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>> New Irish Crime Book launched Spring 2006

Read the opening pages
Buy the book from Amazon
Read about campus crime and a detective story by the author's mother
Readers' Notes
Check out the "official website" of King's College Dublin....

>> >> >>
... and some reviews & reader reactions:

"Darkly compelling" -- Image Magazine, "Books to Watch", April 2006

"A solid piece of work" -- Vincent Banville, Irish Times, 25 March 2006

"Hugely enjoyable [...] His wicked pen pictures of ambitious academics are beautifully drawn" -- Myles McWeeney, Irish Independent, 15 April 2006

"A sophisticated entertainment" -- Susanna Yager, Sunday Telegraph, 21 January 2007: "Crime novels set in universities present splendid opportunities for internal feuds and external pressures and Millar's dry wit and elegant style make his complex story of academic and sexual intrigue a sophisticated entertainment."

"A satisfying streak of desperation" -- Dr Brendan Kelly, Sunday Business Post, 9 April 2006: "Joyce is a thoroughly modern anti-hero [...] his investigation of King's College turns into a journey through a twisted, tangled world that would not be out of place in an 18th century gothic novel or some of the darker passages of Dante. [...] The Grounds is not a novel for the faint-hearted. As a crime novel, however, it has all the ingredients that make for a satisfying read [...] The novel's greatest strength lies in Millar's evocations of the fetid atmosphere of King's College."

"A definite ring of authenticity" -- Emigrant Online, Book of the Week:
"The scene is set in the mythical King's College Dublin, located in the grounds of Phoenix Park, and one of the delights of the narrative is the introduction of a series of side-swipes at the world of Irish academia. [...] This is a well-written and captivating book on a number of levels, not least the commentary on contemporary Irish life, and the plot is convoluted enough to satisfy the most avid fan of crime novels." [Emigrant Online, 19 March 2006]

"A testament to the growing strength of crime-writing in Ireland" -- Paula Murphy, Irish Book Review, Spring 2006: "Kaleidoscopic narration [...] mirrors one of the central themes of the book: lack of authenticity; and Millar makes good use of this trope to cuttingly, and often hilariously, satirise the world of academia. [...] A novel that bears witness to the power of crime fiction for social criticism. It is sharply observed, moving adeptly between the self-reflection of the protagonist and his entertaining commentaries on the academic milieu in which he becomes embroiled."

"Beautifully written" -- BBC Northern Ireland, The Book Programme, 3 June 2006: "I enjoyed this enormously. The great strength of the book is the quality of the writing. It is littered with lovely asides and lovely observations. [...] Also I liked it because it works at so many different levels. [...] This is like David Lodge and P.D. James combining forces to create an Irish Columbo [...] I liked Séamus Joyce. He's got depth, he's got a hinterland, he's a fantastic character."

"Well painted in Dublin greys" -- Dave Duggan, Verbal Magazine 02, 27 February 2007: "Millar's work has been compared to that of Michael Dibdin, who writes the Aurelio Zen books set in Italy. Something of the same corrupt world, well painted in Dublin greys, and the less than saintly detective, written in an arch style, are present in Millar's book, which makes for a brisk and entertaining rush to the sands of resolution."

"Ingeniously plotted, with an appropriate amount of mayhem and skullduggery" -- Robert Tracy, Irish Literary Supplement, Fall 2007. "Millar's Dublin is Dublin as Séamus Joyce unhappily experiences it, at once a ghost city, a continual reminder of past unhappiness and lost opportunities, and a Dublin that is rapidly obliterating its own past. [...] I look forward to his further adventures in self-discovery."

"Comedy and tragedy in a delicate balance" -- Claire Gorrara, Europolar no.9 - May 2007: "[...] a cast of characters who strike true [...] the self-aggrandising academic turned administrator, the failed academic now alcoholic propping up the college bar or the eccentric 'lone scholar' out of synch with the current emphasis on collaboration and research income. None of this is to detract from the pace and plotting of the novel [...]. Comedy and tragedy are kept in a delicate balance and the reader is sometimes unsure how to respond to the black humour of Millar's prose as one character is bludgeoned to death by the university mace. After his forays into the Irish drugs administration (An Irish Solution) and now Higher Education in The Grounds, it will be a pleasure to see where next Millar points the spotlight on Irish society."

"A must for anyone who enjoys thrillers" -- Woman's Way, "What To Read", 3 May 2006

"The book is built upon excellent plotting" -- Mystery Mile -- Nick's Mystery Reviews: "One of Millar’s special gifts is in hiding clues in plain sight [...] one would like to go back and re-read the book again just to follow his plot construction. This book is passionately angry, and very funny [...] As an academic novel this is fierce satire [...] THE GROUNDS is self-evidently a 'campus novel' and an 'academic mystery' [...] and is a very fine example of both [...] A truly first-rate mystery."

And reader reaction from "miglior acque" at blogspot
[medievalist & former student of the author]: "wicked generous wit..."

Reader reaction from the website: In February 2008 the Daily Telegraph asked "Who is the best crime writer of all time?", and the paper's literary staff picked out 50 of the best crime writers, from Agatha Christie to Mickey Spillane. Among the reader reactions was one from Philippa Worth, who commented: "you should also include marvellously acerbic and lively Irish novelist-academic, Cormac Millar" (23 February 2008).

Reader reaction from the Floating Life blog: "Cormac Millar, The Grounds (Penguin 2006/7) – crime fiction ***** Best Read of 2009. This is just delightful in every way: witty, stylish, intelligent, and a good story as well. It’s up there with the best in crime fiction, social satire, and sheer enjoyment."

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