Ireland is a one-stop shop for Crime and Thriller readers

Few countries can turn out Crime and Thriller authors the way Ireland does. Pound for pound this little island is punching above its weight when it comes to providing readers with some of the world’s best and most original fictional stories. Quite simply our authors can stand toe-to-toe with the book industry’s top heavyweights.

When I started researching for this blog I had no idea of the depths it would take me. My final selection, comprehensive though it may appear to be, is only scratching the surface of what is out there. I’ve missed out on quite a few – so please forgive the oversights and help further research by letting me know those Irish authors who have been inadvertently overlooked.

I’m going to divide my findings between North and South – not because of the natural divisions of this great land, but because it helps put into perspective how prolific we are across the whole of the island.

Let’s start in Northern Ireland.

Top of the tree has to be the prolific Colin Bateman. With 23 novels under his belt he deserves his place among the world greats. I once received a Christmas present of ten of his novels featuring Belfast journalist Dan Starkey, a must-read collection for those who enjoy the dark and humorous side of life. Here is just a flavour of his output:
Divorcing Jack
Cycle of Vengence
Maid of the Mist
Shooting Sean
Turbulent Priests
Murphy’s Law
I Predict A Riot
Orpheus Rising
Day of the Jack Russell
Titanic 2020
Wild Harry
Empire State
Belfast Confidential
Driving Big Davie

Hot on his heels is Adrian McKinty (Belfast)  In total he has 12 novels to his name, including:
Dead I May Well Be
The Dead Yard
The Bloomsday Dead
The Cold Cold Ground

Stuart Neville (Belfast). Crime and Thriller noir doesn’t come much better than Stuart’s highly rated The Ghosts of Belfast, Collusion and Stolen Souls.

And what about Paul Charles, a native of Magherafelt now living in London? He has a series of books featuring Inspector Christy Kennedy and Inspector Starrett. These include A Pleasure to do Death With You, due to be released this month. His other works include:
I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass,
Last Boat to Camden Town,
Fountain of Sorrow
The Ballad of Sean and Wilko
The Hissing of the Silent Lonely Room
I’ve Heard the Banshee Sing
The Justice Factory
The Beautiful Sound of Silence.
The Dust of Death
Family Life

Brian McGilloway (Derry)
Gallows Lane
Bleed A River Deep
The Nameless Dead
Little Girl Lost

Gerry McCullough (Belfast)
Belfast Girls
Danger Danger
The Seanachie a collection of 12 shorts
[By the way Gerry’s also an accomplished poetess]

Garbhan Downey (Derry)
The American Envoy
War of the Blue Roses
Yours Confidentially
Of Broadway
Running Mates
Private Diary of a Suspended MLA
Across the Line
Creggan – More than a History
Just One Big Party

Eugene McEldowney (Belfast)
A Kind of Homecoming
A Stone of the Heart
The Sad Case of Harpo Higgins
The Murder at Piper’s Gut
The Faloorie Man

John McAllister (Armagh)
The Fly Pool
Line of Flight

Eoin McNamee (Kilkeel)
Orchid Blue
Twelve Twenty Three
The Ultras
Resurrection Man
Blue Tango

Gerard Brennan (Newry)
The Point (novella)
Wee Rockets
Short stories in a number of anthologies
Requiems for the Departed (co-author)

Caren Kennedy (Belfast)
Television scriptwriter, guest blogger, and essayist,
Fake Alibis (co-author)

Brad Fleming (Hillsborough)
Role of Dishonour (due to be published in 2012)
Deadline to Danger (due to be published in 2013)
Inky Black Detective Stories (due to be published in 2012)

Kevin Taggart (Downpatrick)
Day of Reckoning

William Ryan (now living in London)
The Holy Thief
The Bloody Meadow

Matt McGuire (Belfast)
Dark Dawn

Claire McGowan (Rostrevor)
The Fall

It’s time to cross the border into the Republic of Ireland….

The North has Bateman but the South has Ken Bruen (Galway). How’s this for a prolific output?
The Devil
The Dramatist
The Magdalen Martyrs
The Killing of the Tinkers
The Guards
The McDead
Taming the Alien
A White Arrest
Once Were Cops
American Skin
Despatching Beudelaire
London Boulevard
Her Last Call to Louis Macniece
The Hackman Blues
Rike on Black

John Connolly (Dublin)
Author of policeman Charlie Parker novels and other titles including:
Every Dead Thing
Dark Hollow
The Killing Kind
The White Road
The Black Angel
The Unquiet
The Reapers
The Lovers
Bad Men
Book of Lost Things

Declan Burke (Dublin)
Absolute Zero Cool
Crime Always Pays
Football Boogie
Down These Green Streets
The Big O

Glenn Meade (Dublin)
Snow Wolf
The Sands of Sakkara
Resurrection Day
Web of Deceit
Devil’s Disciple
The Second Messiah
The Romanov Conspiracy

Arlene Hunt (Dublin)
Vicious Circle
False Intentions
Black Sheep
Blood Money
Missing Presumed Dead
The Chosen

Ruth Dudley Edwards (Dublin)
Ruth has some memorable non-fiction titles to her name including Aftermath: The Omagh Bombing. Her crime fiction list includes:
Clubbed to Death
Murdering Americans
Corridors of Death
The St. Valentine’s Day Murders
Ten Lords a Leaping
The Anglo Irish Murders

Gerard O’Donovan (Dublin)
Dublin Dead
The Priest

Alan Glynn (Dublin)
The Dark Field

Ruby Barnes (Kilkenny)
The Baptist
The New Author

Michael Clifford (Dublin)
Love You to Death: Ireland’s Wife Killers Revealed
Bertie Ahern and the Drumcondra Mafia
Scandal Nation
Ghost Town

Paul O’Brien (Wexford)
Blood Red Turns Dollar Green

Robert Craven (Dublin)
Get Lenin

Laurence O’Bryan A County Down man now living in Dublin
The Istanbul Puzzle

Louise Phillips (Dublin)
Red Ribbons (debut novel to be published in 2012).
Louise is winner of countless awards for short stories, including the Jonathan Swift Award for Last Kiss.

