Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Final Pitch

This is going to be my last post on The Cold Cold Ground for a long while. If there's one thing I really hate doing it's shilling for myself, but I'll have a valiant last stab at it: 
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While The Cold Cold Ground is a crime novel it's also an attempt to capture a culture that will be completely unknown to readers who didn't grow up in Northern Ireland in the 70's and 80's. You might think you know about N. Ireland in that period but you don't. With on or two important exceptions the stuff you've read or seen has all been lies, half truths and propaganda. As far as I know this is the first book ever to look at extraordinary situation of a Catholic policeman in the RUC in the 1980's and to explore the unbelievable pressures he would have been under. No copper anywhere ever had as tough a job as that of policing Belfast in the spring and summer of 1981. (Detroit? The South Bronx? Picnics. At least once you were home you were safe.) And if you were a smart, sensitive and lippy peeler you just might have ended up like Sean Duffy in The Cold Cold GroundIf you haven't got the book yet there's nothing more that I can say to convince you, but here are representative views of some of the British and Irish press: 

"If Raymond Chandler had grown up in Northern Ireland, The Cold Cold Ground is what he would have written." --Peter Millar, The Times 

"Adrian McKinty is fast gaining a reputation as the finest of the new generation of Irish crime writers, and it's easy to see why on the evidence of this novel, the first in a projected trilogy of police procedurals." --Doug Johnstone, The Glasgow Herald

"He manages to catch the brooding atmosphere of the 1980s and to tell a ripping yarn at the same time. There will be many readers waiting for the next adventure of the dashing and intrepid Sergeant Duffy." --Maurice Hays, The Irish Independent


"What makes McKinty a cut above the rest is the quality of his prose. His driven, spat-out sentences are more accessible than James Ellroy's edge-of-reason staccato, and he can be lyric. The sound of a riot is "the distant yelling like that of men below decks in a torpedoed prison ship".

The names of David Peace and Ellroy are evoked too often in relation to young crime writers, but McKinty shares their method of using the past as a template for the present. The stories and textures may belong to a different period, but the power of technique and intent makes of them the here and now.

There's food for thought in McKinty's writing, but he is careful not to lose the force of his narrative in introspection. The Cold Cold Ground is a crime novel, fast-paced, intricate and genre to the core." --Eoin McNamee, The Guardian.

The Cold Cold Ground will be published in Australia next week. At the Fair Dinkum Crime Blog, Bernadette gave the book four stars, while Jon Page at Bite the Book said: "No exaggeration, this is one of the best crime novels I have ever read. McKinty’s last book, FALLING GLASS, was superb but THE COLD, COLD GROUND blew me utterly away. It is easily his best book to date."
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So that's the pitch. I know many of you reading this haven't bought the book. Well if you like what I do on this blog I can only suggest that you'll really like what I do in Cold Cold. I'm a professional novelist and I save the good stuff for the books. That after all is how I make my living. 
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If you do get The Cold Cold Ground in print, e book or audio form I'd appreciate a review if you can spare the time. 
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Finally I'm heading out of town for the long weekend so I wont be able to respond to comments until Monday night, but I will read all comments when I get back. 
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Slainte. Go raibh míle maith agaibh as bhur gcúnamh.

32 comments:

Jean said...

I've purchased the audio version. I plan to purchase the printed copy to read just in case there might be a little tidbit that I missed because the dogs were barking or my husband had the audacity to speak to me while I was listening :) I also requested Amazon notify your publisher that I would appreciate a Kindle version.

Looking forward to your next exiting novel.

John McFetridge said...

For the research I'm doing now I spent some time with a man who was on the bomb squad in Montreal in the 60s and 70s. He told me that in the late 60s he was sent to train with the cops in Belfast but it wasn't much use. The bombs being planted in Montreal were vert simple, Anarchist Cookbook bombs; some dynamite, detonator and alarm clock - cut the wires and that's it. But, he said, the bombs in Belfast were booby trapped and designed for maximum damage and the designs were always changing to stay ahead of the bomb squad.

There's no doubt Belfast was different.

Still, a few more posts about The Cold Cold Ground would be okay.

