Share Dark Times in the Old Country: 8 Hardboiled Irish Detective Novels

Dark Times in the Old Country: 8 Hardboiled Irish Detective Novels

Allison Tyler thinks a good book and a cup of tea help cure what ails you. If you're looking for her, she's probably painting in the woods.

From the hard streets of Dublin to the back streets of New York from  ex-Garda to ex-IRA these are men and women on the front lines of crime in Ireland – perpetrators as well as protectors – and all of them have stories as intricate, thrilling and full of twists as the country itself.


Dark Times in the City
by Gene Kerrigan

After impulsively stepping in to save a man he does not know from being murdered, Danny Callahan soon realizes his act may cost the lives of those who matter most to him. He quickly finds himself drawn into a vicious scheme of revenge in edgy Dublin, where affluence and cocaine fuel a ruthless gang culture that threatens everything and everyone he loves. This CWA Gold Dagger Crime Novel finalist is gripping from start to finish and impossible to put down.

Dark Times in the City
Gene Kerrigan

After impulsively stepping in to save a man he does not know from being murdered, Danny Callahan soon realizes his act may cost the lives of those who matter most to him. He quickly finds himself drawn into a vicious scheme of revenge in edgy Dublin, where affluence and cocaine fuel a ruthless gang culture that threatens everything and everyone he loves. This CWA Gold Dagger Crime Novel finalist is gripping from start to finish and impossible to put down.

MENTIONED IN:

Dark Times in the Old Country: 8 Hardboiled Irish Detective Novels

By Allison Tyler | March 7, 2014

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Bloodland
by Alan Glynn

A helicopter crash off the coast of Ireland that kills a leading starlet and others sends unexpected ripples through the international community in this intricate new thriller. Jimmy Gilroy, hired to write the biography of the dead actress comes across a twisted plot of intrigue, murder, and treachery that goes from the halls of power to the mean streets of Ireland, the U.S. and Congo. As he searches for the truth he realizes that anyone who has found the truth winds up dead. Riveting.

Bloodland
Alan Glynn

A helicopter crash off the coast of Ireland that kills a leading starlet and others sends unexpected ripples through the international community in this intricate new thriller. Jimmy Gilroy, hired to write the biography of the dead actress comes across a twisted plot of intrigue, murder, and treachery that goes from the halls of power to the mean streets of Ireland, the U.S. and Congo. As he searches for the truth he realizes that anyone who has found the truth winds up dead. Riveting.

MENTIONED IN:

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By Off the Shelf Staff | December 23, 2014

Dark Times in the Old Country: 8 Hardboiled Irish Detective Novels

By Allison Tyler | March 7, 2014

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Broken Harbor
by Tara French

Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy, a minor character from French's Faithful Place is brought to the fore in this layered psychological thriller Scorcher always brings in the killer. Always. That’s why he’s landed the high-profile triple homicide of the Spain Family. At first, he thinks it’s going to be simple, but the murder scene holds terrifying memories for Scorcher. Memories of something that happened there back when he was a boy. An emotionally jolting story of love, obsession and madness is played out to incredible effect. You will want to read everything she's written after this.

Broken Harbor
Tara French

Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy, a minor character from French's Faithful Place is brought to the fore in this layered psychological thriller Scorcher always brings in the killer. Always. That’s why he’s landed the high-profile triple homicide of the Spain Family. At first, he thinks it’s going to be simple, but the murder scene holds terrifying memories for Scorcher. Memories of something that happened there back when he was a boy. An emotionally jolting story of love, obsession and madness is played out to incredible effect. You will want to read everything she's written after this.

MENTIONED IN:

Dark Times in the Old Country: 8 Hardboiled Irish Detective Novels

By Allison Tyler | March 7, 2014

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Absolute Zero Cool
by Declan Burke

A fictional version of writer Burke is confronted by a character from an unfinished novel. Karlsson, the now-corporeal character, is irked at the limbo he has been left in. Burke is under pressure from his publisher to submit his next manuscript, but Karlsson is alternately charming and cheeky, and Burke agrees to let him write his own story. This gripping tale subverts the crime genre’s grand tradition of liberal sadism. Not only an example of Irish crime writing at its best; it is an innovative, self-reflexive piece that turns every convention of crime fiction on its head.

Absolute Zero Cool
Declan Burke

A fictional version of writer Burke is confronted by a character from an unfinished novel. Karlsson, the now-corporeal character, is irked at the limbo he has been left in. Burke is under pressure from his publisher to submit his next manuscript, but Karlsson is alternately charming and cheeky, and Burke agrees to let him write his own story. This gripping tale subverts the crime genre’s grand tradition of liberal sadism. Not only an example of Irish crime writing at its best; it is an innovative, self-reflexive piece that turns every convention of crime fiction on its head.

