Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A Date for the Diary....Black Wood...How far would you go?

Author Derek Flynn will launch his new novel, a standalone thriller titled BLACK WOOD, in The Gutter Bookshop, Dublin, next Wednesday the 27th March at 6.30 and all are welcome!!

'How far would you go to get out?'
This is the question three unlikely friends living in a dead-end town in America ask each other. The answer would come to haunt them.

The narrator, a writer, now in his late 30s, lives alone in New York, eking out a living as a college lecturer. His life is turned upside down when Samantha Pierce, a woman he hasn’t seen in twenty years, re-enters his life and tells him she is being blackmailed because of something they did twenty years before in the Black Wood.

A cat and mouse game ensues as they try to find out the identity of the blackmailer, and the narrator recalls the events of the summer they graduated High School that led to the fateful night in the Black Wood, and how he – an average student nobody paid any attention to – wound up at the centre of an unlikely and dangerous relationship between Samantha – the High School prom queen – and Charlie Rhodes – the High School dropout; first as an observer and then, as something more sinister, changing their lives forever.

The Black Wood presents several flawed characters who reel you in as you too, the reader, becomes obsessed to know their darkest secrets. Can the past, especially one shrouded in deadly deeds ever go away? And when the bonds formed in adolescence, with that intricate mix of danger, passion, and fragility, cross the line, at first, the darkness may seem innocent, until bit by bit, one wrong decision after another, an overzealous teenager become capable of things that he can never escape from.... 

'Black Wood – the deeper you go, the darker your intent..'

You can order the book HERE

Derek’s previous books BROKEN FALLS and THE DEAD GIRLS have been a big hit with readers – THE DEAD GIRLS featured on a number of book blogger’s “Best of 2018” lists and came in at number 11 in the Rick O’ Shea Book Club poll of the “Best Irish Books of 2018”.

The BLACK WOOD launch kicks off at 6.30PM at THE GUTTER BOOKSHOP and all are welcome.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

A new chapter, a new story.....

The manuscript of DARK DAY IN MAY is ready to go out into the world, or in publishing jargon, my agent is extremely happy with it, and therefore it will be visiting some lovely places very soon....

Who knows what the future will bring, but I am very happy with the story, and in the end, that is the MOST IMPORTANT BIT!

Nominees for the 2019 Edgar Awards!!!

Mystery Writers of America have announced the Nominees for the 2019 Edgar Awards, honouring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, and television, published, or produced, in 2018, and there is plenty for you to work your way through.
See full list below....

It is absolutely terrific to see Irish crime writer Catherine Ryan Howard up for Best Novel of the year, for THE LIAR’S GIRL.

Huge Congratulations to Catherine!! Crossing all fingers and toes for you at the Gala Dinner in New York in April 2019!!

The Liar’s Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard (Blackstone Publishing)
House Witness by Mike Lawson (Grove Atlantic – Atlantic Monthly Press)
A Gambler’s Jury by Victor Methos (Amazon Publishing – Thomas & Mercer)
Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter Mosley (Hachette Book Group – Mulholland)
Only to Sleep by Lawrence Osborne (Penguin Random House – Hogarth)
A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn (Penguin Random House – Berkley)

A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper (Seventh Street Books)
The Captives by Debra Jo Immergut (HarperCollins Publishers – Ecco)
The Last Equation of Isaac Severy by Nova Jacobs (Simon & Schuster – Touchstone)
Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin (HarperCollins Publishers – Ecco)
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
Hiroshima Boy by Naomi Hirahara (Prospect Park Books)
Under a Dark Sky by Lori Rader-Day (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani (Penguin Random House – Penguin Books)
Under My Skin by Lisa Unger (Harlequin – Park Row Books)

Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation by Robert W. Fieseler (W.W. Norton & Company – Liveright)
Sex Money Murder: A Story of Crack, Blood, and Betrayal by Jonathan Green (W.W. Norton & Company)
The Last Wild Men of Borneo: A True Story of Death and Treasure by Carl Hoffman (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk Wallace Johnson (Penguin Random House – Viking)
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara (HarperCollins Publishers – Harper)
The Good Mothers: The True Story of the Women Who Took on the World’s Most Powerful Mafia by Alex Perry (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)

