Thursday, July 04, 2013

Desmond Doherty's Valberg: A sort-of Swede in Northern Ireland

I haven't seen a finished copy of Derry's own Desmond J. Doherty's novel Valberg yet, and even if I had, professional ethics would prevent me from reviewing it. (I did a bit of editing on the book.)

I can tell you, however, that
  • The author has an interesting professional background.
  • The book comes to you from Guildhall Press, who also bring you the excellent Garbhan Downey.
  • The grim story will afford readers glimpses of Derry's history, recent and not so recent, that might make them want to explore that history.
  • The city makes a fine background for a serial-killer story.
  • The novel's plunging of a grim detective of Scandinavian descent into the roiling passions of Derry's history is one of the more surprising and thought-provoking bits of authorial strategy I can remember in crime fiction. I like the idea of a sort-of Swede in Ireland.
  • The protagonist's choice of music to listen to when he goes into a tailspin works for me. My antipathy for his favorite musical group — at least in the manuscript — makes the protagonist seem even more alienated than he might otherwise have. And if you like the group, so much the better. Get down with Valberg.
© Peter Rozovsky 2013

Labels: , , , , ,

8 Comments:

Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Looking forward to this one. Would have been nice to have slipped him into Belfast Noir.

Maybe BN2 or Ulster Noir?

July 05, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Make Ulster Noir a thought-provoking corrective by including a map of the nine counties on the cover.

Or maybe Derry Noir.

July 05, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

Londonderry Noir.

July 05, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

A cover labelled (London)derry Noir would have a certain grimly humorous aptness. Depicting the London crossed out, as I saw on road signs outside Derry, might be too polemical for an American audience.

July 05, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Though Londonderry Noir might sell a few copies in New Hampshire.

July 05, 2013  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

There is a Derry NH too. Two miles from Londonderry NH. No guesses where the immigrants came from.

Eoin MacNamee told me a good Derry/Londoderry story once. Too long to go into here but I'll tell you it at Bouchercon in Long Beach if I go.

July 06, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Adrian, I mentioned either on your site or here that on childhood family vacations to the beach in Maine, I would see Derry and Londonderry on road signs and wonder where was all the shooting that I heard about on the news.

OK, I'll see you in Long Beach, then.

July 06, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

And Garbhan Downey told me a Derry/Londonderry story that I can tell you in Long Beach.

July 06, 2013  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home