Peter Haxton said...

I just finished reading the Kndle version of Cold Cold Ground (available in the US). Absolutely great read, and very much looking forward to hearing more from Sean Duffy. If you've read anything else by Adrian, you will like this; if you've never (perish the thought) read him, this is a great place to start.

It was mentioned in an earlier post that US publishers were balking in part because 'Mericans didn't want to read about anything as complicated or morally confusing as the Troubles. If anything, Cold Cold Ground makes me want to learn more about this bit of history.

I have, though, been remiss in writing my reviews, which I'll try to get done this weekend. Although Amamzon has it at 5 stars!

Ricky said...

Sounds very interesting.

Dave Barton said...

I have just finished Cold Cold Ground and enjoyed it immensely, even more than the Dead trilogy, which is saying a lot. At the end of the kindle edition is a taster and promotion of the sequel 'I hear the sirens in the street', which I am looking forward to.

swooperman said...

I have a strong interest in the Ireland of the CCG era as it was the era I grew up in, although in Birmingham but those with a memory will recall it was one of the many English places that were a bit too close to Ireland for comfort. I agree that it is a very hard place to understand, as are a lot of places but NI especially so. My recent finished novel doing the rounds & my current one both feature exiled Northern Irishmen of the era, & despite my research I felt I had to have them both proofread by two lads that I know off a gambling forum that I help run. One is a native of the area, growing up in the said era, & the other served there in the bomb squad in the '80's!! Best not do a meet up lol, but it shows the importance of background, particularly for a place you havent lived in, which is why they're exiled.

speedskater42k said...

Adrian, you've got a great book w/ TCCG. I've been talking it up among my friends/acquaintances as much as I can. I really hope you're successful.

I don't understand the book publishing industry. The way that TCCG isn't being published in the US is yet one more example of what makes no sense.

You may recall that I've urged you to come to the Tucson Festival of Books. I'd be so great to have you attend! It's coming up in mid-March. http://tucsonfestivalofbooks.org/

Maybe if you come to that festival, a groundswell of TCCG fans will push your book to the heights it deserves!

Kate said...

Adrian,
Thanks for TCCG, and for the essay about your childhood. I'm sorry about what you went through, and the private US money that helped keep the whole ordeal going.

seana said...

I think even non-crime fiction writers would like The Cold, Cold Ground. It is really the milieu that raises it a cut above.

I know that about 98% of the readers of this blog only check in here to see what the Irish poem of the month will be, but even they should check out TCCG on poetic grounds.

Jean said...

Peter, Thanks for mentioning that you purchased the Kindle version in the US. Oddly, when I searched the Kindle store for "Cold Cold Ground" on Amazon I found the paperback version. The only other format offered there was audible. The Kindle version wasn't listed. When I Google "Cold Cold Ground Kindle" I find an Amazon link that goes to the Kindle version. Evidently a glitch somewhere.

Jean said...

A PS re US Kindle version: I didn't look closely enough when I eventually found Amazon's listing for the Kindle version. It says "not currently available".

Anonymous said...

I am really enjoying A Cold, Cold Ground and hope to do the book justice in a review on my own blog next week. I really like Sean and hope this is the start of a new series for him? Possibly? Thanks!

Keishon

Sheiler said...

I'm not sure I read much crime fiction if at all before coming to this blog. And now I'm all agog. I downloaded the TCCG on audible because I love the narrator and because I need something to listen to while I walk the slowest dog in the world. Adrian, I love your description of the helicopters' lights circling and meeting the others. I loved the language describing rigor mortis (can't recall it right now). And I love learning about Northern Ireland that is so foreign to me, and so much going on not so long ago. jesus. I can't believe Boston, ok now that it's not super duper Irish so much now, would not go for this. Paging Dorchester and Southie! Paging Ben Affleck ... or something. Or come to think of st paddy's days I'd been to in Chicago. Paging the windy city.

I'll post a review once I've finished it on audible.

Remy said...

I've told all my friends about TCCG ( a good few of them have bought it), and stuck my review on a couple of heavy traffic forums I frequent.

Hope the book gets the sales it deserves.

lil Gluckstern said...