The Metaphysical Mysteries of G.K. Chesterton: A Critical Study of the Father Brown Stories and Other Detective Fiction by Laird R. Blackwell (McFarland Publishing)
Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession by Alice Bolin (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow Paperbacks)
Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s by Leslie S. Klinger (Pegasus Books)
Mark X: Who Killed Huck Finn’s Father? by Yasuhiro Takeuchi (Taylor & Francis – Routledge)
Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life by Laura Thompson (Pegasus Books)

“Rabid – A Mike Bowditch Short Story” by Paul Doiron (Minotaur Books)
“Paranoid Enough for Two” – The Honorable Traitors by John Lutz (Kensington Publishing)
“Ancient and Modern” – Bloody Scotland by Val McDermid (Pegasus Books)
“English 398: Fiction Workshop” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Art Taylor (Dell Magazines)
“The Sleep Tight Motel” – Dark Corners Collection by Lisa Unger (Amazon Publishing)

Denis Ever After by Tony Abbott (HarperCollins Children’s Books – Katherine Tegen Books)
Zap! by Martha Freeman (Simon & Schuster – Paula Wiseman Books)
Ra the Mighty: Cat Detective by A.B. Greenfield (Holiday House)
Winterhouse by Ben Guterson (Christy Ottaviano Books – Henry Holt BFYR)
Otherwood by Pete Hautman (Candlewick Press)
Charlie & Frog: A Mystery by Karen Kane (Disney Publishing Worldwide – Disney Hyperion)
Zora & Me: The Cursed Ground by T.R. Simon (Candlewick Press)

Contagion by Erin Bowman (HarperCollins Children’s Books – HarperCollins)
Blink by Sasha Dawn (Lerner Publishing Group – Carolrhoda Lab)
After the Fire by Will Hill (Sourcebooks – Sourcebooks Fire)
A Room Away From the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma (Algonquin Young Readers)
Sadie by Courtney Summers (Wednesday Books)

“The Box” – Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Teleplay by Luke Del Tredici (NBC/Universal TV)
“Season 2, Episode 1” – Jack Irish, Teleplay by Andrew Knight (Acorn TV)
“Episode 1” – Mystery Road, Teleplay by Michaeley O’Brien (Acorn TV)
“My Aim is True” – Blue Bloods, Teleplay by Kevin Wade (CBS Eye Productions)
“The One That Holds Everything” – The Romanoffs, Teleplay by Matthew Weiner & Donald Joh (Amazon Prime Video)

“How Does He Die This Time?” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Nancy Novick (Dell Magazines)

A Death of No Importance by Mariah Fredericks (Minotaur Books)
A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder by Dianne Freeman (Kensington Publishing)
Bone on Bone by Julia Keller (Minotaur Books)
The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey (Soho Press – Soho Crime)
A Borrowing of Bones by Paula Munier (Minotaur Books)

The Edgar® Awards will be presented to the winners at the 73rd Gala Banquet, April 25, 2019 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City.

Monday, January 21, 2019

My Delicious Reads of 2018!

It is January and therefore the time of year to reflect on the highs and lows, and all things in between. I have to admit because of work on my current novel, I have had less time for the guilty pleasure of reading, but none the less, on review, there are certainly some tasty treats in my 2018 mix!

I have a serious amount of Irish crime fiction books in my 'To Be Read list', so apologies in advance to all the amazing Irish writers whose pleasure still awaits me and who have proven yet again that Irish Crime Fiction is up there with the best in the world.

Anyhow, these are the books which gave me the most pleasure in 2018, if you fancy having a look.

SUNBURN (2018)- Laura Lippman

Jaw dropping writing, a story with deeply flawed characters that you can't get enough of. This is modern noir at its best!

'Polly and Adam at a local tavern in the small town of Belleville, Delaware. Polly is set on heading west. Adam says he’s also passing through. Over the course of a punishing summer, Polly and Adam abandon themselves to a steamy, inexorable affair. Still, each holds something back from the other—dangerous, even lethal, secrets that begin to accumulate as autumn approaches, feeding the growing doubts they conceal. Something—or someone—has to give.'

