For those of you who like your crime fiction presented with a strong literary edge, the novels of Benjamin Black, the noir-pen name of Booker-Prize winner, John Banville, are now available in the US. Christine Falls (available in paperback), follows Quirke, an anti-social, heavy-drinking pathologist in 1950s Dublin, as he is reluctantly drawn into investigating the mysterious death of a local girl. Black’s next novel starring the enigmatic Quirke, The Silver Swan, will be released on March 4th. For those interested in Banville’s ‘other’ life as Irish literary darling, The Elegant Variation blog carried out a wonderful (and heavens-to-Betsy long, long, long…!) interview with him about his prose, and most specifically his Booker-Prize winner from 2005, The Sea.
Many of you are already familiar with the sharp and dry tartan noir of Denise Mina, and for those of you who are not – why not?! The divine Miss M.’s latest, The Slip of the Knife, is the third novel following the exploits of wee-black-skirted-Dock-Martin-wearing-lassie-newspaper-reporter Paddy Mehan, in 1990s violence-saturated Glasgow. For some bizarre reason this novel has been released in the UK under a different title: The Last Breath. To sample a taste of Mina’s prose, read the opening chapter here on her website.