You got a good review from a fellow Australian on 4MA which is frequented by fans and authors. I piggy backed on to her review. You might check out the site. It has a large readership as does Dorothy L, which is another site for fans and writers. I can't talk enough about your book, telling people it's available on Kindle and Audible.

adrian mckinty said...

BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR COMMENTING. I'm still out of town. Kind of sidetracked down in the Mornington Peninsula south of Melbourne.

Really beautiful down here: empty beaches, vineyards, big waves, surfers, empty roads. I imagine northern California was like this in the 50's.

The only book I could find set in Mornington is Nevil Shute's On The Beach which is about the end of the world and isn't bad so far.

Dave Barton said...

When is 'I hear the sirens in the street' due to be published in the UK or on kindle?

Frank said...

Nottingham Waterstones voted CCG Book of the Month. I tried to put a review on Waterstones website but couldn't see where to do it.

Adam said...

Haven't checked in on your blog in a while and I am excited to see that not only do you have a new book out, but it's the first of a trilogy! That's a lot too look forward to.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi again, sorry I missed the part about the trilogy (to answer my own question from earlier) in your post and I did finish The Cold, Cold Ground and thought it excellent. Looking forward to the next two books in the series!

Keishon

John Grundy said...

Adrian - as a contribution to your last CCG post I can only say that it's the only crime novel in the last year to come close to Peter Tenple's Truth - so there must be something in the Melbourne air!! I'm now into the Dead Trilogy & recommend any readers picking up on this post to get into Micheal Forsyth while they wait for Duffy2

Rick H said...

Ordered "The Cold Cold Ground" from a UK bookstore and tore through it as soon as it arrived here on my doorstep in the States. Loved it, as I do all your adult fiction which I purchase faithfully with each new release ever since meeting you at a signing for "Dead I Well May Be" years ago. Must say setting it in 80s era Carrickfergus and Belfast added a new dimension and I'm really looking forward to the next two in the trilogy. Now, if we could only get your books more readily available in U.S. bookstores -- I recommend you constantly to friends here, but many of your titles are getting harder to find here if, like me, you still like reading actual books with actual paper pages. Keep up the great work!!!

Rick H said...

Oh -- and I also did my part and added a glowing review for you on the Amazon US website.

adrian mckinty said...

Rick

Yup it doesn't look like any US publishers are biting on this one I'm afraid. They say that "there will no market for it".

Anyway I'm really glad you got it and liked, sorry about the all the hoops you had to jump through.

And of course I really appreciate the review!

Rick H said...

No worries, Adrian. Your books are always worth the hoops!!

Queens Park Pete said...

Just read the Kindle version of this. Best £1.29 spent in a while, will certainly be seeking out your backlist.

Please don't let ITV do a crappy version of it. Not that UK TV audiences get to see portraits of Norn Ireland too often- Last one I remember was a Play for Today in about 1978 with the big guy out of Z Cars.

adrian mckinty said...

Pete

Glad you liked it. Leave a review s'where if you can be arsed. If not no sweat.

Queens Park Pete said...

I am certainly pressing all my friends into trying it,and will spread the online word.
Bemused to hear how the US publishers have been less than keen.

adrian mckinty said...

Pete

Its not so surprising. In the US they want their Ireland to be spinisters riding cast iron bicycles through the morning mist while charming terrorists plot to overthrow the evil Brits from haystacks. The last thing they want to hear is that the situation was actually kind of complex

lil Gluckstern said...

At the risk of annoying some of my American compatriots, complex doesn't sell well here. Sure, I love Irish cliffs and dogs running along a couple riding horses, and casting shy glances at each, but I do tire of them. What is interesting is that there is an audience for these complicated books set in Ireland, or South Africa. The publishers are not necessarily disposed to taking a smaller profit. Which is why I champion e-books. At least that makes the book available here. Am I just blowing smoke here?

adrian mckinty said...

Lil

The problem is that the big publishers still get their authors access to big media. And without some kind of media attention your book basically dies. I'm still looking for a US publisher but despite the reviews no one seems to think there could be a market for the book. I think they're wrong.

seana said...

They are wrong.