Ten books isn’t a bad run. Ten books might be considered a goodly series, by some, but I’ve just finished Brady’s tenth (The Coast Road), and it certainly doesn’t read like Matt Minogue’s swan song.
Though there’s been re-issues and Amazon kindle editions as recent as 2015, I believe The Coast Road was first published in 2010. That’s agess ago!
Writing this good, a series this good, shouldn’t have to wait for a new publisher. In my opinion, John Brady’s Matt Minogue series rivals those by Ken Bruen or Adrian McKinty; Brady’s books should be clamoured over by crime-fiction fans and publishers alike, especially when they garner reviews like this one in the Canadian Literature Quarterly ( #179 – winter 2003)
“For hard-boiled detective fiction, definitely see A Carra King, by John Brady. Brady’s hefty novel is the sixth in his series starring Matt Minogue, a detective with the Dublin police force. Brady’s determinedly authentic Dublin-speak takes some getting used to, as does his terse, laconic style, but the novel is definitely worth the effort. A Carra King is intelligent, sophisticated in its plotting and prose, intensely atmospheric and detailed, and packed with characters whose individuality and humanity are richly satisfying. If a novel is a work of fiction which brings a world to life, A Carra King definitely deserves to be considered a novel first and “detective fiction” second.”
(Back in 2007, Declan Burke had a quibble over that last line… the ‘reverse snobbery’ implied… )
…but my quibble is more basic: why no more Matt Minogue? Why no more books by John Brady?
International Noir Fiction (July 15, 2010) raised a similar question in a review of Brady’s The Going Rate, referring to it as ‘not so much a forgotten book as an overlooked one’, and lamenting the difficulty in finding Brady’s books.
…[Brady] is one of the unsung pioneers of the high level of crime fiction in and about Ireland. His skill in indirect storytelling and engaging dialogue (as well as drawing his characters and the country into a wider social context) has continued to grow since his first novel [A Stone of the Heart] appeared in 1988…
And from the Internationa Noir Blog:
‘Brady’s ear for spoken, Irish-inflected English is astonishing, even achieving distinct regional accents within his eccentric pacing, spelling, and diction. Though all the novels are very good in terms of the detective/noir atmosphere and plot, it is the language that distinguishes them as exceptional, along with the distinct characters who speak that language.’
Even a New York Times reviewer chimed in:
Matt Minogue, the magnetic centre of this superb series… and Brady’s tone of battered lyricism are the music which keep drawing us back to this haunting series.
I could go on, but you get it: I’m dismayed and seriously puzzled as to why John Brady seems to have ‘fallen off the map’… Ten books in the series, the last in 2010, then nothing?
My advice is to go read any or all of Brady’s Matt Minogue series… if you can find them:
Stone of the Heart
Kaddish in Dublin
The Good Life
A Carra King
The Going Rate
The Coast Road
As usual, I’ll remind you that you can sample the first chapter or two of each at Amazon.com
One more review snippet… last one, I promise.
From Mike Herron of Shots Magazine Online
…Minogue provides a centre of gravity, a character with series weight behind him; he’s out of the humane, book-learning school of detectives, but this doesn’t shield him from the violent consequences of different plot-lines colliding in an altogether satisfactory way. The writing here is first rate; a little elliptical at times, perhaps, forcing the reader to do some of the work, but that’s how it should be. And the dialogue sparkles. “Here, look,” a subordinate says when Minogue appears on TV. “You’re baldier than I thought you were, er, boss.” That “er” is brilliantly placed. [the publishers] bravely refrain from comparing John Brady to Ian Rankin on the cover, but that’s the league Brady’s playing in: this is classy stuff-deeply Irish without touting for tourists-and could get to be habit-forming.