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Irish Crime Fiction | Irish Non-Fiction | Irish Fiction | Irish Books
1. Cocaine cowboys
by Nicola Tallant
COCAINE COWBOYS tells the story of Ireland's love affair with cocaine since it first washed ashore on Cork's rugged coast to the billion-euro trade it has become. From Ireland's first cocaine lord and his attempts to establish a direct route from Miami to Dublin to the modern-day violence that led to the brutal dismemberment of teenager Keane Mulready Woods, the book will follow the stories and the increasing chaos that has engulfed those desperate for a slice of this modern day gold rush. Along the way it details how cocaine has woven bonds between high society and the underworld, tracing the deal that killed the model Katy French and detailing how the Kinahan Cartel and Ireland's one time richest and most influential family joined forces to wash dirty money. COCAINE COWBOYS is the definitive tale of the rise of Colombia's most famous export to become the drug of a nation.
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2. The kidnapping
by Tommy Conlon
'Riveting . . . a triumph . . . intertwining personal narratives with wider themes of remembrance, loss, courage and blame' Gary Murphy, Irish Examiner November 1983. Early morning in suburban south Dublin. Businessman Don Tidey is snatched from his car and the IRA has its latest kidnap victim. Weeks later he is tracked down to an isolated Leitrim wood, but in saving Tidey's life a recruit garda and a soldier lose theirs. The Kidnapping is a brilliantly reported account of this landmark event by two accomplished journalists and Leitrim natives. Delving deep, they provide a chilling account of the lead-up to Tidey's abduction, the massive manhunt that followed, his bloody rescue, the botched attempts to capture his abductors and the devastating fall-out - personal and national - that followed. At the heart of The Kidnapping revealing interviews with Don Tidey - speaking about his experience in detail for the first time - and with the families of Garda Gary Sheehan and Private Patrick Kelly, provide a startling and moving testimony of the lasting impact of these traumatic events. It is both a gripping read and one that raises profound questions for today's Ireland. 'Vividly written, deeply insightful, extremely timely' Business Post 'A fascinating read . . . beyond that, it's an important document' Mick Clifford, The Mick Clifford Podcast 'A harrowing story . . . [but] an enjoyable book' Irish Mail on Sunday 'An important reminder of our imperfect, contentious past' Tommy Gorman, Irish Times 'Vivid . . . [shows] a deep understanding . . . insightful and emotional' Sunday Independent 'A major page-turner . . . fascinating' Nicola Tallant, Crime World podcast
3. The Gilligan Tapes
by Jason O'Toole
‘I DON’T BELIEVE IN GOD, BUT I KNOW I’M GOING TO HELL.’
In this remarkable book – the first of its kind – journalist Jason O’Toole distils hours of sensational face-to-face, no-holds-barred interviews with the feared criminal John Gilligan into a fast-paced and jaw-dropping account of the Irish gangland scene.
Starting out as a petty thief in Dublin, Gilligan rapidly rose to the status of crime lord, mixing with serious criminals such as Martin ‘The General’ Cahill, Christy ‘The Dapper Don’ Kinahan, Patrick ‘Dutchy’ Holland and John ‘The Coach’ Traynor. He was deeply involved with money laundering, miraculously survived an assassination attempt, and it is said he has millions stashed away at a secret location. O’Toole demands answers to all the hard questions; some of Gilligan’s responses will make readers shiver.Gilligan knew that laying all his cards on the table could mean signing his own death warrant. But he has done it here. And with a cast of all the country’s deadliest underworld figures, this exposé is nothing short of explosive.
by Paul Williams
John Gilligan is one of the most notorious and hated criminal figures in Irish history. His name is indelibly etched in the national psyche a quarter of a century after he crossed the line to organise the execution of the fearless, high-profile journalist Veronica Guerin. Gilligan's motive for the assassination was, in the words of the prosecution at a subsequent murder trial, 'the necessity of having to protect an evil empire'. At the time Gilligan was one of the most powerful and feared godfathers in the country who controlled a colossal drugs empire and the underworld's most dangerous mob. Gilligan tells the story of a young man's rise through the ranks of gangland following his journey from petty thief to public enemy number one. He was part of the generation of young criminals - like the General, the Cahills, the Hutches - who ushered in the phenomenon of organised crime in Ireland and became household names in the process. This close-up look at a criminal mastermind contains new details including a graphic account of the planning of the Guerin murder, drawn from a sealed statement which was never used, and the prison time and criminal activity which have occupied Gilligan since, up to his recent arrest in Spain on drug trafficking charges.
