collection of short stories, City of Sin.

He is currently planning City of Love, which will complete his modern urban re-interpreting of Dante’s The Divine Comedy. He has also written a YA novel, Genius High, and is working on its follow-up, Perfect. Additionally, he is producing a line of illustrated children’s detective books, The Ferguson Files. He has written several adventures staring Alex Simmons’ African-American soldier-of-fortune Blackjack, including stories in the anthology Shooters, the novellas Ransom for a Dead King, Dark End of the Rainbow, and Driven.

Chris spent eight years as an award-winning Bronx crime and politics reporter, earning accolades as Best News Columnist (NYS Newspaper Association), Journalist of the Year (Children Are Precious) and being presented the DeWitt Clinton Masonic Award for Community Service, among other distinctions. He earned additional honors for playwriting (Bronx Council on the Arts) and screenwriting (a T.W. Wharton Award, and nods as a top 10 percent then top 100 Nicholl’s Fellowship finalist.

He lives in northern New Jersey with his wife and twin sons.

 

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