Re: RARA-AVIS: Irish Crime

From: Brian Thornton (
Date: 22 Apr 2009

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    A couple of thoughts here:

    It's not entirely accurate to say that Tana French won the "Debut Edgar" for INTO THE WOODS. She actually won it for "Best First Novel By An American Author" (she was born in the States, and lived here for maybe three minutes before being packed off to the U.K.), which sparked no little bit of controversy among those folks who follow this sort of thing.

    As for her book, I certainly wouldn't have put it on a top ten list of Irish crime books as long as RILKE ON BLACK or any of Ken Bruen's other myriad fine works is around to occupy that open spot. French's book struck me as a less-than-successful riff on Lehane's MYSTIC RIVER.

    Lastly, I agree that Hughes' book is a terrific piece of writing, but I'd have to swap its place as number one with Bruen's THE GUARDS at number two. The first of the Jack Taylor books is easily the most influential writing to come out of the Emerald Isle since Yeats was laid "Under Ben Bulben."

    All the Best-


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