5. Bad Bridget
by Elaine Farrell
The Number 1 Bestseller 'A captivating account of lives previously ignored' Sunday Independent Ireland in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was not a good place to be a woman. Among the wave of emigrants from Ireland to North America were many, many young women who travelled on their own, hoping for a better life. Some lived lives of quiet industry and piety. Others quickly found themselves in trouble - bad trouble, and on an astonishing scale. Elaine Farrell and Leanne McCormick, creators of the celebrated 'Bad Bridget' podcast, have unearthed a world in which Irish women actually outnumbered Irish men in prison, in which you could get locked up for 'stubbornness', and in which a serial killer called Lizzie Halliday was described by the New York Times as 'the worst woman on earth'. They reveal the social forces that bred this mayhem and dysfunction, through stories that are brilliantly strange, sometimes funny, and often moving. From sex workers and thieves to kidnappers and killers, these Bridgets are young women who have gone from the frying pan of their impoverished homeland to the fire of vast North American cities. Bad Bridget is a masterpiece of social history and true crime, showing us a fascinating and previously unexplored world. ______ 'An important, impeccably researched though eminently readable book that charts new territory . . . this could yet be the book of 2023' Irish Examiner 'I just loved it!' Ryan Tubridy 'Fascinating' Irish Times
6. The Killing Of Father Niall Molloy
by Maresa Fagan
Separating fact from fiction, this book re-examines the death of a priest in 1985. The events of that night fuelled speculation and allegations of a cover-up by the State and Church. His death still remains unsolved. TV producer Sharon Lawless, and journalist Maresa Fagan, delve further into the case to test evidence and follow the money trail.
7. The Murderer and the Taoiseach TPB
by Harry McGee
A Murderer. A Leader. The Scandal of an Era.'Reads like a thriller but is sadly all too true ... a brilliant account of shockingcrimes and the dramatic political crisis they caused' David McCullaghThe summer of 1982 was long-seared into the Irish public imagination for more than justits record high temperatures. That July, an aristocrat named Malcolm Macarthur went on abrutal killing spree, taking the lives of two innocent young people - Bridie Gargan andDónal Dunne - in a doomed plan to remedy his financial woes.A massive manhunt was launched and, in a sensational turn of events, Macarthur wascaptured in the home of the State's top law officer, Attorney General Patrick Connolly.The scandal attracted worldwide headlines and resulted in untold damage to TaoiseachCharles Haughey. The words he used to describe the dark events - grotesque,unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented - coined the era-defining phrase GUBU.In The Murderer and the Taoiseach, award-winning political journalist and GUBU podcast maker Harry McGee retraces the happenings of that long hot summer and beyond. Fromthe cat-and-mouse game to track down an unpredictable killer to Macarthur'sextraordinary capture, he considers both the life and psyche of a murderer, and that ofthe leading political figure of the time - a man similarly driven by greed, status and asense of himself as existing above the law.Including previously unknown aspects of the trial and interaction with Malcolm Macarthurhimself, The Murderer and the Taoiseach is a compulsive journey through tragedy andscandal.'Brisk, illuminating, crackling with detail' Tony Connelly'An incredible and compelling story' Matt Cooper
8. The hitmen
by Stephen Breen
The No 1 Bestseller! 'A triumph' Nicola Tallant, Sunday World Crime World podcast 'An incredible catalogue of mayhem ... amazing' Pat Kenny, Newstalk 'Riveting' Irish Times Meet the Wilsons - the deadliest family in crime Brothers Eric, Keith and John Wilson, their cousin Alan, and nephew Luke shared a trade - assassination. Working for Ireland's criminal gangs they brought bloodshed and chaos to the streets. The Wilsons were not choosy about their targets. Hutches, Real IRA chiefs or random opponents from pub rows - they were all the same to them. Nor were they picky about motives - as long as the price was right, they asked no questions. The Hitmen is the shocking story of how a family cornered the market in intimidation and vengeance. It details the terrible cost in human suffering, particularly the death of an innocent teenage girl, Mariaora Rostas, when she randomly crossed their path. And it reveals how, one by one, each of the Wilsons was put out of business. The Hitmen draws on exclusive access to wire taps, case files and interviews with sources close to the gang who have never spoken before. No 1 bestselling authors Stephen Breen and Owen Conlon have written an extraordinary account of a family business like no other.
