Pat Mullan was born in Ireland and has lived in England, Canada and the USA. He is a graduate of St. Columb’s College, Northwestern University and the State University of New York. Formerly a banker, he now lives in Connemara, in the west of Ireland.
He has published articles, poetry and short stories in magazines such as Buffalo Spree, Tales of the Talisman, Writers Post Journal. His poetry appears frequently in the Acorn E-zine of the Dublin Writers Workshop. His short story, Galway Girl, was short-listed for the WOW Awards and was published in the new WOW Magazine in Galway in April 2010. It is also one of his short stories that form part of his GALWAY NOIR anthology, available on-line from iPulp Fiction.
He has two collections of poetry available on-line, Childhood Hills and Awakening. James Dickey’s Poetry: The Religious Dimension is his elegy to Dickey and is available on-line on Amazon Kindle.
Recent work has appeared in the anthology, DUBLIN NOIR, published in the USA by Akashic Books and in Ireland and the UK by Brandon Books and again in ‘City-Pick DUBLIN’, published by Oxygen Books in 2010 to mark Dublin being chosen as UNESCO’S City of Culture for 2010.
His first novel, The Circle of Sodom, received two nominations, one for Best First Novel and one for Best Suspense Thriller, at the 2005 Love Is Murder conference in Chicago. His second novel, Blood Red Square, was published in the US in 2005 and a new edition, published in 2011, is now available on-line as a paperback and as an ebook. His latest novels, Last Days of the Tiger and Creatures of Habit are now available on-line as ebooks on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Kobo, and elsewhere; they are also available in paperback.
He is Ireland Chair of International Thriller Writers, Inc. and he is a member of Mystery Writers of America.
REVIEWED BY PAT MULLAN
I first met Victor McGowan in Seamus Scanlon’s short-story collection, As Close As You’ll Ever Be, and these were my thoughts at the time: “Bloodier than anything from Quentin Tarantino, as poetic as anything from James Joyce, these stories will slice open your soul and leave you stunned! They are dark and bleak – but they are redeemed by the quality of the writing.”
Last week I met Victor McGowan on the stage, at An Taibhdhearc theatre. Brought to life by the enormously talented Luke Morgan, Victor McGowan straddled the stage with assurance, bringing Seamus Scanlon’s dark, bleak poetic language to life.
Victor is a highly intelligent, cultured psychopath. In the first part of the performance we see him bullying his way into a pub frequented by the inner sanctum of the IRA. The slightly manic but nonetheless amusing banter between the inept barman, a seemingly disengaged customer and McGowan is punctuated by violent outbursts; for example, when he expresses his fury at the presence of British ‘Walker’ crisps alongside the culturally acceptable ‘Taytos’. The tone of the piece becomes much darker on the arrival of an IRA commander and the ensuing violence portrays McGowan in full psychopath mode.
The second and third let us see all the damaged facets of Victor’s personality. And we get to see how an Irish mother can be a manipulating and smothering influence. His last fatal administration to his mother accompanied by the words ‘the body of Christ’ so effectively capture that other manipulator: religion.
This is a stark and moving portrayal of the tragedy which results from the inhuman brainwashing and manipulation of young, idealistic minds. Here it is shown in an Irish context but this is a universal theme.