McConnel, Ian (Ingrid Black, a joint pseudonym)
(Ingrid Black, a joint pseudonym)
PERSONAL: Married Ellis O'Hanlon (a journalist); children: three.
WITH WIFE, ELLIS O'HANLON; UNDER JOINT PSEUDONYM INGRID BLACK
The Dead, Headline (London, England), 1993, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2004.
The Dark Eye, Headline (London, England), 2004.
ADAPTATIONS: Production rights to The Dead were sold to the British Broadcasting Corporation.
SIDELIGHTS: Ian McConnel and his wife, Ellis O'Hanlon, have collaborated on mystery novels published under the joint pseudonym Ingrid Black. Their first effort, The Dead, introduces the character of Saxon, a former agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. A woman who is never identified by any other name, Saxon has given up her work in law enforcement to write true-crime stories. Having traveled to Dublin to research a story about Ed Fagan, a Bible-obsessed serial killer, she remains in the city even when her book project fails to pan out. Meanwhile, Nick Elliott, a newspaper reporter, does succeed in publishing a book on Fagan, who is also known as the "Night Hunter" and who remains at large. After Elliott's book comes out, he is contacted by someone who threatens to kill five prostitutes within the next week. Saxon goes into action to try to stop the murders, aided by her lover, Detective Chief Superintendent Grace Fitzgerald of the Dublin police force. This debut novel was praised by Jenny McLarin in Booklist as "a refreshing change of pace: Its serial killer offers a new twist on psychotic behavior, and its heroine is not just another cop." Saxon's "combination of sarcasm and smarts will have readers clamoring for more," predicted McLarin. A Kirkus Reviews writer advised that "Forensic analysis and intellectual speculation overshadow action, but sublimely prickly Saxon is a solid foundation for debut mystery-monger Black to build a series on." The authors' evocation of "gritty, moody Dublin" was noted with approval by a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, who concluded: "A string of plausible suspects keeps the reader guessing and the suspense at fever pitch."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 1, 2004, Jenny McLarin, review of The Dead, p. 1501.
Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2004, review of The Dead, p. 362.
Publishers Weekly, May 3, 2004, review of The Dead, p. 174.
Mystery Women, http://www.mysterywomen.co.uk/ (December 13, 2004), Lizzie Hayes, review of The Dead.