The Father, Tom O. Keenan‘s debut novel, is an odd hybrid of the police procedural, noir, Brit Grit, black comedy and political thriller.
Set in an almost futuristic, dystopian Glasgow, The Father‘s protagonist Sean Rooney is a messed up alcoholic shrink who is dragged into a murder investigation by his ex-wife, DCI Kaminski. Broody and contrarian, Rooney is the sort of person who would cut off his face to spite his nose and makes Tony Black‘s Gus Dury look like Dr Phil.
The twist to this particular noir tale, though, is that Rooney has a voice in his head, who acts as a sort of stroppy Greek chorus and even narrates the tale. Indeed, the running dialogues between Rooney and, well, Rooney give a lot of the humour to a twisty crime story which very quickly spirals into am high-octane and over-the-top thriller.
The mixture of introspective noir and action movie is a tricky balancing act but one that Tom O. Keenan pulls-off and makes The Father a very interesting read indeed.
PDB: What’s going on now? Writing book two in the Sean Rooney series that needs to be with the publisher later this year. Fatherland is about a gothic and dystopian Glasgow, a place of risk and adventure, where crime families rule and where Sean Rooney has new challenges.
PDB: How did you research this book (The Father)? Living in Glasgow and having a knowledge of the subject helped, but I also shamelessly exploit the Internet.
PDB: Which of your publications are you most proud of? This one.
PDB: What’s your favourite film/ book/ song/ television programme? It’s a Wonderful Life or Local Hero; Crime and Punishment or Ulysses; Raglin Road; Mrs Brown’s Boys.
PDB: Is location important to your writing? Indeed, Glasgow is a great location: gothic and on the edge, where anything can happen.
PDB: How often do you check your Amazon rankings? Never!
PDB: What’s next? Book Three.
Bio: Born and bred in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, 12 miles south of Glasgow. I left school at 15 with no qualifications and went straight into an apprenticeship in the new television repair trade. I had a television repair shop in Hamilton for eight years and then went to college to become a social worker in mental health, which I am to this day. I became an independent social worker in 2001, forming a business in mental health law. I live in the West End of Glasgow having spent seven years in Tarbet at Loch Lomond. I have been writing as long as I can remember but only ever as a hobby. As a young boy I always wanted to be creating something, whether it was poetry, songs, drawings or stories. Later I became a bit more serious, writing plays and attending workshops and writing novels. www.tom-odgen-keenan.co.uk