Arena Wednesday 12 March 2014
Crime Round Up - Declan Burke
On tonights programme Declan Burke looks at a Crime Round Up, if you missed some information about the books you can listen back to the podcast here. The list of books reviewed tonight are listed below;
The Double by George Pelecanos (Orion)
The Double (Orion, €19.99) is the second novel from George Pelecanos to feature Spero Lucas, a veteran of the Iraq war now operating as a private investigator in Washington DC. Approached by a woman who has been scammed out of a valuable painting, Lucas takes the job, only to find himself quickly embroiled in a situation in which brutal violence offers the only exit strategy. An award-winning writer on the TV shows The Wire and Treme, among others, Pelecanos has been writing crime novels concerned with the effects of social and cultural conditioning since he debuted with A Firing Offence in 1992. As was the case with the first Spero Lucas novel, The Cut 2011.
Water Music by Margie Orford (Head of Zeus)
Margie Orford’s Water Music (Head of Zeus, €18.75) is fascinated with the way in which cultural and political pressures impact on criminal behaviour. Here the setting is contemporary South Africa, as profiler Clare Hart, who specialises in cases relating to missing children, tries to discover who abandoned a young child to die on the side of a mountain above Cape Town. Operating on meagre resources, and harassed by politicians determined to maintain the fiction of a healthy democracy.
The Missing File by DA Mishani (Quercus)
Set in the small Israeli city of Holon on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, D.A. Mishani’s debut The Missing File (Quercus, €11.50) begins with the mother of a young boy reporting his disappearance to Inspector Avraham Avraham. Perplexed but initially unconcerned children are never kidnapped or killed in Israel.
In the Morning I’ll Be Gone by Adrian McKinty (Serpent’s Tail)
A Catholic officer in the RUC during the 1980s, Sean Duffy is that classic staple of the crime novel, the insider with an outsider’s perspective. Adrian McKinty’s In the Morning I’ll Be Gone (Serpent’s Tail, €18.75) follows on from The Cold, Cold Ground (2012) and I Hear the Sirens in the Street (2013), both of which were set in Northern Ireland and had for their backdrops the hunger strikes and the DeLorean affair, respectively.
The Silent Wife by ASA Harrison (Headline)
The Silent Wife (Headline, €14.99) is a debut novel, although, sadly, ASA Harrison died shortly before her book was published. The story is told through the eyes of Jodi and Todd, a married couple living in Chicago who are experiencing a tumultuous period in their relationship, particularly as the womanising Todd, now a successful businessman who chases much younger women, appears to have forgotten all the sacrifices Jodi made as he struggled to establish himself. Jodi, who works part-time as a psychotherapist in their plush apartment home, seems to take it all in her stride.
Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent (Penguin Ireland)
Liz Nugent’s Unravelling Oliver (Penguin Ireland, €14.99) opens with Dublin-based writer Oliver Ryan viciously beating his wife Alice. The assault is described in the first person by Oliver himself, but Oliver’s is only one of a number of first-person accounts on offer here, each one a piece of the jigsaw that gradually assembles itself into portrait of a pathetic young boy who grew up to become a monster who writes best-selling children’s books.