A CRIME thriller set around Portadown and the Lough Neagh shore area has been selected as one of the best crime novels of 2012.
Disappeared, by Morton Group journalist Anthony Quinn, has been named by Kirkus Reviews in a list of the top 10 crime novels published in the English speaking world over the past year, beating off competition from established best-selling authors.
Critic J. Kingston Pierce made his selection after casting his eye over a bumper crop of crime fiction published on both sides of the Atlantic.
Writing about Disappeared, which is set in the aftermath of the Troubles, he wrote, “Elderly Alzheimer’s patient David Hughes has vanished from his rural home on the shores of Lough Neagh. His sister fears he’s wandered off into trouble, but as Insp. Celsius Daly investigates, he discovers that Hughes isn’t just some quiet country putterer.
“He’s part of a larger, much more complicated tale connected to the years-ago slaying (by the Irish Republican Army) of an alleged political informer and the more recent torture death of an ex-intelligence agent.
“It’s soon clear that the errant Hughes harbours secrets in his deteriorating mind that others don’t want released. Quinn enriches Disappeared with Irish history and does an excellent job of ratcheting up the tension as his plot unfolds.”
The detective novel has also been tipped by Irish author Ken Bruen to win major crime fiction awards.
The award-winning author said, “Disappeared is a major piece of work. Eerily tender, a wonderfully wrought classic that is a landmark in the fiction of Northern Ireland. As beautifully written as the wild ferocity of Lough Neagh.”
“My starting point for writing Disappeared was the idea of a former spymaster suffering from Alzheimers,” said Anthony Quinn. “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.”
The paperback can currently be ordered from Amazon and other on-line retailers.