Monday, 27 June 2011

Gerry McCullough Event

Belfast Girls in Town

An hour of readings from bestselling local author Gerry McCullough’s sparkling romance/action-packed thriller, Belfast Girls, currently at No. 6 in the bestsellers list for Contemporary Romance and in the top 100 bestsellers list for the last five months in’s Women’s Literary Fiction.

Take the plotting agility of Desperate Housewives, mix in the romance of Sex in the City, add the humour and warmth of Friends, give it the depth of Andre Maltroux’s The Human Condition, set it in Ireland and you’ve got Belfast Girls. Gerry is joined by guest musicians Raymond of Celtic Roots Radio, and Dave, late of the Debonaires. Come and have fun!

Venue: The Gallery, Market Place Theatre, John Hewitt Summer School 2011.

Date and Time: 6.30 - 7.30 pm, Tuesday 26 July.

You can buy the paperback of Belfast Girls for £7.50 plus postage here:

and the Kindle version for £1.39 here:

And we hope there will be some post free copies on the bookstall which Gerry will be happy to sign!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Box in Belfast


A new stand-alone novel and the first UK
tour by the multi-award winning US crime writer

‘One of today's solid-gold A-list must-read writers'
Lee Child

UK TOUR: 18th – 24th JULY 2011


New York Times bestselling author CJ Box will be launching his new novel, BACK OF BEYOND, at Belfast's No Alibis bookshop on Thursday 21st Julyat 6:30 PM.

BACK OF BEYOND is the highlight in a thrilling year for C.J. Box. Over twelve consecutive months and showing undivided commitment to the fastest rising star in American crime writing, Corvus is publishing one spine-tingling book a month from the eleven existing novels in Box’s award-winning Joe Pickett series. Back of Beyond, Box’s heart-wrenching, sleep-stealing stand-alone new novel is published mid-way through on 2nd August.

C. J. Box ventures deep into the wilds of Yellowstone National Park with Cody Hoyt, the maverick cop last seen in the bestselling breakout THREE WEEKS TO SAY GOODBYE

A burned out cabin in the woods. A dead body. A dinner table set for two

Detective Cody Hoyt is called to the scene. A brilliant cop, Cody is also an alcoholic struggling with two months of sobriety. So it doesn’t help that the body in the cabin is his AA sponsor Hank Winters. It looks like suicide, but Cody is convinced it’s foul play.
So who was at Hank’s cabin? Data pulled from Hank’s fire-damaged hard drive leads Cody to a website running wilderness adventures deep into the most remote parts of Yellowstone National Park. Their big trip of year has just left – a two-week horseback journey into the wild. The very same trip that Cody’s estranged teenage son, Justin, has signed up for.

Cody has no choice but to trek deep into the wild himself. In America’s greatest wilderness, Cody is on his own, he’s out of time, he’s in too deep. He’s in the Back of Beyond!
This is classic Box terrain: the flawed hero who will always do right by his friend, the beguiling wilds of America’s Midwest looming large across every page and the ultimate moral question: what would you do if your child’s life is in danger? A hugely popular formula that has already proved a big hit with female and male readers in the US and now, with the superb Back of Beyond, Box is destined for the major league of thriller writers in the UK.


C.J Box (Chuck) is a proud native of Wyoming. He has worked as a ranch hand, surveyor, fishing guide, a newspaper reporter and editor for a small Wyoming weekly newspaper. With his wife Laurie, he currently owns and runs an international tourism marketing firm. In 2008, Box was awarded the "BIG WYO" Award from the state tourism industry. An avid outdoorsman, Box has hunted, fished, hiked, ridden, and skied throughout Wyoming and the Mountain West. He served on the Board of Directors for the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. They have three daughters. Box lives in Wyoming.

He is the winner of the Anthony Award, the Prix Calibre 38, the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, the Barry Award and the 2009 Edgar Award for Best Novel. His novels are US bestsellers and have been translated into 24 languages.
Visit his website at


‘…Box introduced us to his unlikely hero, a game warden named Joe Pickett, a decent man who lives paycheck to paycheck and who is deeply fond of his wife and his three daughters. Pickett isn't especially remarkable except for his honesty and for a quality that Harold Bloom attributes to Shakespeare -- the ability to think everything through for himself’
New York Times

'One of the best thrillers of the year. It kept me up most of the night, the way few books have ever done. C.J. Box owes me a night's sleep!'
Tess Gerritsen

'In the crowded field of crime fiction, C.J. Box has quickly established himself as an original voice... Box is exploring new territory. He is fresh, captivating, and has something to say'
Michael Connelly

