Transnational Irish Crime Fiction

  • Brian Cliff
Part of the Crime Files book series (CF)


Drawing on threads from earlier chapters – including supernatural narratives, corruption, and existential uncertainty – this chapter considers the scope of Irish crime fiction against the background of traditional expectations that Irish literature will represent the nation. This chapter examines Irish crime fiction’s transnational aspects through the corporate thrillers of Alan Glynn, the imperial conspiracies of Adrian McKinty, experiences of emigration and immigration, and non-Irish characters and settings. It closes by discussing one of Irish crime fiction’s best-selling authors, John Connolly, whose Charlie Parker novels are set entirely outside of Ireland. The transnational elements of Connolly’s novels, like those in the other novels here, require a reconsideration of what constitutes Irish literature, and provide a new understanding of how that literature intersects with international crime fiction.


  1. Ascari, Maurizio. A Counter-History of Crime Fiction: Supernatural, Gothic, Sensational. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Banville, Vincent. An End to Flight. London: Faber, 1973. Reprint, Dublin: New Island, 2002.Google Scholar
  3. Barclay, Alex. Darkhouse. New York: Delacorte, 2007.Google Scholar
  4. ———. The Caller. London: Harper, 2007.Google Scholar
  5. ———. Killing Ways. London: HarperCollins, 2015.Google Scholar
  6. ———. The Drowning Child. London: HarperCollins, 2016.Google Scholar
  7. Beckett, Samuel. Molloy. Translated by Patrick Bowles in collaboration with Samuel Beckett. Paris: Olympia, 1955. Reprint, New York: Grove, 1955.Google Scholar
  8. Binchy, Chris. Open-Handed. Dublin: Penguin Ireland, 2008.Google Scholar
  9. Blake, Linnie. The Wounds of Nations: Horror Cinema, Historical Trauma, and National Identity. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bourke, Angela. The Burning of Bridget Cleary. New York: Penguin, 2000.Google Scholar
  11. Bowen, Elizabeth. The Heat of the Day. New York: Knopf, 1948. Reprint, London: Penguin, 1986.Google Scholar
  12. Burke, Declan. Absolute Zero Cool. Dublin: Liberties, 2011.Google Scholar
  13. ———. ed. Down These Green Streets: Irish Crime Writing in the 21st Century. Dublin: Liberties, 2011.Google Scholar
  14. ———. The Lost and the Blind. Surrey: Severn, 2014.Google Scholar
  15. Carson, Paul. Ambush. London: Heinemann, 2004. Reprint, London: Arrow, 2005.Google Scholar
  16. Casey, Jane. The Stranger You Know. London: Ebury, 2013.Google Scholar
  17. ———. After the Fire. London: Ebury, 2015.Google Scholar
  18. ———. Let the Dead Speak. London: HarperCollins, 2017.Google Scholar
  19. Cavanagh, Steve. The Defence. London: Orion, 2015.Google Scholar
  20. ———. The Plea. London: Orion, 2016.Google Scholar
  21. ———. The Liar. London: Orion, 2017.Google Scholar
  22. Charles, Paul. I’ve Heard the Banshee Sing. London: Do-Not Press, 2003.Google Scholar
  23. Clark, David. ‘Mean Streets, New Lives: The Representations of Non-Irish Immigrants in Recent Irish Crime Fiction.’ In Literary Visions of Multicultural Ireland: The Immigrant in Contemporary Irish Literature, edited by Pilar Villar-Argáiz, 255–268. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013.Google Scholar
  24. Cleary, Joe. Literature, Partition and the Nation-State: Culture and Conflict in Ireland, Israel and Palestine. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.Google Scholar
  25. Colfer, Eoin. Plugged. London: Headline, 2011.Google Scholar
  26. Connolly, John. Every Dead Thing. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1999. Reprint, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999.Google Scholar
  27. ———. Dark Hollow. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2000. Reprint, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001.Google Scholar
