This week, I’m off to Ireland. Not the soft-focus, isn’t-that-lovely? Ireland that American movies so often seem to want to wish into existence, but modern Ireland which has the same problems with crime and poverty as other nations in Europe. I’ve picked crime novels by two Irish writers, one from Northern Ireland and one from Eire.
I’m hoping for some engaging crime fiction with a strong sense of place and credible characters
‘The Lost‘ by Claire McGowan (2013)
I picked up ‘The Lost’ because it’s set in Northern Ireland, it’s told from the point of view of a forensic psychologist rather than being a standard police procedural and it’s the first book in a seven-book series, so, if I like it, there’s a lot more to come.
I’m intrigued by the book’s focus on the enduring impact of the past on the present and by the way it explores the changing relationship between Northern Ireland and the Republic and how both are working together to look into some of the things that went unexamined and unchallenged during the Troubles.
‘While Nobody Is Watching’ by Michelle Dunne (2020)
I’m hoping that ‘While Nobody Is Watching’ will be a compelling and realistic thriller. I like the idea of the story being about a former soldier trying to make a new life for herself while overcoming the PTSD that is the legacy of her time as a Peackeeper, that she has a dog (when is that not a good thing?) and that she’s working with city kids with problems. It’s an unusual mix which could be very powerful.
I’m hoping that Michelle Dunne’s experiences as a Peacekeeper with the Irish Army will keep the novel real and that ‘While Nobody Is Watching’ will leave me eager to read the next book in the series when it comes out next month.