War of the Blue Roses – the much-anticipated sequel to Downey's widely-acclaimed comedy-thriller Running Mates published in 2007 – is a rollicking black comedy set in the world of international politics.
In the book, a US-sponsored gardening competition in the little village of Mountrose outside Derry ends up throwing three governments into turmoil when it sparks a worldwide race to grow the world's first blue rose. The Irish premier is forced to team up with semi-reformed gangsters to stop British and American politicians shanghaiing the Mountrose Festival and walking off with a billion-dollar patent. Bugging, burglary, sabotage, murder and sexual deceit – it's all part of the rose-growing business. And the bad guys are even worse...
This is Downey's fifth novel and is set to enhance his reputation as a top-class writer. His last book, Yours Confidentially: Letters of a would-be MP, was listed by a number of reviewers on their 'Book of the Year' lists – and was one of the Philadelphia Inquirer's top seven International Crime Fiction reads of 2008. Downey's debut novel, Private Diary of a Suspended MLA, was described in the Sunday Times as "the best Northern Ireland political novel of the century".
Lashings of spying, killing and romance - a thrilling and intelligent send up of global politics.
If you think gardening is a clean pursuit, this book will shock you.
Detectives Beyond Borders
Could well be his finest work to date.
Crime Scene NI
It's fast moving, dazzingly clever and often laugh-out-loud funny - it would make a great film script.
Incredibly fresh and entertaining... if there's ...any justice in the literary world, this will be the book that raises Garbhan Downey's profile to its full literary potential.
I enjoy Garbhan Downey's acidic, humourous novels ...he is an expert at the narrative rabbit-punch.
Irish Mail on Sunday
Inventive with a sharp sense of the ridiculous.
War of the Blue Roses was chosen as the IRISH BOOK OF THE MONTH in August 2009 by Hughes & Hughes Booksellers, Ireland.
Cover designed by the award-winning animator John McCloskey, whose recent film Crumblegiant was nominated for a BAFTA.
ISBN 978 1 906271 19 0
Published July 2009, softback, 110mm x 176mm (tall), 364 pages