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Featuring brand-new stories by: Glenn Patterson, Eoin McNamee, Garbhan Downey, Lee Child, Alex Barclay, Brian McGilloway, Ian McDonald, Arlene Hunt, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Claire McGowan, Steve Cavanagh, Lucy Caldwell, Sam Millar, and Gerard Brennan.
From the introduction by Adrian McKinty & Stuart Neville: "Few European cities have had as disturbed and violent a history as Belfast over the last half-century. For much of that time the Troubles (1968–1998) dominated life in Ireland's second-biggest population centre, and during the darkest days of the conflict - in the 1970s and 1980s - riots, bombings, and indiscriminate shootings were tragically commonplace. The British army patrolled the streets in armoured vehicles and civilians were searched for guns and explosives before they were allowed entry into the shopping district of the city centre... Belfast is still a city divided... You can see Belfast's bloodstains up close and personal. This is the city that gave the world its worst ever maritime disaster, and turned it into a tourist attraction; similarly, we are perversely proud of our thousands of murders, our wounds constantly on display. You want noir? How about a painting the size of a house, a portrait of a man known to have murdered at least a dozen human beings in cold blood? Or a similar house-sized gable painting of a zombie marching across a post-apocalyptic wasteland with an AK-47 over the legend UVF: Prepared for Peace - Ready for War. As Lee Child has said, Belfast is still 'the most noir place on earth.'"
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By carmen on 04-09-15
Not what I expected
I thought it was going to be all about the troubles( not the place) but actually there are different stories mostly crime but there are modern stories about Belfast. I really liked the one by Lee Childs that put an American spin on it. I also enjoyed the one by Garvin Downey How to Kill a Rat. It was about a journalist and it showed his process of uncovering stories. And a twist ending. Plus half of the stories are narrated by Gerard Doyle who could read the phone book while the listener goes through a whole range of emotions.
35 of 36 people found this review helpful
By R. Campbell on 06-14-15
The Most Noir City in The World
I love noir films - dark, atmospheric. I was excited to read this one, not sure why Belfast is particularly noir but willing to find out. The first stories in this series of short stories set the scene. Before, during and after "the troubles" in the 80s, Belfast has been a city of ghosts. In struggles against the English, between Catholic and Protestant, Belfast is full of pubs, allies and squares where this one was martyred and those died for no reason or she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Stories are of children whose bombs went off early and simple folks caught in the cross fire. Dark, cold for much of the year and haunted by needless deaths, the editors begin by asserting that Belfast is "The Most Noir City in the World".
As the book progresses, the hard boiled crime dramas that define noir make their appearance. McKinty is rather clever in his arrangement of stories and though it starts slowly, it makes sense in the end.
I'd also like to mention that this was a real education for me. As bad as I was aware Belfast was in the 80s, the stories provide a window into the ongoing struggles of the good people of North Ireland. These stories are raw, direct, quintessentially Irish and gripping. Again, the dark shadows of the genre extent as the stories progress but all are well crafted, entertaining and educational in so far as they communicate the pain of the Irish experience and the legacy of the struggles of the 80s.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful