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”…
Joe’s day job is teaching. You wouldn’t believe the stories…
Seán Galvin isn’t like the other children. While they play and laugh and keep on growing up, Seán doesn’t. Instead he does stuff to things. Things like cats and dogs. Bad stuff.
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. They begin to unravel a rather sinister series of links between people whom they thought they could trust and the person who they saw committing the crime. Their little rural town becomes a place of cold scepticism and barely-hidden conspiracy. (But is there really a conspiracy?)
Accused of being “freaks”, they become increasingly isolated, and even Seán starts doubting. But 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 crime novel (is it?) that leaves the reader guessing right up to its wrenching climax and beyond.
To be published by Liberties Press (Ireland), 2012.