Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Psychological Thrillers, Irish Style

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! March 17th is yet another excuse to steep myself in my rich Irish heritage. When I was little, all that meant to me was blue eyes and curly hair. Since early adulthood, I’ve read everything Celtic I could get my hands on, historical, sociological, mythological; and eventually I discovered Irish crime fiction – a vibrant genre in its own right. Today, in celebration of Irishness, I want to introduce you to two of my favorite Irish crime fiction writers: Liz Nugent and Claire Allan. In 2020, these authors each published two of the most profoundly impactful psychological thrillers I’ve ever read.

About Liz Nugent

Liz Nugent was born in Dublin in 1967. Her career began in broadcasting. Later she toured with Riverdance working backstage. She barreled onto the crime fiction scene in 2014 with her debut, Unraveling Oliver, easily one of the creepiest psychological thrillers I’ve ever read. Not only was it an Oprah Magazine pick and a bestseller, it was also listed by the Sunday Times as one of the 50 great Irish novels of the 21st century.

She didn’t quit there. Since then, she’s published four more standalones, Lying in Wait, Skin Deep, and Little Cruelties. I read and loved each of them.

Little Cruelties

Three Dublin brothers, William, Brian, and Luke, scrap with each other from the time they were boys. Raised by their mild-mannered father and eccentric show-biz mother, they grow up to make names for themselves in the entertainment business. The book opens with the funeral of one of them, but you don’t know which. Every page in the book is a mesmerizingly deep look into the psyches of these three men, each heroes of their own stories. The end falls into place so logically it seemed preordained but I never saw it coming. This book is a masterpiece, transcending genre. A must read.

Claire Allan

Best-selling author Claire Allan is a true Derry Girl, born and raised, as well as still making it her home. A former journalist and author of romance as well as psychological thrillers, she began writing fulltime in 2006. She has published at least thirteen books including five psych thrillers and The Liar’s Daughter. This book is a sensitive and brave treatment of a disturbing topic and inspired me to write my current work in progress.

The Liar’s Daughter

Meet Heidi, the long-suffering but dutiful step-daughter, Ciara, the long-suffering and spiteful biological daughter, and Joe McKee, the man who molded both their lives and knows he does not deserve forgiveness for his sins. Joe is dying of cancer. Heidi is caring for him, despite her feelings because it is her duty. Upon his request, she calls Ciara to the bedside, who then joins in  caretaking. Later, Joe’s sister joins the vigil. Heidi’s husband, Alex, is in and out of the house. And then, one night, when the five are gathered, Joe dies – not of natural causes, according to the authorities.

Claire Allan takes the classic country house plot and makes it fresh again with her deep exploration of character. It’s an intense read and one I couldn’t turn away from. The audiobook narration is amongst the best I’ve ever heard.

For more information link to:

Liz Nugent – Website

CLAIRE ALLAN – Home – Website

Let’s Hear From You!

Go over to https://www.facebook.com/missdemeanorsbooks and let us know: How do you plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?


  1. Keenan, you and I share a lot–not just Alaska, but Ireland! My grandfather was born in County Kerry, and I was privileged to tour his boyhood home some years ago. I, too, read all the Irish fiction I can get my hands on, but you’ve given me a couple of new authors to find!

  2. That is so cool that you got to see his boyhood home! I’m so removed that when we went, there was no way to identify where exactly my ancestors had lived other than the villages. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  3. They both sound like terrific authors. I’ll look into their books. Thanks, Keenan! Erin go Bragh!

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