MENTIONED IN:

Dark Times in the Old Country: 8 Hardboiled Irish Detective Novels

By Allison Tyler | March 7, 2014

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The Guards
by Ken Bruen

Jack Taylor has been bounced from the Garda and now sees the world through a glass. He dreams about becoming Ireland's first (and greatest private detective) but has no way of making that happen until....a woman walks into a bar. This Edgar Award nominee is dark, violent, sharp, and funny, that leaves you stunned and breathless, flipping back to the beginning in a mad dash to find Jack Taylor and enter his world all over again. It's an unforgettable story that's gritty, absorbing, and saturated with the rough-edged rhythms of the Galway streets.

The Guards
Ken Bruen

Jack Taylor has been bounced from the Garda and now sees the world through a glass. He dreams about becoming Ireland's first (and greatest private detective) but has no way of making that happen until....a woman walks into a bar. This Edgar Award nominee is dark, violent, sharp, and funny, that leaves you stunned and breathless, flipping back to the beginning in a mad dash to find Jack Taylor and enter his world all over again. It's an unforgettable story that's gritty, absorbing, and saturated with the rough-edged rhythms of the Galway streets.

MENTIONED IN:

Dark Times in the Old Country: 8 Hardboiled Irish Detective Novels

By Allison Tyler | March 7, 2014

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The Ghosts of Belfast
by Stuart Neville

Fegan has been a "hard man," an IRA killer in northern Ireland. Now that peace has come, he is being haunted day and night by twelve ghosts: a mother and infant, a schoolboy, a butcher, an RUC constable, and seven more of his innocent victims. In order to appease them, he's going to have to kill the men who gave him orders. Does killing always beget more killing?

The Ghosts of Belfast
Stuart Neville

Fegan has been a "hard man," an IRA killer in northern Ireland. Now that peace has come, he is being haunted day and night by twelve ghosts: a mother and infant, a schoolboy, a butcher, an RUC constable, and seven more of his innocent victims. In order to appease them, he's going to have to kill the men who gave him orders. Does killing always beget more killing?

MENTIONED IN:

Dark Times in the Old Country: 8 Hardboiled Irish Detective Novels

By Allison Tyler | March 7, 2014

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The Wrong Kind of Blood
by Declan Hughes

After twenty years in Los Angeles, Ed Loy has come home to bury his mother. But hers is only the first dead body he encounters after crossing an ocean. But his tragic homecoming could prove fatal , as an unexplained photograph of his long-vanished father, a murky property deal, and a corpse discovered in the foundations of town hall combine to turn a curious case into a dark obsession—dragging Ed Loy into a violent underworld of drugs, extortion, and murder . . . and through his own haunted past where the dead will never rest.

The Wrong Kind of Blood
Declan Hughes

After twenty years in Los Angeles, Ed Loy has come home to bury his mother. But hers is only the first dead body he encounters after crossing an ocean. But his tragic homecoming could prove fatal , as an unexplained photograph of his long-vanished father, a murky property deal, and a corpse discovered in the foundations of town hall combine to turn a curious case into a dark obsession—dragging Ed Loy into a violent underworld of drugs, extortion, and murder . . . and through his own haunted past where the dead will never rest.

MENTIONED IN:

Dark Times in the Old Country: 8 Hardboiled Irish Detective Novels

By Allison Tyler | March 7, 2014

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Dead I May Well Be
by Adrian McKinty

Michael Forsythe, an illegal immigrant escaping the Troubles in Belfast strong and fearless and clever -- just the fellow to be tapped by Darkey, a crime boss, to join a gang of Irish thugs struggling against the rising Dominican powers in Harlem and the Bronx. The time is pre-Giuliani New York, when crack rules the city, Michael and his lads tumble through the streets, shaking down victims, drinking hard, and fighting for turf, block by bloody block. Then the tables turn and Michael has to fight for his own life. Riveting.

Dead I May Well Be
Adrian McKinty

Michael Forsythe, an illegal immigrant escaping the Troubles in Belfast strong and fearless and clever -- just the fellow to be tapped by Darkey, a crime boss, to join a gang of Irish thugs struggling against the rising Dominican powers in Harlem and the Bronx. The time is pre-Giuliani New York, when crack rules the city, Michael and his lads tumble through the streets, shaking down victims, drinking hard, and fighting for turf, block by bloody block. Then the tables turn and Michael has to fight for his own life. Riveting.

MENTIONED IN:

Dark Times in the Old Country: 8 Hardboiled Irish Detective Novels

By Allison Tyler | March 7, 2014

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