TYRONE Times journalist Anthony Quinn’s debut crime novel has been selected as one of the best crime novels of 2012.
Kirkus Reviews, one of the most famous and trenchant book reviewers in the United States, named Disappeared in a list of the top ten crime novels published in the English speaking world over the past year, beating off competition from established best-selling authors.
Critic J. Kingston Pierce made his selection after casting his eye over a bumper crop of crime fiction published on both sides of the Atlantic.
Also making the list from this side of the Atlantic were crime novels by Philip Kerr, CJ Sansom and Tana French.
Writing about Disappeared, which is set in the aftermath of the Troubles, he wrote: “Elderly Alzheimer’s patient David Hughes has vanished from his rural home in Northern Ireland. His sister fears he’s wandered off into trouble, but as Insp. Celsius Daly investigates, he discovers that Hughes isn’t just some quiet country putterer.
“He’s part of a larger, much more complicated tale connected to the years-ago slaying (by the Irish Republican Army) of an alleged political informer and the more recent torture death of an ex-intelligence agent.
“It’s soon clear that the errant Hughes harbors secrets in his deteriorating mind that others don’t want released. Quinn enriches Disappeared with Irish history and does an excellent job of ratcheting up the tension as his plot unfolds.”
Disappeared has also been selected by US bookseller Barnes and Noble as their recommended read as part of their UK launch of their Nook e-book reader.
The detective novel has also been tipped by Irish author Ken Bruen to win major crime fiction awards.
The award-winning author said: “Line up the Edgar for best first novel.
“Disappeared is a major piece of work. Eerily tender, a wonderfully wrought classic that is a landmark in the fiction of Northern Ireland.”
The Galway-based author added that he was struck by Disappeared’s combination of pathos, betrayal, compassion and brutality.
“As beautifully written as the wild ferocity of Lough Neagh”, he added.
“And lines to sing for, like this description of drunkenness:“...the throng of young people cavorting down the streets was like a poisoned organism celebrating its own death throes.”
“And the sly humor that is quintessentially Irish:’...a series of bends that the locals claimed would knock the devil out of a heretic.’
“And this lilting image: ‘a landscape that was a sniper’s puzzle of thick thorn hedges and slanting fields.’
“Line up the glittering prizes of mystery. This one is going to take ‘em all.”
Signed copies of the book are currently on sale in Sheehy’s bookstore, Cookstown.