Monday, June 18, 2007

Declan Hughes

Kevin Burton Smith is a January Magazine contributor, a Mystery Scene columnist and the editor/creator of The Thrilling Detective Web Site.

His interview with Declan Hughes, author of The Wrong Kind of Blood and The Color of Blood, includes this exchange (following some of the interviewer's praise for Hughes' new novel) :

KBS: I wouldn't expect any job offers from the Irish Tourist Bureau or the Dublin Chamber of Commerce at any time soon, though, if I were you. Or the Vatican, for that matter. Did you take a deep breath (or a stiff drink) before submitting this one?

DH: It's weird, when I delivered the first draft, I was just so concerned with getting the damn thing finished that I'd as good as forgotten what it was about. But my editors had a fair idea of what was coming. It is pretty dark -- but that is in part a reflection of the kind of revelations that have filled the newspapers here in Ireland for the past 15 or 20 years.

What sort of revelations?

They're actually not dissimilar to those in the Boston diocese. There were areas of the country in which there was widespread clerical sexual abuse that was covered up by the church, which simply moved the perpetrators from parish to parish. Homes for "unmarried mothers" that were run like slave-labor camps. Things like that. The level of ignorance, shame and brutality that clung around the subject of sexuality in general, as a result of the church and its willing accomplices [was remarkable].

People were horrified -- but they were also relieved, after so many dark years of bullying and secrecy, to see the graves open, and the skeletons finally being hauled into the light. So if you're writing a crime series set in Ireland, you've got to deal with it.

Read the entire interview.

--Marshal Zeringue