Three of Ireland’s leading female crime writers, Julie Parsons, Liz Nugent and Alex Barclay will read together in the first event of the School of English’s annual reading series coming up on November 14. The readers represent a 20-year tradition and several generations of Irish crime writing.
Julie Parsons’ first thriller, Mary Mary came out in 1998 and was described by the New York Times as a “first novel of astonishing impact”. Her sixth novel, The Therapy House, was published earlier this year.
“Julie Parsons was Irish crime fiction before there was Irish crime fiction,” says novelist and critic Declan Hughes. “Before domestic suspense was a thing, before Girls had Gone on Trains or anywhere else, Parsons was writing intelligent, nuanced psychological thrillers under the spell of the two weird sisters of mystery, Patricia Highsmith and Ruth Rendell.”
At a recent event, our second reader Liz Nugent paid tribute to Parsons, saying that her books had “really showed me how to do it”. Nugent’s first novel, Unravelling Oliver, won Crime Fiction Book of the Year when it was published in 2014 and her follow-up, Lying in Wait, won a Richard and Judy Award, and a Listeners Choice award at the Irish Book Awards 2017.
Castletownbere-based Alex Barclay is the author of eight crime thrillers. Her first novel Darkhouse featuring NYPD detective Joe Lucchesi, appeared in 2005 and was a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller, followed by a sequel, The Caller.
She has written six more books in the Ren Pryce series – Blood Runs Cold, Time of Death, Blood Loss, Harm’s Reach, Killing Ways and The Drowning Child.