Thursday, May 20, 2010

Many steps ahead - Peeler

At the tail end of last year I started a story about Harry Rutherford, an Anglo-Irish cop who survived the trenches of the First World War and is working for the Dublin Metropolitan Police in the period immediately after the Irish War of Independence and the Civil War. The working title is A Nowhere Man and I put up a draft of the opening section. I ploughed on for a while and have about about 15,000 words written. The period is fascinating and Harry provides an interesting way to explore a whole set of tensions, caught as he is between two worlds - Protestant/Catholic, gentry/working class, British/Irish, old order/new order, etc. Then yesterday I read a great guest post by Kevin McCarthy over on Crime Always Pays whose book, Peeler, is out next month. And low and behold he had the idea of writing a crime novel set in 1920s Ireland a couple of years ago, and it sounds like he's done a great job of it. Flip-it! Peeler is now on my order list. Hopefully Kevin's left enough room for someone else to squeeze into the same territory.

7 comments:

Bernadette in Australia said...

Surely there's some quote about great mind thinking alike that is suitable here Rob. It would be a fascinating period to tackle from a fictional perspective. I've done a very little bit of reading (and always planned to do more) on the period because my maternal grandfather was an Irish cop after WW1 but he and my grandmother emigrated to Australia in 1922 or 23 (records are unclear) and he became a cop here too. He died before I was born so I never got to meet him or talk about all of this but I am interested in the period anyway. I shall look out for Peeler and for A Nowhere Man or whatever it becomes.

Declan Burke said...

For what it's worth, Rob, I'd written three drafts of Eightball Boogie, a private eye story set in the West of Ireland, before I stumbled across Ken Bruen's The Guards ...

Actually, now that I think of it, that's probably not going to be very encouraging news for you.

Peeler is a terrific read, I think you'll enjoy it.

Cheers, Dec

Margot Kinberg said...

Rob - I've had that happen to me, too, both in my academic writing and my fiction writing. I do want to read Peeler, but just as much, I hope that you'll add your own perspective. The reading world will be better for your contribution.

Rob Kitchin said...

Bernadette, a large number of RIC members emigrated and became cops elsewhere, principally Canada and US, I think, but also Australia as in your grandfather's case. That would be a good story to plot out as well.

Dec, for what it's worth I thought Eight Ball Boogie was a better read than The Guards, though I appreciate Ken has the run of luck (and is no slouch in the writing stakes). Looking forward to Peeler.

I'll keep working away at A Nowhere Man, but it'll be a while before I push it through to completion - I've the third McEvoy novel to finish off (plus an academic book that's under contract). Thanks for the encouragement.

Minnie said...
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Declan Burke said...

Ta for the good word (verging on blasphemy), Rob, but Ken's had a lot more than luck running for him ... If you're good, you're good, period. Plus, he was a long time plugging before he became an overnight success. Luck plays its part for sure, but you need discipline, dedication, talent and balls - and Ken has them all in spades.

Cheers, Dec

Rob Kitchin said...

No dispute there, Dec, but my sense is that you have discipline, dedication, talent and balls as well. What I meant by the luck statement, is not that he is lucky rather than talented, but rather that I don't think you've had the rub of the green you deserve. A run of good fortune re. publishers wouldn't go amiss.