cover image Belfast Noir

Belfast Noir

Edited by Adrian McKinty and Stuart Neville. Akashic, $15.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-61775-291-9

Belfast, with its bleak, murderous history, at last gets an entry in Akashic’s acclaimed noir series. The 14 all-new stories range from the time of the Troubles (1968–1999) to today. Staunchly local, the fiction largely hails from authors born or living in Belfast or other Irish locales. Ian McDonald, better known for science fiction, offers “The Reservoir,” a brutal tale of a wedding that ends in violence. Bestseller Lee Child, an Englishman long resident in Manhattan whose father was born in Belfast, contributes the unsettling “Wet with Rain,” in which some mysterious men from America trick a woman into selling her house. Not all the entries are profound or gloomy. Garbhan Downey’s jaunty “Die Like a Rat” opens with a description of “Spotty John Norway’s weirdly disfigured corpse.” The selections—none really great, none terribly bad—faithfully reflect the Northern Ireland city’s lack of ethnic diversity. (Nov.)