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Andrew Hughes

Andrew Hughes graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a B.A. in history and English, and from University College Dublin. His widely acclaimed debut novel The Convictions Of John Delahunt and his latest novel, The Coroner’s Daughter were both longlisted for the CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger 2017.

Books in order of publication:

The Convictions Of John Delahunt (2013)

The Coroner’s Daughter (2016)

In praise of The Convictions of John Delahunt:

‘A wonderful heroine… this sparkling crime novel breathes life in the genre’ – The Times

‘The plot is intriguing and the father-daughter relationship is honest and delightful, but it is Abigail – one of the most attractive heroines in a long time – who carries the day’ Daily Mail

‘(O)ne of many striking set pieces… a remarkable first novel.. At once a close character study and a sweeping panorama of the era… this fascinating book is a stirring work of fiction and a perceptive chapter in Ireland’s social history’. – New York Times

‘This impressive first novel compellingly imagines the lead-up to a real murder committed in 1842…. the horrible logic of the plot leads to an entirely plausible though surprising twist.’ – The Guardian

‘A ghastly, riveting tale’ – Entertainment Weekly (one of their 10 Great Summer Thrillers)

‘A memorable novel.. A chilling story of a man gradually losing all sense of what makes life worth living’ – Sunday Times

The Convictions of John Delahunt is in my opinion quite remarkable. I think it is a quite exceptional novel, let alone first novel. Ireland has produced more than its share of fine writers and Mr Hughes is another. The world he creates has echoes of Kafka and Orwell, all the more unsettling because it lies beneath a veneer of early Victorian respectability, and is totally convincing. It draws you in like a trap and the conclusion is unexpected and touching.’ – C J Sansom

‘What a story he tells and what a voice he uses to tell it: Abigail Lawless is a joy. This is the kind of writing that pushes you gently into a different world then holds you there until the last sentence. Just brilliant.’ – Donal Ryan

‘The Irish spy novel comes in from the cold… A vivid piece of writing.. brings to mind Andrew Miller’s Costawinning novel, Pure.’ – The Irish Times

‘This beautifully written tale of cruelty and redemption is as unforgettable as it is harrowing.’ – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

‘Reminiscent of John Banville.. a bracing, lurid tale that is as engrossing as it is chilling, and a fascinating glimpse into one of the darker periods in Dublin’s history’ – Irish Independent

‘An exceptionally powerful portrait’ – BBC History magazine Books of the Year

‘I found this novel unputdownable. The story the narrator tells of his gradual involvement in the shadowy world of perjury and betrayal organised by the Dublin police in the 1840s, is fascinating, and the ruthlessness that gradually emerges is chillingly portrayed. It’s a superb evocation of a specific place and time . . . the horrible logic of the plot leads to an entirely plausible though surprising twist. This is a highly sophisticated first novel and whets the appetite for the author’s next.’ – Charles Palliser, author of The Quincunx and Rustication

‘This is a compelling and eerily authentic crime story highlighting the very real and brutal moral dilemmas facing those struggling for survival in 1840s Dublin. Read it and be grateful to be alive in our day and age.’ – Robert Goddard

‘Assured, gritty, utterly steeped in a sense of time and place so overwhelming that it’s taken me several hours to come back to the twenty-first century. . . . the book was stupendous: a brilliant achievement for a first novel, completely compelling and with a perfectly damaged central character.’ – Manda Scott

‘A dark, original story wrapped in a wonderful gothic gloom set in a solidly realised and historically plausible version of early Victorian Dublin. And the character of John Delahunt is fascinating – both deeply sinister and at times almost sympathetic: it’s a tough act to pull off, but Andrew Hughes manages it with brio. I heard echoes of James Hogg and Robert Louis Stevenson.’ – Andrew Taylor, author of The American Boy and The Scent of Death

‘Reminiscent of John Banville’s The Book of Evidence . . . a bracing, lurid tale that is as engrossing as it is chilling, and a fascinating glimpse into one of the darker periods in Dublin’s history.’ – Declan Burke, Irish Independent

‘The Irish spy novel comes in from the cold . . . a vivid piece of writing . . . brings to mind Andrew Miller’s Costa-winning novel, Pure.’ – Irish Times

‘Andrew Hughes does for early Victorian Dublin what Peter Ackroyd has done for mid-19th century London. This is to create an extraordinarily detailed world, impeccably researched to satisfy any student of history, while also being so superbly written that it soars as a masterly work of fiction . . . utterly compelling.’ – Dermot Bolger, Irish Mail on Sunday

‘John Delahunt is the most charming and lethal sociopath in Irish literature since Freddie Montgomery in John Banville’s The Book of Evidence.’-  Irish Examiner

‘An intriguing debut (that) sets out Hughes as one to watch.’ – Sunday Times Ireland  

‘The historical novel is having a renaissance… The Convictions of John Delahunt is the first work of fiction by archivist Andrew Hughes and is a skilfully planned, elegantly written debut. The reader is immediately drawn into the world of Delahunt as he pens his statement from his gaol cell and.. the author ingeniously creates empathy with him. Hughes richly details the streets and lanes of Georgian Dublin, the castle with its underground passages, punishment rooms, the underworld of prostitution and public hangings in Thomas Street… A riveting read.’ – Irish Independent on Sunday 

‘‘Hughes vividly evokes the dank and often disturbing atmosphere of Dublin, 1816, and his plotting neatly upends the reader’s expectations. Best of all is young Abigail Lawless, headstrong and inconvenient in her determination to question the accepted rules of scientific investigation’ Christopher Fowler

‘It’s a deeply satisfying novel, written with a poetic flair which brings time, people and place into vivid life and a compelling plot which had me cheering Abigail on even while I feared for her, her family and friends. A brilliant evocation of strange times and twisted histories.’ Imogen Robertson

‘Astonishingly good’ – Kate Colquhoun

‘It really is an excellent novel.. that rare thing, a beautifully-crafted that is also gripping and powerful. It’s superb.’ William Ryan

In praise of The Coroner’s Daughter:

‘A…gory blend of historical detail and fiction has resulted in a compelling second novel…. The Coroner’s Daughter is good old-fashioned storytelling that will keep readers turning the pages as the shadows begin to fall.’ – Irish Times

‘[A] richly atmospheric, unusual and very readable historical thriller.’ – Nick Rennison, BBC History 

‘The world of this book may be a battleground between good and evil, but evil doesn’t always wear an obvious face. An enjoyable and thought-provoking novel.’ – Irish Independent 


Andrew Hughes Titles