Seamus Smyth

Smyth Seamus Smyth´s first novel, Quinn, was published in 1999 by Hodder & Stoughton to critical acclaim and was a Finalist of the CWA New Blood Dagger.

Quinn and Smyth’s second novel,  Red Dock, have been published in Japan and shared bestseller lists with Thomas Harris. Both novels were also published in France. Red Dock has recently come out in Germany and immediately made it into the crime novels Top Ten in DIE ZEIT.

Red Dock will finally come out in English in July 2016 from Black & White Publishing under the title Blood for Blood.

Blood for Blood

(previously called Red Dock)

bloodforblood jktIn 1949, on the night of their birth, Robert “Red” Donovan and his twin Sean are placed in an orphanage and given the name Dock. Aged nine, Red witnesses the kicking to death of Sean by a Christian Brother. At his twin’s deathbed, he vows to one day return his body to their birthplace for reburial. His family, and a Garda constable Winters who put the twins into “care”, will be made to pay.

Aged 21, Red Dock kidnaps Winters’ new born daughter and leaves her on the steps of an orphanage to be raised by nuns who name her Lucille Kells. But this is not his revenge. Not yet. Revenge will come 22 years later, after Lucille left the nuns…

Is there a more fiendish vengeance than to take an innocent child and destroy her entire life in order to get back to her parents? One needs a patience of Job and sufficient hatred to carry through so many years of waiting for his handiwork to come to fruition…

A powerful novel that will make the reader shiver, grieve ant think.

Published 14 July 2016, Black & White Publishing, UK.

Jap Red Dock    RED Dock German    connemara

Published in Japan (Hayakawa), Germany (Pulp Master), France (Fayard).



Quinn 1Gerd Quinn kills people. He is a womanising respectable businessman who hasn’t a blemish on his public persona but behind the scenes he is a villain who sets up innocent people to get his hands on their assets, manipulates and kills them in ways that cannot be detected by the police, a ‘criminal genius of spectacular proportions’ who knows all there is to know about pulling off the perfect crime.

He is a consummate exterminator but generally disapproves of sadism. He is a social satirist and a philosopher. He is an encyclopaedia of pathology, behavioural psychology and unusual methods of murder and disposal. He is intelligent. He is entertaining. He has a wry sense of humour and he tells jokes against himself. Gerd Quinn is a disturbingly fascinating character and you will hate liking him but couldn’t help it.

First published by Hodder and Stoughton, 1999 (English-language rights reverted & available). Published in France (Fayard; Le Livre de poche); Japan (Hayakawa); Denmark (rights reverted).


“[Blood for Blood] …leaves the reader torn between gasping for air and compulsively turning each page to find out what happens next. … Gripping and darkly compelling.” —Undiscovered Scotland

“It’s no mean feat for an Irish crime novelist to stand out from the (ever-growing) Celt crime-writing crowd. Yet Seamus Smyth’s Red Dock succeeds in being something fresh and far darker than the rest. Red Dock, Smith’s primary narrator in this haunting mosaic of first-person voices, is a thug, shakedown artist, kidnapper, misogynist and full-on sociopath. Yet Smyth keeps us on board to ride’s end, pulled along by Red Dock’s boisterous, self-centered, view-askew take on the world and his up-from-the-heels Irish voice. In putting us in the heads of this nasty but fascinating man — as well as that of a serial killer with a twisted artistic bent — Smyth deftly follows in the footsteps of James Ellroy’s Killer on the Road, while simultaneously recalling some of the fever-dream tug of the best of Jim Thompson and Grand Guignol of Thomas B. Harris.”    —Craig McDonald

“Cross me bedraggled heart, Red Dock just blew me to smithereens. Unbelivable book. Ferocious. Terryfying. Beautifully compassionate. And oh so wonderfully written…”     —Ken Bruen

“Interesting and compulsive read with a thoroughly unpleasant main character whom you actually end up liking. Told in the first person, it is an extraordinary insight into the mind of a totally amoral individual. Good one.”      —Bookseller

“Shiveringly superb.”    —Image Magazine

“Taut and incredibly readable, Quinn may have a high body count and be distinctly unsavoury, but it’s a page turner… For its lightning exposition of Quinn’s swaggering amorality, this first novel proves Smyth to be a truly original, febrile talent.”       —The Times

“A welcome break from the stereotypical crime novel told from the Good Guy’s prospective.”        —Dublin Herald

Quinn, not to put a tooth in it, is a cracking good read. There is an even pace maintained which makes it impossible to put it down.”    —The Irish Times