Michael Connelly Comes to Belfast

No Alibis presents a reading from best-selling crime writer

One of the world's leading crime fiction novelists, Michael Connelly, will be giving an exclusive reading of his latest novel, The Scarecrow, in Belfast next month.

The recipient of numerous awards, including the Edgar, the Anthony and the Macavity, Connelly is one of the most important international crime writers – so who better to organise his visit than Belfast’s number one crime fiction bookstore, No Alibis.

‘Michael Connelly is one of the few crime writers today who manages to capture the many different elements of the genre – everything from the hard-boiled police investigation novel to the suspenseful thriller to the psychological thriller,’ explains No Alibis owner, David Torrans.

‘He manages to capture all the disparate characteristics of the genre and put them together into a finely crafted product at the end of it all.’

Connelly is the author of more than 10 books, including those in the best-selling Harry Bosch series. His other books include The Lincoln Lawyer, his first legal thriller, and the recently published Crime Beat: A Decade of Covering Cops and Killers.

The author honed his writing – and investigative – skills during a stint as a crime reporter for, amongst others, the Los Angeles Times. Connelly reported on the infamous Florida cocaine wars of the 1980s, his features work earning him a Pulitzer Prize nomination.

LA was also the home of his writing hero Raymond Chandler, and after three years on the crime beat Connelly began writing his first novel to feature LAPD Detective Hieronymus Bosch. The novel, The Black Echo, based in part on a true crime that had occurred in Los Angeles, was published in 1992 and won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel by the Mystery Writers of America.

Since then Connelly’s career has gone from strength to strength. During his special one-off reading in the Waterfront in Belfast on May 15 he will be reading from The Scarecrow followed by a Q&A session.

Connelly’s appearance is a major coup for No Alibis and reflects the hard work put in by the bookstore in recent years. ‘We are over the moon to have him coming here. Absolutely over the moon. He’s one of those writers I’ve been trying to convince publishers to bring over here for the last ten years and finally it’s come to pass,’ says Torrans.

With Northern Irish crime writers like Colin Bateman and Jason Johnson making waves on the international scene, Torrans believes that Northern Ireland can more than punch above its weight when it comes to attracting bestselling foreign authors.

‘We’ve managed to increase the profile of the authors who come here to read in No Alibis. As more major authors come to the shops, publishers like Orion (the leading crime publishers in the UK) know that we can organise a big crowd.’

Tickets for the event are available from No Alibis bookstore (Tel: 028 9031 9601) as well as directly from the Waterfront box office.

Peter Geoghegan