Crime Fiction Friday: “On The House” by Seamus Scanlon

 

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  • Introduced by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up we’d like to introduce you to Irish playwright and crime writer Seamus Scanlon. He has tight style and a dark sense of humor that can be seen in this tale of a robber who hits the wrong place of business, first published for Akashic’s “Mondays are Murder” series.


“On the House” by Seamus Scanlon

“It was a rainy day in Galway. Nothing new—Galway and rain are synonymous, along with fog, mist, hailstones, slippery footpaths, pneumonia. The canals, the docks, the Atlantic, Nimmo’s Pier, the Corrib, and Woodquay—watery graves for all tastes: for boys who wanted to be girls; for girls, young and big bellied; for women fecund with malignancies; for men uplifted by big black angels.

I was in Babe’s for a haircut. My mother usually shaved mine, but she had the palsy after a week drinking Pernod. She smelt like an aniseed graveyard. I could not wait until she recovered—I had it cut every last day of the month regardless of circumstances…”

Read the rest of the story.

Five Great Irish Crime Fiction Authors

For St. Patrick’s Day we thought we’d spotlight some authors who have done their country and their genre proud. Here’s some great reading to go along with your green beer, corned beef and cabbage.

1. KEN BRUEN

Many have tried to capture this man’s machine-gun style prose, yet few get the master’s magic. His ex-cop-turned-finder, Jack Taylor, is an addict who hates his mother, pisses off tourists, and is one of the most engaging characters to come down the road in the past couple of decades.

Stand Out Titles – The Guards, The Magdalen Martyrs

 

2. GENE KERRIGAN

Kerrigan has drawn comparisons to Elmore Leonard with his sharp characterizations, naturalistic dialogue, and his loose Rube-Goldberg style plotting. He also gives you the social map of his country, particularly in it’s post-recession years, and explores their institutions. Completely human yet hard-boiled to the core.

Stand Out Titles – The Midnight Choir, The Rage

 

3. STUART NEVILLE

While one can see the influence of one his favorites, James Ellroy, this author has a voice all his own that he uses to tackle the shadowy parts of Irish history. Many of his books deal with Fagin, former IRA, and Lennon, a copper, who both love the same woman. His flawed heroes often find themselves up against corrupt politics in stories that are good, hard, and dark.

Stand Out Titles – Ghosts Of Belfast, Ratlines

 

4. ADRIAN McKINTY

McKinty’s Troubles trilogy follows DI Sean Duffy, a Catholic copper in Thatcher-era Belfast. Needless to say, he has few allies. However we love him for his sense of humor and justice that combats the weariness of violence in that era.

Stand Out Titles – The Cold, Cold Ground, In the Morning I’ll Be Gone

 

5. JOHN CONNOLLY

Even though most of his books are set in the States, Connolly’s tales of Maine private detective (and possible fallen angel) Charlie Parker have the melancholy and supernatural flavor to rival any of his countrymen. With meditations on loss, redemption, good & evil, and tragic love, can you get more Irish?

Stand Out Titles – The Black Angel, The Burning Soul