'The City of Strangers' shortlisted for Crime Writers' Association Endeavour Historical Dagger Award for best historical crime fiction 2014. The CWA jury:
'Having already brought 1930s Dublin and Danzig vividly to life in his outstanding debut The City of Shadows, Russell does the same for New York in a sequel that's even better. The unique complexity of Ireland's divided loyalties and enmities on the eve of the Second World War is explored with unusual clarity and intelligence, and there are plenty of thrills and spills too.'
Meanwhile, the first part of Michael Russell's translation of Karl Kraus's epic satire about the First World War, 'The Last Days of Mankind', written in Vienna in 1914-18, has been published on Kindle by Forgotten Cities Press. 'The Last Night' is a self-contained play-within-a-play; a taut verse drama produced by, among others, Bertolt Brecht in Berlin in 1930. It has never been translated into English, despite the fact that it is one of the greatest works of art of the 20th (or any other) century. The rest of Michael Russell's complete translation of Kraus's epic drama will be published in 2015-16.
'The Last Night' is a compelling introduction to Kraus's writing and the masterpiece that is 'The Last days of Mankind'.
'The City of Strangers' has sold over 40,000 copies and was in the Sunday Times top twenty at the end of 2013. The second Stefan Gillespie novel is set in Dublin and New York on the eve of the Second World War in 1939.
'The City of Shadows' was longlisted for a Crime Writers' Association John Creasey Dagger, for best first-published crime novel of 2013.
For more information on the Stefan Gillespie novels see:
'The City of Shadows' is the first of a series of atmospheric historical thrillers set in the 1930s and 1940s, featuring Irish detective Stefan Gillespie, whose bloody-minded investigations into murder, crime and corruption in his country's darkest corners will drag him (and an uncomfortably neutral Ireland) ever closer to the dangerous margins of Second World War intrigue... in an Ireland where German and British spies eye each other across Dublin bars, the police and military intelligence are at each other's throats, and the IRA wants nothing more than a German invasion to topple the Irish government.
None of that will do much for Stefan Gillespie's personal life either!
As well as Dublin and rural Ireland, the stories will take Detective Sergeant Gillespie to many of the cities caught up in a war no one can entirely escape : Danzig, New York, Lisbon, Berlin, Rome...
Michael Russell was born in England. He grew up in one of those English-Irish families where the first stories he heard at his grandmother's knee were about murder, mayhem, Thompson Machine Guns and civil war in Ireland in the 1920s.
Determined to make himself unemployable, so that he could at least attempt to earn a living as writer, he studied Old English, Old Irish and Middle Welsh at Oxford before working for three years as a farm labourer in North Devon. His knowledge of farming (rather than writing) eventually got him a job as script editor on the English soap opera 'Emmerdale', in the days when it was still called 'Emmerdale Farm'. He went on to become a television writer and producer, writing for such programmes as 'All Creatures Great and Small', 'Eastenders', 'Between the Lines', 'The Bill', 'Midsomer Murders', 'A Touch of Frost'.
By the time he decided to write his first novel he was living in Ireland and it seemed inevitable that he would combine a passion for crime fiction with the stories about Ireland between the First and Second World Wars that he had once heard from his grandmother. The result was 'The City of Shadows'.
Michael lives with his family in West Wicklow, Ireland.