CROSS HER HEART (2018)- Sarah Pinborough

An utterly engaged story which held my attention throughout. Cross Her Heart is full of surprises and is at times quite beautiful. I felt bereft when it was over.

'Lisa lives for her daughter Ava. When Ava rescues a boy from drowning and their pictures are all over the news for everyone to see, Lisa's world explodes, and she finds everything she has built threatened, including her many secrets. Not knowing whom she can trust, it's up to her to face up to her past to save what she holds dear.'

FORCE OF NATURE (2018)- Jane Harper

Not quite up there with 'The Dry', Jane Harper's acclaimed debut novel, but another tour do force all the same. A novel where the landscape becomes alive, and the dangers it holds are utterly deadly for its characters.

'Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along a muddy track. Only four come out on the other side.  The hike through the rugged Giralang Ranges is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and encourage teamwork and resilience. At least, that's what the corporate retreat website advertises, but as Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk delves into the disappearance of Alice, the missing woman, he begins to suspect some dangers ran far deeper than anyone knew.'

GIVE ME YOUR HAND (2018)- Megan Abbott

A dark tale of secrets, and the fallout from keeping them. Fast paced and compelling with female characters you never doubt are the real thing.

'Kit Owens had modest ambitions for herself when the mysterious Diane Fleming appeared in her high school chemistry class. But Diane's academic brilliance lit a fire in Kit, and the two developed an unlikely friendship, until Diane shared a secret that changed everything.  More than a decade later, Kit thinks she's put Diane behind her forever, fulfilling her scientific dreams, but the past comes roaring back when she discovers that Diane is her competition for a position both women covet, and the two former friends find themselves locked in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse that threatens to destroy them both.'

BLACK WATER (2018) - Cormac O'Keeffe

Black Water is a novel which pulls you into the dark underbelly of Dublin city with great characters, chilling dexterity and unflinching truth - it is harsh, but tender, steely and authentic.

I killed the boy...

Jig loves football and his dog, hates school, and knows to lie low when his Ma's blitzed on the vodka and tablets. An ordinary boy on the mean streets alongside Dublin's Grand Canal, ruled by Ghost and his gangland crew. But now Ghost has a job for Jig, one that no one can afford to go wrong- not the gangs, the police, the locals, and least of all Jig.’
Forty-eight hours after leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair brown, demands a new name from a shadowy voice over the phone, and flees town. She meets Blue, a female bartender who recognizes the hunted look in a fugitive’s eyes and offers her a place to stay. With dwindling choices, Tanya-now-Amelia accepts. An uneasy―and dangerous―alliance is born.’

THE PASSENGER (2016) - Lisa Lutz

An extremely fast paced novel with some black humour fired into the mix, a story full of lies, danger and intrigue, it will keep you hooked until the very last page.

‘In case you were wondering, I didn’t do it. I didn’t have anything to do with Frank’s death. I don’t have an alibi, so you’ll have to take my word for it...

ALL THE MISSING GIRLS (2018) - Megan Miranda

Full of mystery and uncertainty, a twisty well-structured tale which will grip you from the get-go, filled with secrets you are compelled to unravel as the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart— is told in reverse.

'It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched. With twists and turns that lead down dark alleys and dead ends, you may think you’re walking a familiar path, but then Megan Miranda turns it all upside down and inside out and leaves us wondering just how far we would be willing to go to protect those we love.'


First up, this is NOT a CRIME NOVEL, but I simply can't mention my best reads of 2018 without including this one. An absolutely joyous novel and if you dare to venture out of the crime genre into literary fiction, this is a great place to start. I adore the sparseness of Strout's prose, and the delicate pathways she brings the reader on as we travel the lives of such richly layered characters.

NOTES TO SELF - Emilie Pine

Again, NOT a CRIME NOVEL, but I have recommended this series of essays by Emilie Pine to practically everyone I've talked about books to last year. Hands down, the best thing I have read in a very long time....


Thursday, November 29, 2018

Liz Nugent Wins Double at An Post Irish Book Awards!

This year's Irish Book Awards ceremony on the 27th November In the Clayton Hotel was the glitzy culmination of the first year of An Post as the award sponsors, and if the first year is anything to go by, the sponsorship will be a very positive one indeed. I was lucky to be there on the night, and it was one of the best awards nights I have ever attended.

