The Daily Mail has praised a crime thriller set in Northern Ireland as ‘unquestionably’ one of the crime books of the year, set to make its Tyrone author ‘a star’.
Disappeared by Anthony Quinn was shortlisted for the Strand Literary Award when it was first published in the US. Now it has attracted the highest praise from UK and Irish newspapers after being launched by London publisher Head of Zeus on August 14.
Writing in the Daily Mail, crime reviewer Geoffrey Wansell praised the book’s ‘elegant, atmospheric story’.
He added: “This is its first British publication and it should make Quinn a star, for it is unquestionably one of the crime novels of the year, written in peerless prose, with a delicate plot revolving around old loyalties in the Ulster police force and the informers who hid among the hard men — tipping off their masters and, sometimes, paying the price with their lives.”
He went on to say: “The pace is elegiac, with the nuances of who is to be trusted and who not emerging like ghostly trees from the fog around Lough Neagh. But the languor does not blunt its intensity — this is a novel to be read slowly and to be savoured sip by sip, as its spider’s web slowly but surely snares you in its grip.”
Meanwhile, the Irish Independent described Disappeared as ‘outstanding’.
“In the hands of reporter Anthony Quinn, who grew up in Northern Ireland in the 1970s and 80s, the beautifully written Disappeared is much more than a routine whodunnit as it unflinchingly lays bare the deep ambivalence that haunts post-peace process Northern Ireland society as it tries to come to terms with its violent past.”
In addition, writing in the Irish Examiner, Sue Leonard described it as ‘a superb debut steeped in the atmosphere of Northern Ireland’.
In addition, Anthony has signed a three book deal with another UK publisher, No Exit Press, for his series of historical mystery novels set during the War of Independence in Ireland, the first of which, The Blood-Dimmed Tide, is published in October.
The book has attracted critical praise already with one advance reviewer describing it as ‘an Irish Shadow of the Wind’.
New York Times bestselling author Brian McGilloway has also described it as ‘a thrilling mystery story from a unique voice in Irish crime fiction’.
“My starting point for writing Disappeared was the idea of a former spymaster suffering from Alzheimers”, said Anthony. “I wanted to use his illness and the deterioration of his mind as a symbol for how Northern Ireland was dealing with the legacy of the Troubles.
“Silence and denial might have been good coping strategies during the Troubles, but in a time of peace, they are potentially dangerous, as some of the characters in Disappeared find out to their cost.
“The book is full of twists and turns which mirrors the murky and tortuous world of spies and informers.”