Kevin McCarthy (Dublin)

David Gaughran (now living in Sweden)
A Storm Hits Valparaiso
If You Go Into the Woods
Let’s Get Digital: How to Self-publish

Pat Mullan (Connemara)
Last Days of the Tiger
Creatures of Habit
Blood Red Square
The Circle of Sodom
Galway Noir
Dublin Noir

T.S. O-Rourke (Dublin)
Death Call
The Republican: An Irish Civil War Story
Off the Edge
The Carroll & Grant Collection
Killing a Friend
Candy Says Kill: A Shot of Modern Noir
The Libertine

Casey Hill (Kevin and Melissa Hill) Dublin

Tana French (Dublin)
In the Woods
The Likeness

Eoin Colfer (Wexford)
Eoin has 7 Artemis Fowl books. Other titles include:
Half Moon Investigations
The Supernaturalist
The Wish List
The Legend of Spud Murphy
The Worst Boy in the World
Benny and Omar
Benny and Babe
The Legend of Captain Crow’s Teeth

Gene Kerrigan (Dublin)
The Rage
Dark Times in the City
The Midnight Choir
Little Criminals

Cora Harrison (Cork)
The Burren Mysteries
My Lady Judge
Michaelmas Tribute
Sting of Justice
Writ on Stone
Eye of the Law
Scales of Retribution
London Murder Mystery Series
The Montgomery Murder
The Fatal Fire
Murder on Stage
Death of a Chimney Sweep

Declan Hughes (Dublin)
City of Lost Girls
All The Dead Voices
The Dying Breed
The Colour of Blood
The Wrong Kind of Blood

Jane Casey (Dublin)
The Burning

Conor Brady (Dublin)
A June of Ordinary Murders

Alex Barclay (Dublin)
Blood Runs Cold
The Caller

Bob Burke (Limerick)
The Third Pig Detective Agency
The Curds and Whey Mystery
The Ho Ho Ho Mystery

Ava McCarthy (Dublin)
The Insider
The Courier
Hide Me

Niamh O’Connor (Dublin)
Blood Ties
If I Never See You Again

Gerry O’Carroll (Dublin)
The Gathering of Souls
The Sheriff

Cormac Millar (Dublin)
The Grounds
An Irish Solution

Brian O’Connor (Dublin)
Threaten To Win
Add A Zero
Kings of the Saddle

John Banville aka Benjamin Black (Wexford)
Banville has 5 titles listed under Benjamin Black and  11 titles listed under his own name. His works include:
A Death in Summer
Elegy for April
The Silver Swan
The Infinities
The Sea

I started this blog with a disclaimer about not including the full list of Irish Crime and Thriller writers. Here’s another get-out-of-jail proviso – I know I’ve missed out on many others who should have been included. Help me to put the record straight by letting me know of any I’ve missed. Have you read any Irish authors not included here? Please use the Leave A Reply box below and share your thoughts.

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21 Responses to Ireland is a one-stop shop for Crime and Thriller readers

  1. Gerry McCullough says:

    Joe, just noticed that you’ve included me in your list. It’s an honour to be alongside such great writers as Colin Bateman and Stuart Neville, to name but two. Thanks a lot!

    (You might add the great Sam Millar, by the way!)

  2. Pat Mullan says:

    Just discovered this list, Joe. Thanks for adding me. Slan, Pat.

  3. joemccoubrey1 says:

    Hi Caren – you’re welcome. Thanks for posting.

  4. Caren Kennedy says:

    Hey Joe – Thanks for the mention. Coming to this late as it was only last night Susan Condon said you’d mentioned me in this list. I’m flattered 🙂


  5. Louise Phillips says:

    Thanks Joe – Just back on line after a six week break:) Good to connect with you. Maybe we’ll get a chance to meet in person soon!

  6. joemccoubrey1 says:

    Thank you for the kind words Kat – there’s a lot of good reading out there, and I’m proud to be stuck in the middle of it.

  7. Kat McLaughlin says:

    Thank you, Joe! I have all the Northern part of your Emerald Ireland list of thriller and crime authors in my favorites. This list is extensive and indicates the care you endeavor in your research. I appreciate this so much! ~Kathleen “Kat” McLaughlin~

  8. Susan Condon says:

    Brilliant idea – and such great names up there! :o)

  9. T.s. O'Rourke says:

    Thanks for the mention Joe!

  10. joemccoubrey1 says:

    It’ll be good to add the sequel to the list Kevin.

  11. kevinmccarthyauthor says:

    honoured to be included, mate! the sequel to Peeler will be out in Feb ’13.

  12. kevintaggart says:

    Joe,Im honoured to be included.I notice you left yourself off the list.Having read your first
    novel, I can only guess that it was out of modesty.

  13. Ruby Barnes says:

    Thanks, Joe. Looks like I need to get my writing skates on and produce some more! A lot more.

  14. joemccoubrey1 says:

    Thanks Brad. I think I might start a Website or Facebook goup just to promote Irish authors!

  15. Brad Fleming says:

    Wow! What a list Joe, and I’m honoured to be included, rightly well down the league table. How typical to omit yourself too when you are right to the fore. A fascinating topic for a blog.

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