Also notable on the night, were the many female winners of awards. This shouldn't be unusual, after all, there are a lot of us around, and certainly the Irish Crime Fiction Award has reflected this trend for the last few years. But all in all it was a great night in the celebration of Irish writing which is alive and very much kicking!

Liz Nugent, picked up two awards on the night for her latest novel SKIN DEEP. The first for Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year, and the second, for the Ryan Tubridy Listeners Choice Award. If you want to find a positive writing community, then look no further than the Irish Crime Writing scene, with Liz being a really popular and gracious winner on the night. The standard this year in the Irish crime writing section was phenomenal, and of the six books shortlisted in the Ryan Tubridy Listeners Choice, four were crime novels. Another reflection of how popular crime writing continues to be.

You can see the Awards Night on RTE on Thursday the 29th November, or catch it on RTE Real Player.

So, all that is left are some pics from the night to give you a flavour of the atmosphere and glamour!! 

All images copyright writing.ie and Ger Holland Photography

Pic:1 Liz Nugent Winner of Best Irish Crime Novel and RTE Ryan Tubridy Listener Choice Award
Pic:2 Irish Crime Writer Jo Spain nominated in Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year
Pic:3 Emilie Pine Winner of Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year for Notes to Self
Pic:4 Andrea Mara nominated in Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year & Patricia Gibney nominated in RTE Ryan Tubridy Listeners Choice Award
Pic:5 Keelin Shanley and Evelyn O Rourke presenters for the awards
Pic:6 Short story award presented by Vanessa O Loughlin of writing.ie to Roisin O Donnell for her winning story How to Build a Space Rocket
Pic:7 Myself, (aka Louise Phillips crime fiction author) Marie Brennan and Niamh Brennan crime author
Pic:10 Sally Rooney - Winner of Easons Book Club Novel of the Year for Normal People
Pic:11 Alex Barclay Irish Crime Author
Pic:12 Cathy Kelly paying tribute to the late Emma Hannigan AN POST Special Award Winner

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Who Gets Your Vote - An Post Irish Book Awards!!

It is that time of year again folks, when the shortlists for the Irish Book Awards are announced, and you have a whole lot more wonderful books to add to your 'To Be Read List'!! There is a fantastic shortlist in all the categories this year, and the Irish Crime Book of the Year is no exception (listing below).

Interestingly, four crime novels also feature in the RTE Radio One Ryan Tubridy Listeners Choice Award, with three Irish Crime Writers, Patricia Gibney, The Stolen Girls, Dervla Mc Tiernan, The Ruin, and Liz Nugent, Skin Deep, alongside US author A J Finn with the Woman in the Woman, rolling in as number four. The other two in this category, are Irish author John Boyne with the Ladder to the Sky, and finally, The President is Missing, Bill Clinton and James Patterson.

You can check out the entire shortlist HERE

You can vote for your favourite book HERE

VOTING CLOSES MIDNIGHT 20th November 2018!!

 Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year

Related imageImage result for a house of ghosts william ryanImage result for the confession jo spainImage result for one click andrea maraImage result for the ruin dervla mctiernanRelated image
  • Skin Deep – Liz Nugent (Penguin Ireland)
  • A House of Ghosts – W. C. Ryan (Bonnier Zaffre)
  • The Confession – Jo Spain (Quercus)
  • One Click – Andrea Mara (Poolbeg)
  • The Ruin – Dervla McTiernan (Sphere)
  • Thirteen – Steve Cavanagh (Orion)


RTE Radio One - The Ryan Tubridy Show Listeners Choice Award

Image result for the stolen girlsImage result for the president is missing bookImage result for the ruin dervla mctiernanRelated imageImage result for the woman in the windowImage result for ladder to the sky john boyne

  • The Stolen Girls - Patricia Gibney (Bookouture)
  • The President is Missing – Bill Clinton and James Patterson (Century)
  • The Ruin – Dervla McTiernan (Sphere)
  • Skin Deep – Liz Nugent (Penguin Ireland)
  • The Woman in the Window – A.J. Finn (HarperCollins)
  • A Ladder to the Sky - John Boyne (Doubleday)

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