Joe Murphy was born in 1979 in Co. Wexford, Ireland. In Enniscorthy Vocational College, he excelled at English, winning several awards and being shortlisted for Young Science Fiction Writer of the Year. Joe studied English at University College Dublin where he received 1st Class Hons and a scholarship to complete a Masters in Early Modern Drama. He went on to qualify as a secondary school teacher.
Joe Murphy’s ambitious debut novel 1798: Tomorrow the Barrow We’ll Cross was published in 2011 by Liberties Press (Dublin) to excellent reviews: “epic novel of revolution”, “a swashbuckling tale”, “a cracking good read”, “brilliantly researched and movingly written”, “a gut wrenching and page turning story”…
His second novel, Dead Dogs, was published in 2012.
I’M IN BLOOD
At seventeen-years-old, Nathan Jacob’s life is coming apart. His adoptive father, a man whom he adored, has just passed away. Nathan is left grief-stricken. His only family is his adoptive mother and her million-to-one chance son. Nathan feels he will never be a part of their world. His only companion is Esther Gilsenan, a girl he is falling for more and more deeply with every passing day.
But Nathan is grappling with other demons. His obsession with ‘true crime’ writing finds him reading into a series of grisly murders that occurred in Dublin’s past. Nathan decides to write his own version of these horrific events and he enlists Esther’s help. But what is it that is speaking to him down the long spans of time? And what things are being said? Things half-formed and dark that mutter to him from the pages of history. Things that draw his bloodline back to 1890’s Dublin and the horrors that took place there.
Sergeant George Frohmell of the Dublin Metropolitan Police is a man under pressure. His beloved, bedraggled city has suddenly become the hunting ground for a faceless monster. A creature who preys on the city’s underclass and leaves them butchered in the back alleys of Dublin’s teeming red light district. As the death toll increases and the politics of 1890’s Ireland come more and more to the fore, Sergeant Frohmell must find his man or lose everything.
I Am in Blood is a many-layered tale of darkness and bloodshed. It asks the question: Who are we? And most importantly: Do we have a choice?
Publisher: Brandon Books (2015)
Rights held: Russian. All other rights: firstname.lastname@example.org
Seán has only one friend, the nameless narrator who tells their story. They have a lot in common. Both mothers are absent. Both fathers cannot cope. Both boys are outsiders in their small-town world. Their young lives revolve around sport and school. That is until Seán finally does something appalling and the boys have no choice but to tell someone. Someone older. Someone they should be able to trust. What they uncover is a secret far more awful than anything Seán is capable of: they witness a murder. (Or do they?) Because of their previous behaviour, no-one believes them.
Their little rural town becomes a place of cold scepticism and barely-hidden conspiracy. (But is there really a conspiracy?)
The novel’s unreliable and increasingly unhinged narrator embarks on a mission to prove that they saw what they saw, and his obsession will see their friendship tested to its limits and their lives changed forever. Dead Dogs is a novel that leaves the reader guessing right up to its wrenching climax and beyond.
“Dead Dogs is a creepy gem, a twisting serpent of a story that will have you looking over your shoulder.” —Eoin Colfer
“Well written and full of heart-pounding suspense, this proves that Murphy is an impressive talent.” —The Sunday Times
“The author certainly has an eye, ear and nose for the macabre and has succeeded in creating a fiction which should keep readers engaged right to the end.” —Robert Dunbar, literary critic and reviewer for The Irish Times
“Dark and unsettling, Dead Dogs is a modern-day gothic story powered by scenes of horror and comedy, masterfully created by Mr. Murphy’s hauntingly beautiful prose. It is evident from the very first page that the reader is in for something special, and what a special something it turns out to be. Extraordinary.” —New York Journal of Books
“Disturbing read that pushed black humour to the brink.” —Books Ireland
“Creepy, tense, witty and darkly entertaining.” —Wexford Echo
“An interesting, grim and unusual read.” —The Metro Herald
Publisher: Liberties Press (2012)
Rights held: World ex. UK & Ireland