January 2011 Blue Heaven [paperback] £7.99
February 2011 Open Season [Joe Pickett #1] £7.99
March 2011 Savage Run [Joe Pickett #2] £7.99
April 2011 Winterkill [Joe Pickett # 3] £7.99
May 2011 Trophy Hunt [Joe Pickett #4] £7.99
June 2011 Out of Range [Joe Pickett #5] £7.99
July 2011 In Plain Sight [Joe Pickett #6] £7.99
August 2011 Back of Beyond [hardback] £7.99
August 2011 Free Fire [Joe Pickett #7] £7.99
September 2011 Blood Trail [Joe Pickett #8] £7.99
October 2011 Below Zero [Joe Pickett #9] £7.99
November 2011 Nowhere to run [Joe Pickett #10] £7.99
December 2011: Cold Wind [Joe Pickett #11] £12.99

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

On The Verge

It's been a remarkable couple of weeks so I guess I should, you know, remark on them.

Thanks to Declan Burke's willingness to drop his standards a little I was included in his excellent offering, DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS. The book is basically a collection of essays, interviews and stories on the subject of Irish crime fiction. The list of contributors is a who's who of the Irish crime fiction scene with me taking up the rear by quite a distance. Check out these names:

Adrian McKinty
Alan Glynn
Alex Barclay
Andrew Nugent
Arlene Hunt
Brian McGilloway
Colin Bateman
Cora Harrison
Cormac Millar
Declan Hughes
Eoin McNamee
Gene Kerrigan
Gerard Brennan
Gerry O’Carroll
Ingrid Black
Jane Casey
John Banville
John Connolly
Ken Bruen
Kevin McCarthy
Neville Thompson
Niamh O’Connor
Paul Charles
Ruth Dudley Edwards
Sara Keating
Stuart Neville
Tana French
Tara Brady
Foreword by Michael Connelly
Introduction by Professor Ian Ross of Trinity College
Afterword by Fintan O’Toole

What a line-up, right?

And so, it was with a great big goofy grin plastered to my face that I attended both the Belfast and Dublin launches of this fine tome. And what a treat these wee outings were for a small fish like me.

In Dublin I got to meet Ken Bruen for the first time. And he was with Eoin Colfer. So I got them both to sign my copy of Eoin Colfer's PLUGGED which is dedicated to Ken. AND Tony Black bought me a pint. Who says the Scottish are stingy? I also got to chat briefly to Arlene Hunt (though let's face it, any chat with Arlene is too brief. Charm? This lady has it in spades) and got to shake hands with and nod dumbly to the likes of John Connolly and Declan Hughes. And of course, I got to say hiya to Declan Burke again. I wish I'd introduced myself to Alan Glynn but it's too late to do anything about that now.

And then Belfast. Not only did I get to attend the event with my missus, Michelle, and watch some real pros in action in the form of a panel made up of Colin Bateman, Brian McGilloway and Stuart Neville (with Declan Burke introducing the event and David Torrans asking questions of the panel between book sales), but I got to say hello to Eoin McNamee again and be in the same room (unknowingly, dammit) with David Peace. But even better than this, me and my lovely missus got to have dinner with a bunch of the contributors at a pretty decent Chinese Restaurant on Botanic Avenue. And so my lovely wife and I got to chat to Niamh O'Connor and Kevin McCarthy for the first time and listen to a less formal panel on Irish crime fiction, life the universe and parenting.

And what did I learn from these two events?

Well, I still have quite a distance to go before I can consider myself anywhere near the bottom of their league. These writers represent the cream of the crop of the genre I'm trying to crack into. But with the release of my novella, THE POINT, in October (God bless Pulp Press) and a few other exciting things on the horizon that I can't talk about until some details have been hammered out (not a book deal), at least I can say I'm heading in the right direction. Let's hope I don't get lost or run out of juice along the way.

Thursday, 16 June 2011


Let's face it. If you haven't read James Joyce's ULYSSES by now, you're probably not going to. But what you could do instead on this fine day is check out Adrian McKinty's THE BLOOMSDAY DEAD. It's the book I describe as the "bastard child of Tony Soprano morality and James Joyce literacy". Gotta be good, right?


Friday, 10 June 2011

Guest Post - Andrez Bergen, author of Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat

At one stage the thought did cross my mind about blagging my way onto the Crime Scene NI blog by intimating that I had strong Irish connections.

I mean I have a grandfather who was named Paddy (from Patrick) and my dad’s called Desmond. I often say “ta” in place of thanks; I was baptized a Mick, and I do like to celebrate the alcoholic excesses of St. Patrick’s Day.