  28. ———. The Killing Kind. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2001. Reprint, New York: Atria, 2002.Google Scholar
  29. ———. The White Road. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2002. Reprint, New York: Atria, 2003.Google Scholar
  30. ———. Nocturnes. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2004. Reprinted and expanded, New York: Atria, 2006.Google Scholar
  31. ———. Bad Men. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2003. Reprint, New York: Atria, 2004.Google Scholar
  32. ———. The Black Angel. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2005. Reprint, New York: Atria, 2005.Google Scholar
  33. ———. The Unquiet. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2007. Reprint, New York: Atria, 2007.Google Scholar
  34. ———. The Reapers. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2008. Reprint, New York: Atria, 2008.Google Scholar
  35. ———. The Lovers. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2009. Reprint, New York: Atria, 2009.Google Scholar
  36. ———. The Gates. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2009.Google Scholar
  37. ———. The Whisperers. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2010. Reprint, New York: Atria, 2010.Google Scholar
  38. ———. ‘Charlie Parker.’ In The Lineup: The World’s Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives, edited by Otto Penzler, 63–79. London: Quercus, 2010.Google Scholar
  39. ———. The Burning Soul. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2011. Reprint, New York: Atria, 2011.Google Scholar
  40. ———. Hell’s Bells. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2011. Reprinted as The Infernals. New York: Atria, 2011.Google Scholar
  41. ———. ‘No Blacks, No Dogs, No Crime Writers: Ireland and the Mystery Genre.’ In Burke, Down These Green Streets, 39–57.Google Scholar
  42. ———. The Reflecting Eye: A Charlie Parker Novella. Dublin: Bad Dog Books, 2012. An earlier version was published in the story collection Nocturnes (2004).Google Scholar
  43. ———. The Wrath of Angels. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2012. Reprint, New York: Emily Bestler/Atria, 2013.Google Scholar
  44. ———. The Creeps. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2013.Google Scholar
  45. ———. I Live Here. Dublin: Bad Dog Books, 2013. Expanded and republished in Connolly, Night Music, 399–443.Google Scholar
  46. ———. The Wolf in Winter. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2014. Reprint, New York: Emily Bestler/Atria, 2014.Google Scholar
  47. ———. A Song of Shadows. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2015. Reprint, New York: Emily Bestler/Atria, 2015.Google Scholar
  48. ———. Night Music: Nocturnes 2. New York: Emily Bestler/Atria, 2015.Google Scholar
  49. ———. Introduction. The Wrath of Angels, reprint edition. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2015.Google Scholar
  50. ———. ‘Author Introduction.’ Dark Hollow, reprint edition. New York: Emily Bestler/Atria, 2015.Google Scholar
  51. ———. A Time of Torment. New York: Emily Bestler/Atria, 2016.Google Scholar
  52. ———. Parker: A Miscellany. Dublin: Bad Dog, 2016.Google Scholar
  53. ———. A Game of Ghosts. New York: Emily Bestler/Atria, 2017.Google Scholar
  54. Connolly, John, Declan Burke, and Ellen Clair Lamb, eds. Books to Die For: The World’s Greatest Mystery Writers on the World’s Greatest Mystery Novels. London: Hodder, 2012.Google Scholar
  55. Connolly, John, and Jennifer Ridyard. Conquest. London: Headline, 2013.Google Scholar
  56. ———. Empire. London: Headline, 2015.Google Scholar
  57. ———. Dominion. London: Headline, 2016.Google Scholar
  58. Cook, Michael. Detective Fiction and the Ghost Story: The Haunted Text. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Coppola, Francis Ford, dir. The Conversation. San Francisco: American Zoetrope; Hollywood: Paramount, 1974.Google Scholar
  60. De Lint, Charles. ‘Books to Look For.’ Fantasy & Science Fiction 110, no. 6 (June 2006): 28–9.Google Scholar
