Video: Tyrone author gives voice to ‘thrilling’ Yeats mystery tale

The Blood Dimmed Tide is out now in bookshops
The Blood Dimmed Tide is out now in bookshops

A Tyrone author, whom the Daily Mail acclaimed as ‘a star in the making’ after writing ‘one of the crime books of the year’, has had the book launch of his latest novel hosted by Dungannon Library.

The official debut of Anthony Quinn’s crime novel The Blood Dimmed Tide was opened by Deputy Mayor of Dungannon District Dominic Molloy on Saturday.

Deputy Mayor Molloy, who was a former classmate of the author, said it was a great pleasure to help launch Quinn’s latest book.

“When you see book reviewers at newspapers such as the Sunday Times and the Daily Mail, not to mention US newspapers, praising Anthony’s work so highly it is an honour to be able to introduce him here today”, said the Sinn Fein Councillor, who went on to reminisce on their shared school days at St Patrick’s Academy Dungannon.

The author expressed his pleasure at returning to the library where he had first encountered the poetry of WB Yeats, who is a central character in his historical thriller.

“In those days, crime fiction filled only a couple of shelves, and I’m alarmed to see its advance and the retreat of poetry amid the library’s aisles”, he said.

“Alarmed but also overjoyed since it means the library is stocking all of my books. They even have thirty copies of The Blood Dimmed Tide available to borrow today!”

Quinn went on to thank the Deputy Mayor and library staff for helping organise the launch.

The Blood Dimmed Tide has already been described by critics as ‘an Irish Shadow of the Wind’.

Published on October 23, by No Exit Press, it has also been selected as book of the week by Faber Factory and US bookstore chain Barnes and Noble, while Foyles, the UK book shop chain, has listed it as number two in its recommended read list.

Quinn’s debut, Disappeared, has been praised as ‘beautifully haunting’ by the Sunday Times and the Daily Mail said this about it: “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.

“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.”

He said he was delighted to have The Blood Dimmed Tide compared to Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind.

“I’m a big fan of Zafon’s book - it merged the gothic with the mystery, romantic and literary genres in such an entertaining way.

“I wanted to do the same with the life of WB Yeats and Ireland at the outbreak of the War of Independence. Yeats led such a mesmerising life, combining so many talents, mixing the supernatural and the literary with politics and history.

“I hope the book does justice to his life and that era of Irish history.”

He added that it was impossible to do justice to WB Yeats in just one book.

“In my mind’s eye, Yeats is less a physical presence and more a whirlwind of intellectual energy, always seeking answers, always probing the evidence before him, always odd and unpredictable in his behaviour - which makes him the perfect central character for a mystery story, especially one that involves the spiritual world.

“He was very much a sleuth of the supernatural, as well as a literary and political phenomenon.

“He invented so many selves that it is impossible to do him justice between the covers of one book. This is why I want to return to him in my sixth book, which I plan to start in the New Year.”

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