But these little truths lilt a bit when you shove them under the spotlight of reality.

My grandparents were first- or second-generation Aussies (I’m still not sure which) who lived in Richmond, Melbourne. Even though I was dunked to appease the Catholic side of the family, I was brought up Anglican – which meant never going to church at all, and stumbling across the story of Adam and Eve only when I was about 10.

Although my nickname is Andrez (long story, but it involves Zorro), my real name is Andrew – the patron saint of Scotland, the origin of my mum’s side of the family.

And while Bergin is a pretty common Irish family name, we spell it with an extra added “e”, as in Bergen – which is also the name of the second biggest city in Norway and leads me to suspect that marauding Vikings floundered on the shores of the Emerald Isle a millennium ago and were forced to place their roots in County Cork.

My dad reckons that we’re descended from Brian Bóruma mac Cennétig, aka Brian Boru – the high king of Ireland in the 11th century – but he also claims that a castle in that city of Bergen, in Norway, belongs to us.

So, with the Irishness squeezed out of the equation, I then thought about pushing my new novel Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat, published in April, since it’s described as post-apocalyptic noir. The noir most certainly is its underpinning strength; it references and pays tribute to authors like Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Graham Greene, as well as the whole cinematic film noir genre.

There’s crime, murder, and mystery here. Three ticks.

But then there’s the post-apocalyptic bit, which intimates the future, and therefore a sci-fi and/or dystopian bent that many admirers of hardboiled, noir and crime fiction find distasteful – like we’re adding inner city tap water to a fine blend of Irish whiskey.

So I ditched the pitches and was honest instead, and lucky for me Gerard Brennan’s proved to be an open-minded, exceptionally supportive individual who anyway gave me the keys to his kingdom (or at least a posting on his blog). Ta, mate!

Andrez Bergen

Monday, 6 June 2011

Monday Night Tipple

I have a few good reasons for enjoying this glass of plonk (it's got ice in it 'cause I'm dead classy that way) on a Monday night. First off, I'm taking leave from the day-job tomorrow. Secondly, I've a pretty exciting trip to Dublin planned. I managed to blag my way into Declan Burke's excellent Down These Green Streets and it's getting the launch treatment down at the Gutter Bookshop, Temple Bar, at 6PM -- and they've not barred me yet (full details can be found at CAP). And thirdly, I got word today that my short story, Aul Yellah Belly, will be included in Maxim Jakubowski's Mammoth Book of Best British Crime Volume 9 (due to be published in Spring 2012).




Not too shabby for a Monday.

I'll need to get my finger out from Wednesday, though. Danny from Pulp Press sent me a wee email today to let me know there's an edit coming my way. And as of last week I've got a shit-tonne of work to do on the novel-in-progress. You see, uber-agent, Allan Guthrie (happy birthday, Al!), has had a read and pointed out the bits that need a spit-shine as well as the chunks that need the chainsaw treatment.

But for right now... glug, glug, glug.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Andrew Pepper at No Alibis Tonight!

No Alibis invite you to celebrate the launch of Andrew Pepper's latest Pyke novel, BLOODY WINTER, on Wednesday 1st June at 6:30PM.

Andrew Pepper is a lecturer in American Writing and Contemporary Crime Fiction at Queen's University, Belfast. His first novel, THE LAST DAYS OF NEWGATE, was shortlisted for the CWA NEW BLOOD AWARD. He lives in Belfast with his partner and children.

A body is discovered in a ditch outside the town of Dundrum in County Tipperary. The local land agent tells Knox, a young Irish policeman with divided loyalties, that it is the body of a vagrant and that the landowner Lord Cornwallis wants the case dealt with swiftly and quietly. The potato crop has failed for a second time and the Irish people are dying in their thousands. However when Knox examines the corpse it is clear that this man died wearing a Saville Row suit. Keeping his investigations secret, it becomes clear to Knox that the stranger came from London. Three months earlier Detective Inspector Pyke receives a letter from the daughter of a family friend. She has married a wealthy industrialist who owns ironworks in Merthyd Tydfil and her son has been kidnapped. Lured by the promise of a substantial fee and wanting to escape the tensions of Scotland Yard, Pyke agrees to go to Wales to investigate. There, he discovers a town riven with social discord following the brutal suppression of a workers strike and the importation of cheap Irish labour. The kidnapping is linked to a group of rebels but Pyke soon begins to suspect the case is not as clear cut as it seems. What are the links between the rebellion in Wales and the unrest in Ireland, and has Pyke finally bitten off more than he can chew?

To book your spot, email David, or call the shop on 9031 9607.