Soho Press (October, 2020)
by Shirley Wetzel
Since his stunning debut novel, THE GHOSTS OF BELFAST, in 2009, Stuart Neville has become the undisputed king of Belfast noir. THE TRAVELLER contains twelve chilling stories of noir, horror, ghosts, and speculative fiction, as well as a novella, THE TRAVELLER, which became the first chapter of THE GHOSTS OF BELFAST.
The book is divided into two parts: New Monsters features seven stand-alone stories incorporating and blending diverse crime fiction genres. The characters are new, but are as quirky and unique as Neville’s earlier saints and sinners. Old Friends tells the backstories of larger-than-life disgraced spy Gerry Fagan, as well as Albert Ryan and Roberta Garrick.
The novella THE TRAVELLER is a companion piece to Neville’s novels, THE GHOSTS OF BELFAST and COLLUSION, updating the fate of characters like Jack Lennon and his daughter Ellen over a ten-year period.
There is a lengthy foreword by the renowned Irish author John Connolly, recalling how he reluctantly accepted a manuscript from a young unpublished author, only to realize he’d discovered a rare new talent. He told a colleague that he’d just read the best post-Troubles Irish novel ever written, perhaps even the finest Irish novel yet written.
Every novel since THE GHOSTS OF BELFAST has affirmed that talent. He won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and his novels have been shortlisted for several prestigious awards. He is a master of short stories, a form in which he excels. Highly recommended.
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