  61. French, Tana. Faithful Place. New York: Penguin, 2010. Reprint, 2011.Google Scholar
  62. Glynn, Alan. The Dark Fields. London: Little, Brown, 2001. Reprinted as Limitless, New York: Picador, 2011.Google Scholar
  63. ———. Winterland. London: Faber, 2009. Reprint, 2010.Google Scholar
  64. ———. Bloodland. London: Faber, 2011.Google Scholar
  65. ———. Graveland. London: Faber, 2013.Google Scholar
  66. Grady, James. Six Days of the Condor. New York: Norton, 1974.Google Scholar
  67. Graham, David. Incitement. Dublin: Andromeda, 2013.Google Scholar
  68. Headrick, Charlotte. ‘“Where no kindness goes unpunished”: Declan Hughes’s Dublin.’ In Mannion, The Contemporary Irish Detective Novel, 45–55.Google Scholar
  69. Higgins, Jack. The Eagle Has Landed. New York: Bantam 1975.Google Scholar
  70. ———. The Eagle Has Flown. New York: Pocket, 1991.Google Scholar
  71. Horsley, Lee. Twentieth-Century Crime Fiction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.Google Scholar
  72. Hughes, Declan. The Wrong Kind of Blood. London: John Murray, 2006. Reprint, 2007.Google Scholar
  73. ———. The Colour of Blood. London: John Murray, 2007.Google Scholar
  74. ———. City of Lost Girls. London: John Murray, 2010. Reprint, 2011.Google Scholar
  75. ———. All the Things You Are. Surrey: Severn House, 2014.Google Scholar
  76. Humaydan, Iman, ed. Beirut Noir. New York: Akashic, 2015.Google Scholar
  77. Hunt, Arlene. Vicious Circle. Dublin: Hodder Headline, 2004.Google Scholar
  78. ———. Undertow. Dublin: Hachette, 2008. Reprint, 2009.Google Scholar
  79. ———. Blood Money. Dublin: Hachette, 2010.Google Scholar
  80. ———. The Chosen. Dublin: Portnoy, 2011. Reprinted as Last to Die, Ickenham: Bookouture, 2016.Google Scholar
  81. ———. Seminar discussion with the author and students. ‘Irish Crime Fiction’ undergraduate seminar. Trinity College Dublin, 11 March 2015.Google Scholar
  82. James, M.R. ‘Charles’s Translation of the Book of Enoch.’ The Classical Review 8, no. 1–2 (1894): 41–44.Google Scholar
  83. Joyce, Joe. Echoland. Dublin: Liberties, 2013. Kindle.Google Scholar
  84. ———. Echobeat. Dublin: Liberties, 2014. Kindle.Google Scholar
  85. ———. Echowave. Dublin: Liberties, 2015. Kindle.Google Scholar
  86. Kearney, Richard, ed. The Irish Mind: Exploring Intellectual Traditions. Dublin: Wolfhound, 1985.Google Scholar
  87. Kelly, Aaron. The Thriller and Northern Ireland Since 1969: Utterly Resigned Terror. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005.Google Scholar
  88. Kerrigan, Gene. The Rage. London: Harvill Secker, 2011. Reprint, New York: Europa, 2012.Google Scholar
  89. Kincaid, Andrew. ‘Detecting Hope: Ken Bruen’s Disenchanted P.I.’ In Mannion, The Contemporary Irish Detective Novel, 57–71.Google Scholar
  90. Leonard, Elmore. Pronto. New York: Delacorte, 1993. Reprint, New York: William Morrow, 2012.Google Scholar
  91. ———. Riding the Rap. New York: Delacorte, 1995. Reprint, New York: Delta, 1998.Google Scholar
  92. ———. ‘Fire in the Hole.’ In When the Women Come Out to Dance: Stories. New York: William Morrow, 2003. Reprint, New York: Dark Alley, 2004.Google Scholar
  93. ———. Raylan. New York: William Morrow, 2012. Reprint, 2013.Google Scholar
  94. Lewis, Jennifer. ‘“Sympathetic Traveling”: Horizontal Ethics and Aesthetics in Paco Ignacio Taibo’s Belascoarán Shayne Novels.’ In Detective Fiction in a Postcolonial and Transnational World, edited by Nels Pearson and Marc Singer, 135–155. Surrey: Ashgate, 2009.Google Scholar
  95. Macdonald, Ross. The Blue Hammer. New York: Knopf, 1976. Reprint, New York: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard, 2008.Google Scholar
  96. Mallo, Ernesto, ed. Buenos Aires Noir. New York: Akashic, 2017.Google Scholar
  97. Mannion, Elizabeth, ed. The Contemporary Irish Detective Novel. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2016.Google Scholar
