Showing posts from 2018

Out and About

I'm fortunate to be a part of some great upcoming events.  I thought I'd share them altogether here, for anyone interested in any of them. 
The line up for the terrific Aspects Festival was announced last week. I'm very chuffed to be doing an event called Crime in the Castle, with the brilliant authors Brian McGilloway and Gerard Brennan (22/09/18). You can check out the whole of the festival listings and can buy tickets on their website.

I went to see Eric Bell as part of the awesome Open House Festival last week and he was absolutely belting! I'm pleased to be reading at the launch of the excellent Bangor Literary Journal as part of the festival (25/08/18). They also have a feature on my writing in the August issue- it's a super magazine (From poets Amy and Paul Rafferty) and it's free to download. The event is also free- so if you're about Bangor- drop by!
I'm going to be doing mini Belfast Noir tours as part of Culture Night, this year, situated at…

...So I became a tour guide

Belfast Noir

"Belfast is the most noir place on earth." Lee Child
For a while I had been thinking how Belfast didn't seem to have much in the way of screen or literature tours. Of course there are Game of Thrones tours, but not much else. Thinking about the city centre out towards the south, I realised lots had been filmed there- such as Line of Duty, The Fall and the classic Film Noir Odd Man Out. Put this together with the downright explosion of Ulster Noirand local writers, I wondered why there was no tour around any of this.
So I thought I' d have a go!
I wrote a draft of a tour and then teamed up with local company, Belfast Hidden Tours. They had also been thinking of doing something similar. We've been developing it for six months and here we are! It's a mix of screen and books, with a heavy influence on Crime Fiction and a wee bit of true crime, with other bits and bobs thrown in. We launched last week and the hour and a half tour takes in locations such…

13 by Steve Cavanagh Book Review


As soon as the title and hook were first dropped, this novel was eagerly anticipated by many:

"The serial killer isn't on trial. He's on the jury."
It certainly doesn't disappoint and fully deserves the various high profile plaudits and the terrific sales in Ireland. Hopefully this will be repeated when it's released in other countries.

Lawyer Eddie Flynn returns for a thriller that is much more than a courtrooms drama, though there is much tension to be found in the carefully crafted court scenes. Flynn soon becomes neck deep in the biggest case since OJ, while also on the hunt for a highly intelligent serial killer, who is... well- you know where he is!

Steve Cavanagh effortlessly takes us on a breakneck run around New York with a twisty, turny plot that entertains with no lag. It is the definition of a page turner and I highly recommend it. You really won't want to put it down and I'm kind of disappointed that I've finished it!

Book Review : Disorder by Gerard Brennan

The first release on the new No Alibis Press and it's a cracker!
I've just finished Gerard Brennan's new novel and it's a really great read. The rise and rise of NI Crime Fiction just keeps getting better and the start to this year with the likes of Disorder and Thirteen (Steve Cavanagh) is very exciting.

Disorder uses so called recreational rioting in Belfast as a backdrop to interweaving story strands that are created and manoeuvred skilfully. There is a great set of characters, with no out and out main protagonist; including a damaged and amoral cop, a stoner student in the wrong place, a sleekid American investor and a conflicted journalist.

The prose packs a punch with lots of humourous local lingo set alongside tightly written scenes and some pretty hardboiled violence. There is a mystery element also involved, along with the feeling of dread approaching. The plot is tied up in a satisfying and somewhat unexpected way, with plenty of thrills and an emotional pay …

Walking Papers W2 Album Review

Swampy Swagger and Blistering Ballads

For the uninitiated, Walking Papers are a bluesy hard rock outfit from Seattle. It began as a project between Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees, Mad Season) and Jeff Angell (The Missionary Position). They ended up writing an album's worth of killer songs together with the swagger of some of their previous bands, with also the soulful and melancholy elements of say Mad Season. Overdriven guitar riffs sit comfortably next to vibraphone and double bass. Along for the ride were the likes of Mike McCready (Pearl Jam, Mad Season), Duff McKagan (GnR, Velvet Revolver), and Ben Anderson (Missionary Position). The minor label release of songs was so well received that Duff and Ben joined full time and they were all signed up to rerelease the album with a major label. What followed after was a great critical response, extensive touring and ultimately lots of ideas for a second record.

The band then went in and cut this record, but with Duff involved in a m…

Hardboiled Crime Fiction's Influence on Morphine & Mark Sandman

Jim Thompson, Raymond Chandler, James Ellroy... and Mark Sandman 

In this blog post I get to write about two of my favourite things; Crime Fiction and the band Morphine. The three writers above were three of Mark Sandman's pulp favourites. Morphine's bluesy, swampy low rock is the perfect accompaniment to any of these hardboiled novelists. This style of writing was a big influence on his own songwriting. They both contain a direct, vivid and often somewhat nihilistic tone. Many of Sandman's characters form his songs could have walked off the pages of say The Getaway or The Long Goodbye. Sometimes during interviews, Sandman would go off on a tangent and just want to start discussing a particular Jim Thompson novel. He loved crime fiction and shared his passion with friends and journalists alike.
 He appeared to find something in noir that moved him, just as his hero James Ellroy had- 
"I love thinking about American history, thinking about L.A history. I love brooding on …

Rain Dogs Adrian McKinty Book Review

Rain Dogs
This was the second McKinty I had read and both are part of the Sean Duffy series. First thing to say is- I'm hooked!

Sean Duffy is a Northern Irish detective, working during The Troubles in the 1980's. There are of course a gazillion modern police procedurals out there to choose from. I generally prefer other forms of crime fiction or even a PI opposed to an actual police officer story as a personal preference. I only enjoy the ones that really grab me and the Sean Duffy series certainly has! The last series to do so was Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole.

This installment includes a locked room murder, conspiracy, lots of music references, Northern Irish settings and international intrigue. My recent novel included a locked room mystery, conspiracy, lots of music references, Northern Irish settings and international intrigue. I honestly hadn't read any McKinty before that and mine is nowhere near as good!

Northern Irish crime fiction has so much great stuff going on rig…

Competition- Free Book!

😎🏆🍸    Competition time!     😎🏆🍸     
Win a free ebook copy of Bongo Fury 2! Every correct answer a winner! This is for any both music and crime fiction fans! Just PM me your answer. 
What does the title of the book and all the new main characters (including Merritt, Timmons and Morgan) have in common??