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Blue is the Night

Eoin McNamee

The third and final novel of his acclaimed Blue Trilogy – following 2001s Booker Longlisted The Blue Tango, and 2010s Orchid Blue.

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1949. Lance Curran is set to prosecute a young man for a brutal murder, in the ‘Robert the Painter’ case, one which threatens to tear society apart. In the searing July heat, corruption and justice vie as Harry Ferguson, Judge Curran’s fixer, contemplates the souls of men adrift, and his own fall from grace with the beautiful and wilful Patricia. Within three years, Curran will be a judge, his nineteen year old daughter dead, at the hands of a still unknown murderer, and his wife Doris condemned to an asylum for the rest of her days.

In Blue Is the Night, it is Doris who finally emerges from the fog of deceit and blame to cast new light into the murder of her daughter – as McNamee once again explores and dramatizes a notorious and nefarious case.

Critic Reviews

Blue is the Night completes McNamee's magnificent "Blue Trilogy" - establishing it as one of the very finest series of crime novels ever written - and yet, at the same time, this final novel both illuminates and transcends the previous two to stand alone alongside books as great as The Glass Key and Shutter Island as that rarest of things: a genuine, original masterpiece.

Critic Reviews

McNamee's prose - with its chilly precision and desolate grace - is one of the glories of contemporary fiction. But what most impresses here is how a provincial courtroom drama lays bare the workings of a whole society, its untold codes and nightmares. Blue is the Night is the best book yet from one of Ireland's most alert and gifted writers.

Critic Reviews

There is no one to match Eoin McNamee for the clean, clear, resonant sentence structure he has perfected. He is a unique writer... his subject, the inescapable complicity of people in the leak of evil in the world.

Critic Reviews

If McNamee's subject matter is dark and ugly - violent death, cover-ups, conspiracies and corruption - his writing style in stark contrast is lyrical, full of finely wrought passages and memorable turns of phrase, punctuated by staccato sentences. With the same regularity that Stormont once delivered miscarriages of justice, McNamee has delivered another masterpiece of provincial Gothic and the "dark grammar" of murder.

Martin Doyle, Irish Times
Critic Reviews

'Just as McCarthy's work assumed the tattered genre apparel of the western to interrogate the founding myths of modern America, so McNamee mobilises the tropes and conventions of the period crime novel in order to expose the marrow-deep, age-old enmities that will bring the divided society of 1950s Northern Ireland to the threshold of its own era of extendedly bloody transformation.

Along with a shared thematic seriousness of purpose, I invoke comparison with McCarthy because of his stylistic influence. Though as clean-lined and direct as any classic crime writer, McNamee routinely switches to a biblically cadenced, deliberately anachronistic register reminiscent of the American author.'

Colin Barrett, Guardian
Critic Reviews

'The storyline is tightly drawn, the prose taut and limpid, but, more than ever, supercharged with menace and the ubiquity of evil.

This book stands on its own as a chilling and disturbing recreation of a period and a city in which evil flourishes and truth is systematically distorted, even in the telling. It is beyond noir, becoming more gothic as the story unfolds.'

Maurice Hayes, Irish Independent

Eoin McNamee’s novels include Resurrection Man, later made into a film, The Blue Tango, which was longlisted for the Booker Prize, Orchid Blue, described by John Burnside in the Guardian as ‘not only a political novel of the highest order but also that rare phenomenon, a genuinely tragic work of art,’ and Blue is the Night which was awarded the…

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