  98. ———. ‘“Irish by blood and English by accident”: Detective Constable Maeve Kerrigan.’ In Mannion, The Contemporary Irish Detective Novel, 121–134.Google Scholar
  99. McCarthy, Conor. Modernisation, Crisis and Culture in Ireland, 1969–1992. Dublin: Four Courts, 2000.Google Scholar
  100. McGilloway, Brian. Bleed a River Deep. London: Macmillan, 2009. Reprint, London: Pan, 2010.Google Scholar
  101. McKinty, Adrian. Dead I May Well Be. New York: Scribner, 2003.Google Scholar
  102. ———. The Dead Yard. New York: Scribner, 2006.Google Scholar
  103. ———. The Bloomsday Dead. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007. Reprint, London: Serpent’s Tail, 2009.Google Scholar
  104. ———. Fifty Grand. New York: Henry Holt, 2009.Google Scholar
  105. ———. The Sun is God. London: Serpent’s Tail, 2014.Google Scholar
  106. McKinty, Adrian, and Stuart Neville, eds. Belfast Noir. New York: Akashic, 2014.Google Scholar
  107. Millar, Cormac. An Irish Solution. Dublin: Penguin, 2004. Reprint, 2005.Google Scholar
  108. ———. The Grounds. Dublin: Penguin, 2006. Reprint, 2007.Google Scholar
  109. Muldoon, Paul. Why Brownlee Left. London: Faber, 1980.Google Scholar
  110. ———. To Ireland, I: The Clarendon Lectures. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.Google Scholar
  111. Murphy, Paula. ‘“Murderous Mayhem”: Ken Bruen and the New Ireland.’ Clues 24, no. 2 (Winter 2006): 3–16.Google Scholar
  112. Neville, Stuart. Collusion. London: Harvill Secker, 2010. Reprint, New York: Soho, 2010.Google Scholar
  113. ———. Stolen Souls. London: Harvill Secker, 2011.Google Scholar
  114. Nugent, Andrew. The Four Courts Murder. London: Headline, 2006.Google Scholar
  115. ———. Second Burial. London: Headline, 2007.Google Scholar
  116. O’Brien, Flann. At Swim-Two-Birds. London: Longmans Green, 1939. Reprint, London: Penguin Classics, 2001.Google Scholar
  117. ———. The Third Policeman. London: MacGibbon and Kee, 1967. Reprint, McLean: Dalkey Archive, 1999.Google Scholar
  118. O’Loughlin, Ed. Not Untrue & Not Unkind. Dublin: Penguin Ireland, 2009.Google Scholar
  119. O’Sullivan, J.P. Don’t Hang Me Too High. New York: M.S. Mill, 1954. Reprint, New York: Pocket, 1956.Google Scholar
  120. Pepper, Andrew. ‘“Hegemony Protected by the Armour of Coercion”: Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest and the State.’ Journal of American Studies 44, no. 2 (May 2010): 333–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  121. ———. Unwilling Executioner: Crime Fiction and the State. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  122. Phillips, Bill. ‘Irish Noir.’ Estudios Irlandeses 9 (2014): 169–177.Google Scholar
  123. Pollack, Sydney, dir. Three Days of the Condor. Hollywood: Paramount, 1975.Google Scholar
  124. Radcliffe, Zane. London Irish. London: Black Swan, 2002.Google Scholar
  125. Reddy, Maureen T. ‘Contradictions in the Irish Hardboiled: Detective Fiction’s Uneasy Portrayal of a New Ireland.’ New Hibernia Review 19, no. 4 (2015): 126–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  126. Russell, Michael. The City of Shadows. London: Avon, 2012.Google Scholar
  127. ———. The City of Strangers. London: HarperCollins, 2013.Google Scholar
  128. ———. The City in Darkness. London: Constable, 2016.Google Scholar
  129. ———. The City of Lies. London: Constable, 2017.Google Scholar
  130. Ryan, William. The Holy Thief. London: Mantle, 2010. Reprint, London: Pan, 2011.Google Scholar
  131. ———. The Bloody Meadow. London: Mantle, 2011. Reprinted as The Darkening Field, New York: Minotaur, 2012.Google Scholar
  132. ———. The Twelfth Department. London: Mantle, 2013. Reprint, New York: Minotaur, 2013.Google Scholar
  133. Welcome, John. Run For Cover. London: Faber, 1958.Google Scholar
  134. Wills, Clair. That Neutral Island. London: Faber, 2007.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian Cliff
    • 1
  1. 1.Trinity College DublinDublinIreland

Personalised recommendations