Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Price of Justice by Alan Brenham

Self-publishing is really taking off now. The publicity side is unfortunately a really big part of today's publishing market and without a big publisher behind you it is hard to get your voice heard. But books do break through using Amazon, LinkedIn, Facebook and other web and social sites and if you have the commitment and self-determination to plug away you might just get your name out there.

One book that has recently managed to land on my doorstep came via LinkedIn from an American author, Alan Brenham called Price of Justice.

The summary reads "Set in Austin, Texas, secret agendas, deception, revenge and murder abound when a high profile murder investigation begins to spin out of control. For detective Jason Scarsdale and crime analyst Dani Mueller, the consequences of failure are unimaginable. When his beloved daughter, Shannon, is abducted by the killer and Mueller is kidnapped, Scarsdale faces the ethical dilemma of his career and his life, and is forced to rethink the value of playing by the rules."

Brenham himself served as a detective and then a criminal defense attorney for over twenty years. As with other authors who have come to writing with similar backgrounds, he brings the credibility of language and detail with him, drawing the plot from actual cases worked on.

Each chapter is preceeded by a quote to set the theme, the first being, "There's no way out of the desert except through it", preparing the reader for his journey through the story. And it is a great story. Crime thrillers are not usually my favourite genre, and anything related to child-related crime is a big no no. But this novel was gripping from the word go. Two voices, that of the detective Jason Scarsdale and of the crime analyst Dani Mueller, alternately carry us along the story, revealing and discovering interconnecting pieces of information about past and current crimes. The plot is good and the characters are well rounded and believable. The dialogue between Dani and her parents when she visits them in Germany being all in German on her parents part is a little annoying, but Brenham deals with it satisfactorily. Also, maybe the disguise used by the CEO ring leader (a V for vendetta mask and matador hat) is a tad unbelievable but does not distract from the pacy plot. It is a thoroughly enjoyable read and just as good as many of the crime novels that make it onto the best seller lists.

Price of Justice was published in October 2012 and Alan Brenham has a second book due out this year.
The book can be purchased from and the author can be contacted at

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hilary Mantel wins Costa Book Award

Hilary Mantel has become the first author to win the Booker and the Costa in the same year for her novel Bring Up the Bodies.

The shortlist, made up of the winners in five separate categories, announced on the 2nd January, were;
-First Novel Prize: The Innocents by Francesca Segal
-Children's Book Award: Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
-Biography Award: Dotter of her Father's Eyes by Mary and Bryan Talbot
-Poetry Award: The Overhaul by Kathleen Jamie

Congratulations to all the five finalists.

The shortlists in the novel, biography and poetry categories were:

Costa Novel Award
-Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
-Life! Death! Prizes! by Stephen May
-The Heart Broke In by James Meek
-Days of the Bagnold Summer by Joff Winterhart

First Novel Award
-The Innocents by Francesca Segal
-The Notable Brain of Maximilian Ponder by  J. W. Ironmonger
-Snake Ropes by Jess Richards
-The Bellweather Revivals by Benjamin Wood

Biography Award
-Dotter of her Father's Eyes by Mary M. Talbot and Bryan Talbot
-Patrick Leigh-Fermor: An Adventure by Artemis Cooper
-The Crocodile by the Door by Selina Guinness
-Serving Victoria: Life in the Royal Household by Kate Hubbard

Poetry Award
-The Overhaul by Kathleen Jamie
-Bee Journal by Sean Borodale
-The World's Two Smallest Humans by Julia Copus
-People Who Like Meatballs by Selima Hill

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Art in Dublin Week 27th Jan-3rd February 2013

  • Slowly getting back into Saturday gallery visits in town, and after the Christmas/new year lull there are lots to catch up on.
  • Royal Hibernian Academy Mon-Tues 11am-5pm, Wed- Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 2-5pm 
  • Basil Blackshaw     Gerhard Richter
  •    Basil Blackshaw: Blackshaw at 80                      Richter and Polke: works on paper from the Kunstmuseen Krefeld 
  • Zineb Sidera                    Justin Larken
  •  Becoming Independent: Zineb Sidera and Amina Menia       Justin Larkin: mixed-media works
  • Vivienne Roche RHA        Anita Groener
  • Spirit and Light: Vivienne Roche                           State: Anita Groener (Until Apr 28). 
Detouched Project Arts Centre, Temple Bar Mon-Sat 11am-8pm Until Mar 30
Detouched, Visual Arts Exhibition at Project Arts Centre

  • Guggi Kerlin Gallery, Anne's Lane, Sth Anne St Mon- Fri 10am-5.45pm, Sat 11am- 4.30pm Until Feb 23 
  • Full sized image    Full sized image
  • Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane, Parnell Sq Nth Tues-Thurs 10am-6pm, Fri-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-5pm 01-

  • In the world I live Lawrence Carroll(Until Feb 10).
  •  Into the Light: Marking 60 years of the Arts Council Collection (Until Feb 24). 
  • Janus Peppercanister Gallery, 3 Herbert St Tues-Fri 10am- 5.30pm, Sat 10am-1pm Until Feb 16 
  • Nevill Johnson Jorgensen Fine Art, The Hibernian Way Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Thurs 10am-7pm
  • Nevill Johnson. Click here to return to list
  • The Project Restless Pencil: Marking the centenary of the birth of architect Noel Moffett 1912-1994 (Until Mar 1). Irish Architectural Archive, 45 Merrion Sq Tues-Fri 10am-5pm 
  • Irish Architectural Archive
  • Raum Elaine Byrne at Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Chancery Lane D8 Tues-Fri 10.30am-5.30pm, Sat 11am-5pm Until Feb 9
    'That was her bed, she'd have no other'_40x38_2012_sml
  • Jessica Sturgess Oliver Sears Gallery, 29 Molesworth St Until Feb 28 
  • To Start with, Let's Remove the Colour Temple Bar Gallery Tues-Sat 11am-6pm Until Feb 2 
  • Ryan McClelland,