9. The cartel
The No.1 Bestseller The definitive account of the rise of the Kinahan gang and the deadly feud that shocked a nation and brought the gang to the edge of destruction. __________ February 2016. A daring gun attack in the Regency Hotel brings Dubliner Christy Kinahan and his international criminal cartel to a horrified public's attention. Kinahan's son Daniel, the target of the attack, escapes. A trusted henchman dies at the scene. And the deadly rivalry between the Kinahans and the family and associates of the veteran Dublin gangster Gerry Hutch becomes all-out war. It results in a never-before-seen level of international cooperation - including Irish, UK and US police forces - to topple the Kinahan gang. The Cartel offers a unique behind-the-scenes account of how the Kinahan organised crime organisation got so big, and why a local feud sowed the seeds for the gang's destruction. __________ 'It's incisive, it's intriguing, it's fascinating' Ryan Tubridy 'Fascinating!' Keith Ward, FM104
10. Murder Inc
Murder Inc. is the latest blockbuster by Ireland's most respected crime writer and journalist, Paul Williams. Murder Inc. is the definitive account of how organized crime exploded in Limerick from the 1990s and in the noughties. It describes the depravity and decadence of the gangs, their deadly rivaliries, and their reigns of terror over the community in which they lived. Finally, Williams traces the faultlines that eventually led to the implosion of the gangs and their defeat. Drawing on his vast inside knowledge of the criminal underworld, an unparalleled range of contacts and eye witness interviews, Paul Williams provides a chilling insight into the mobsters and events that corroded entire neighbourhoods and devastated countless lives.
11. The making of a detective
by Pat Marry
When he retired in 2018 Pat Marry had been instrumental in solving dozens of serious crimes, including many murders. But as a newly qualified garda in 1985, Marry had no idea how to become a detective. He soon realised he would have to learn on the job - put himself forward and show that he had what it took. Taking initiative, following up hunches (even far-fetched ones), obsessing about details, trying new investigative techniques, thinking laterally - these were essential. In addition, you had to be a bit of a psychologist. The Making of a Detective follows Pat Marry's path from rookie to Detective Inspector through the stories of key cases he worked on and investigations he led. It includes high profile cases like Rachel Calally's murder by her husband Joe O'Reilly. But there are also stories that have faded from public memory, such as the 1995 murder of Marilyn Rynn, which involved the first use of DNA evidence to solve a crime in Ireland. Or the 2001 murder of Mary Gough, a case solved mainly by scrutinizing her husband's internet use - then a new investigative tool. The Making of a Detective is a unique and gripping insight into the work of a dedicated garda operating at the very top of his profession. 'An absolutely fascinating book ... Really interesting stories and insights' Sean O'Rourke, RTÉ Radio 1 'An absolute must-read . . . as page turning as a crime novel' Irish Examiner
12. Tales from the fraud squad
by Willie McGee
Tales from the Fraud Squad takes the reader on a journey from Willie McGee's childhood in Mayo to the mean streets of Dublin as a fresh-faced officer in the late seventies, before rising through the ranks to become Head of the Garda Fraud Squad. McGee recounts extraordinary stories of elaborate forgeries, outrageous insurance scams and intricate crimes - as well as explaining the ingenious manner in which officers amassed evidence and brought perpetrators to court. The former Superintendent writes fluidly and incisively, and tells his story with an open-hearted charm and warmth. With over 30 years on the Force, McGee encountered all manner of crime, serious, cynical and, occasionally almost comedic. McGee was at the centre of tens of cases, from the nationally perilous case of the State being threatened with the release of Foot and Mouth, to the Nigerian con-man who ingested a $56 million dollar bank draft to destroy evidence, to the fraudster who actually forged Garda pay checks - and there was even one perpetrator who went as far as impersonating Willie to gain free entry and refreshments at the Galway Races! Whether dealing with a common criminal or former Taoiseach Charles Haughey under the spotlight of a tribunal, McGee was unwavering in his quest for the truth. His work won national and international recognition, regularly working with the US Secret Service and other American federal agencies. After leaving the police force, he went on to lead the first specific fraud investigative unit for a national insurance company. As McGee succinctly puts it, 'money is never free and those who were caught paid a severe price for thinking that it was'. Equally well known for his heroics on the football field, Mayoman Willie 'Four Goal' McGee introduces a host of colourful characters - the con artists and tricksters he encountered in the line of duty - and paints a vivid picture of the murky underworld of Ireland in the 1980s and '90's. The book's closing chapters also touch on the author's near fatal stroke, remarkable recovery and his subsequent advocacy for the Irish Heart Foundation - who will benefit from the book's sales.
