Publication Order of Jack Lennon Books
|The Ghosts of Belfast||(2009)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Collusion||(2010)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Stolen Souls||(2011)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|The Final Silence||(2014)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Jack Lennon is the fictional creation of Irish author, Stuart Neville. He is the protagonist in Neville’s series of hardboiled crime fiction. He appears as a detective inspector in Belfast- a city in Northern Ireland- and that has just emerged out of the throes of a violent past. The series is popularly referred to as the ‘Belfast Novels.’
The Author: Stuart Neville
Stuart Neville began this Jack Lennon series in the year 2009. He began with his now popular novel ‘The Twelve.’ The novel was published in Canada and the United States as The Ghosts of Belfast.
Before that, Neville was a fan as well as a customer of the No Alibi bookstore that is located in Belfast, Northern Ireland- that is before he became a writer. Ironically, that is the same place he nowadays holds his book launches. He now resides in a small village outside Belfast with his family. Before becoming a writer, the man was a guitarist. At some point he was a salesman, composer, baker and etc. Today, apart from being a successful writer, he is also a partner in a successful multimedia design business. There is no doubt the great writer is a man who wears many hats.
Expecting only a t-shirt, Stuart wrote a short story to be published by an online magazine. However, just after the publication, a man named Nat Sobel, who is a popular New York literary agent, sent an email to Stuart Neville saying that he wanted to see the writer come up with a novel.
Stuart then began working on his novel. His debut novel, The Ghosts of Belfast, also known as The Twelve, would soon after mark the start of an impressively gripping series of crime fiction novels that have had readers riveted, turning pages, curious to know what will happen next.
The Ghosts of Belfast opens rather somberly with a Gerry Fegan who is living a miserable, tormented life after serving a prison term for terrorist murders. Garry Fegan was released as part of a peace process to heal Northern Ireland that is reeling from the Troubles of the past decade. Gerry is ravaged by guilt and tormented by the ghosts of the people he killed. The ghosts of a mum and her baby, a constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, a butcher and seven other ghosts relentlessly beleaguer him. He takes to heavy drinking to escape the thoughts of guilt and despair.
He gets a kind of epiphany with the realization that in order to get peace in his life again, he must heed to the ghosts. The ghosts are asking him to kill the higher-ups who sent him to kill them. He embarks on the task, and his targets are not easy to fell as you’ll see in the book.
In this series, there is another protagonist called Detective Inspector Jack Lennon. He is a catholic who quit college so as to join the Royal Ulster Constabulary. He is not trusted by Protestants who are in the police force. Catholics regard him as a traitor. His own family disowns him. Jack Lennon is a heavy drinker, is spendthrift and has a fetish for whores.
He is not exactly likeable, though a protagonist in the novels. Many readers would readily empathize with Gerry Fegan, a mass murderer, than Jack Lennon, whose only sin is promiscuity. Folks are ready to embrace the cold murderer than the man who can’t zip up his pants.
In the book, you can see a region in the cusp of a great transition. You can see a region where criminal activity was regarded as an acceptable part of the fight for freedom transitioning to a region where those same criminals have to find themselves a place in a post-war Northern Ireland. Some of the criminals become politicians. Others continue with their criminal activities as before, while some wallow in confusion not understanding their role in rebuilding Ireland.
Ghosts of Belfast scooped the first award in the Los Angeles Times Book-prize thriller category. It was also selected as among the best novels on crime by both the New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. It was also shortlisted for a host of other awards such as Macavity, Dilys awards, Barry, as well as the Irish Book awards as the Crime Novel of the year.
The Ghosts of Belfast was a great success. Stuart Neville was afraid he might not produce another novel that would generate the same amount of interest and garner glowing acclaims; that compelled him to begin his second novel, Collusion.
In Collusion, Garry Fegan, a former paramilitary assassin, wanders in New York City, trying to shake off a past he escaped at a great cost. He had made a mistake- sparing the life of a criminal called Bull O’Kane- a no-nonsense, vindictive man who must get his revenge whatever the cost. Bull O’Kane is concerned that there are too many witnesses who survived a blood and horrendous battle at his border farm. He wants all of them silenced. He, therefore, hires the services of a cold assassin known as the Traveller, who is without a scintilla of pity or remorse.
Meanwhile, in Belfast, Detective Jack Lennon, who is also father of one of the witnesses, is tangled up in a web of official lies as he tries to find out the whereabouts of his daughter and the mother, Maria McKenna. As he gets closer to what might have happened at the O’Kane’s border farm, his superiors are piling pressure for him to back off.
The Traveller is also baying for Fegan’s blood. Fegan realizes he has to return to Belfast if he is to protect Maria and her daughter. That decision sets three men on a collision course as well as a tragic and violent denouement.
After the Collusion, Stuart Neville wrote other novels- and all four of them have been listed for various prestigious awards- for example, the C.W.A Ian Flemming Steel Dagger as well as the Theakstonns Old Peculiar Crime-novel. The novels have also been translated into many languages including German, Japanese, Polish, French and Greek-Swedish.Book Series In Order » Characters » Jack Lennon