I wasn't able to make it to this year's Festival of Books, which is ongoing throughout the weekend and, if you're in the area, very well worth your time. But last night the Book Prizes were handed out, and while Dave Eggers was the big winner - taking the inaugural Innovator's Award and scooping up the non-fiction prize for ZEITOUN - Stuart Neville won the Mystery/Thriller category for his debut novel, THE GHOSTS OF BELFAST.
Oline Cogdill, Dick Adler and I judged this category, and here was our citation: "Stuart Neville's stunning debut novel delivers an inspired, gritty view of violence’s aftermath and the toll it takes on each person involved – especially on one haunted, redemption-seeking ex-IRA hitman. Along the way, Neville condenses the fear and hate that has troubled Northern Ireland, still under the thumb of decades of domestic terrorism, for decades."
As it was last year, the category was a pleasure to judge. There were spirited debates, what with the quality of the shortlist we came up with, and some tough calls, but we're pleased with the choice of winner - and expect Neville to go very, very far in his career.
More Neville links:
- Oline Cogdill's review in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel
- My "Dark Passages column in the Los Angeles Times
- Marilyn Stasio's review in the NYTBR
- Neville on the Late Show with Craig Ferguson
- Book Notes feature at Largehearted Boy