13. The murder of Mr Moonlight
by Catherine Fegan
The No.1 Bestseller! 'I was a very vulnerable young woman with three small children. I was lost ... Pat Quirke tried to come in and control everything' Bobby Ryan's disappearance in rural Tipperary in June 2011 mystified all who knew him. The truck-driver and part-time DJ (known as Mr Moonlight) was an easy-going fellow with no enemies. Or so everyone thought. When Ryan's body was found 22 months later on the farm of Mary Lowry, the wealthy young widow he had been seeing, it was clear that he had met a violent end. And the most likely person to have brought about that end? Pat Quirke, the man who had 'discovered' the body - Mary Lowry's brother-in-law, financial advisor, tenant and one-time lover. Following the longest running murder trial in Irish criminal history Quirke was convicted of murder in May 2019. Getting to that day had taken years of exhaustive work by gardaì. The Murder of Mr Moonlight is the definitive account of their investigation as well as the compelling story of how an innocent man paid the price for another man's obsessions. Catherine Fegan, Irish Journalist of the Year (2017), and Chief Correspondent at the Irish Daily Mail , covered every day of Quirke's trial. Over many months she also conducted interviews in Tipperary and further afield. She has written an extraordinary insightful and meticulous account of the case that gripped the nation. '[An] excellent book that shows all the colours of the story that intrigued the nation' Irish Daily Mail 'Well-researched and highly readable ... Fegan proves her journalistic mettle, delivering forensic detail in accessible language ... Anyone who followed the trial will not be disappointed by Fegan's book' Sunday Business Post ' Absolutely compulsive reading (as I know because my wife wouldn't let me anywhere near it - but I did get it in the end!) ... a page-turner' Eamon Dunphy, The Stand
14. The Shankill butchers
by Martin Dillon
The bestselling investigation of one of Northern Ireland's most brutal and infamous murder cases 'Makes for gripping but altogether terrifying reading' Washington Times 'Dillon is recommended reading for anyone wishing to understand the complexities of British-Irish politics. He stands alone as one of the most creative writers of our time' Irish Times ________________________________ 'This was the ultimate way to kill a man.' In the 1970s, in some of the most violent days of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, a group of Protestant paramilitaries embarked on a spree of indiscriminate murder in the Shankill area of Belfast, leaving thirty Catholics dead. Their leader was Lenny Murphy: a fanatical Unionist whose childhood was marked by sectarian violence, Murphy swore revenge on all Catholics, and with his gang wreaked havoc onto an already fractured city. Not for the squeamish, The Shankill Butchers is a horrifying and detailed account of one of the most brutal series of murders in the history of Northern Ireland - a phenomenon whose real nature has been obscured by the troubled and violent context from which it sprang.
15. Four killings
by Myles Dungan
The story of a single family during the Irish Revolution, Four Killings is a book about political murder, and the powerful hunger for land and the savagery it can unleash. 'A vivid and chilling narrative... Confronts uncomfortable questions that still need answering' Roy Foster 'Marries acute storytelling skills with scholarship, fortified throughout by the author's wry sense of humour' Michael Heney 'Narrative history, told through a unique prism' Irish Sunday Independent 'Dungan knows his history; he also knows how to tell a story... A gem of a book' RTÉ Culture 'Sober and intelligent... Dungan does a fine job of showing that little people can make history too' Business Post Myles Dungan's family was involved in four violent deaths between 1915 and 1922. Jack Clinton, an immigrant small farmer from County Meath, was murdered in the remote and lawless Arizona territory by a powerful rancher's hired assassin; three more died in Ireland, and each death is compellingly reconstructed in this extraordinary book. What unites these deaths is the violence that engulfed Ireland during the war of independence, but also the passions unleashed by arguments over the ownership of the soil. In focusing on one family, Four Killings offers an original perspective on this still controversial period: a prism through which the moral and personal costs of violence, and the elemental conflict over land, come alive in surprising ways.
16. Foster's book of Irish murder
by Allen Foster
Allen Foster returns with the gruesome tales of some of Ireland's most infamous and lesser-known murders in history - a murder miscellany, you might say. From the murder of a teacher in his schoolyard and an ambush by dancing masked men, to the Sherlock Holmes-like investigation into the death of WWII veteran James McParland, and many more! Uncover the details behind strange cases, such as how an afternoon slice of cake led to James Finnegan's demise, how one man's dream led to a mysterious death being solved, and how a woman's corpse seemingly fell from the sky in Clare. Foster's Book of Irish Murder is full of victims and monsters, heroic detectives and false leads, killers escaping justice and mysterious unsolved cases.
17. When the hangman came to Galway
by Dean Ruxton
The paths of a secret paramour, a jilted lover and a reluctant hangman cross in one fateful winter week in Galway, 1885 James Berry was the notorious hangman who ended the lives of over 100 criminals in Victorian Britain and Ireland. Tortured by nightmares as he tried to come to terms with the toll his gruesome work took on him, he played a central role in some of the crimes of the century, including the hanging of William Bury, the man suspected of being Jack the Ripper. The Hangman Who Came to Galway focuses on a winter week in Irish history where Berry was tasked with bringing to a conclusion the case of two notorious murders in Galway, keeping readers transfixed as they journey with this fascinating character through nineteenth-century Ireland in all its gruesome glory.