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A darkly glittering collection of Northern Irish noir by Stuart Neville, Los Angeles Times Book Prize–winning author Since his debut novel, the modern classic The Ghosts of Belfast, was published a decade ago, Stuart Neville has published eight other critically acclaimed novels and achieved international recognition as one of crime fiction’s great living writers. Now for th A darkly glittering collection of Northern Irish noir by Stuart Neville, Los Angeles Times Book Prize–winning author Since his debut novel, the modern classic The Ghosts of Belfast, was published a decade ago, Stuart Neville has published eight other critically acclaimed novels and achieved international recognition as one of crime fiction’s great living writers. Now for the first time Neville offers readers a collection of his short fiction—twelve chilling stories that traverse and blend the genres of noir, horror, and speculative fiction, and which bring the history and lore of Neville’s native Northern Ireland to glittering life. The collection concludes with the longawaited novella The Traveller, the companion piece to The Ghosts of Belfast and Collusion. Complete with a foreword from Irish crime fiction legend John Connolly, this volume is the perfect indulgence for fans of ghost stories and noir, and is a must-have for devotees of Neville’s prizewinning Belfast novels.


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A darkly glittering collection of Northern Irish noir by Stuart Neville, Los Angeles Times Book Prize–winning author Since his debut novel, the modern classic The Ghosts of Belfast, was published a decade ago, Stuart Neville has published eight other critically acclaimed novels and achieved international recognition as one of crime fiction’s great living writers. Now for th A darkly glittering collection of Northern Irish noir by Stuart Neville, Los Angeles Times Book Prize–winning author Since his debut novel, the modern classic The Ghosts of Belfast, was published a decade ago, Stuart Neville has published eight other critically acclaimed novels and achieved international recognition as one of crime fiction’s great living writers. Now for the first time Neville offers readers a collection of his short fiction—twelve chilling stories that traverse and blend the genres of noir, horror, and speculative fiction, and which bring the history and lore of Neville’s native Northern Ireland to glittering life. The collection concludes with the longawaited novella The Traveller, the companion piece to The Ghosts of Belfast and Collusion. Complete with a foreword from Irish crime fiction legend John Connolly, this volume is the perfect indulgence for fans of ghost stories and noir, and is a must-have for devotees of Neville’s prizewinning Belfast novels.

30 review for The Traveller and Other Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    Outstanding collection in every possible way! Every single story in this collection of Neville's haunting Irish noir is excellent. Dark, brooding, filled with ghosts and other spirits, mixtures of faith and violence, and, of course, the loss of faith. Young children seeing things that can't be real and men condemned to never escape the ghosts of their pasts, not even in the water closet. Read this one slowly and savor every page. It's that good.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Maximilian Birner

    I wasn't expecting to enjoy these short stories as much as I did, but they all felt so perfect. And guess what makes them all immediately intriguing? Murder. We've got a lot of death in this book and it never disappoints! There was one thing that completely blew me away in The Traveller and Other Stories. And that was the repetitive lines the author uses in each story. You'll definitely notice it in the first story, where a boy's mother is missing and he waits for her to come back from the librar I wasn't expecting to enjoy these short stories as much as I did, but they all felt so perfect. And guess what makes them all immediately intriguing? Murder. We've got a lot of death in this book and it never disappoints! There was one thing that completely blew me away in The Traveller and Other Stories. And that was the repetitive lines the author uses in each story. You'll definitely notice it in the first story, where a boy's mother is missing and he waits for her to come back from the library on the ferry every day. As the reader, you're obviously expecting the worst and there are a couple of lines here that are like a gut punch. In other stories like The Night Hag (which was one of my favorites) there was another great repetition of a piece of dialogue that had a very different meaning each time. Little things like that bumped this up from a four-star to a five star read to me. I enjoyed almost every single story here. Like I said, most of them involve murder. But it's not like they're all detective stories, some felt more like horror shorts to me. My only complaint would be the last story, The Traveller. The short stories were probably an excuse for not writing a novella from a continuation of one of Neville's previous works, but I honestly didn't think it worked well with the rest of the bunch. (And I ended up enjoying the short stories more anyways.) While the others were creative and spooky, the last twenty-five percent to me felt a little dry. But, I wouldn't let one of the thirteen stories bump it down an entire star. An interesting read, where I read a story every day and was almost never disappointed. I look forward to its pub day and thank you for NetGalley and the publisher for granting my wish and giving me a copy!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Stuart Neville wrote one of the best debuts I have ever read with The Twelve/ The Ghosts of Belfast. In this book of short stories, some of them delve again into the lives of Gerry And Jack and some loose ends are tied up. The other stories are great, quite dark and some verge on horror, each a masterpiece in itself. My favourite, apart from the novella The Traveller, is the first story about the little boy waiting at the ferry for his mother to return home. For those that have read The Twelve an Stuart Neville wrote one of the best debuts I have ever read with The Twelve/ The Ghosts of Belfast. In this book of short stories, some of them delve again into the lives of Gerry And Jack and some loose ends are tied up. The other stories are great, quite dark and some verge on horror, each a masterpiece in itself. My favourite, apart from the novella The Traveller, is the first story about the little boy waiting at the ferry for his mother to return home. For those that have read The Twelve and wondered what happened to Jack and his daughter, The Traveller brings them together again with the ghost of Gerry and the Traveller, a killer for hire. I loved this collection of stories and if you haven’t read The Twelve and the subsequent novels featuring Jack Lennon, then you are in for a real treat. #TheTravellerandotherstories #NetGalley

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bookreporter.com Mystery & Thriller

    THE TRAVELLER AND OTHER STORIES is the perfect short-fiction collection. It provides an irresistible introduction to the work of author Stuart Neville for those who are unfamiliar with him and his loosely connected series of Emerald noir books known as the Belfast novels. These stories, many of which feature characters and situations from those titles, sink the hook and draw one in. Those who are already familiar with Neville’s immense talent will find at least two stories that are new to them - THE TRAVELLER AND OTHER STORIES is the perfect short-fiction collection. It provides an irresistible introduction to the work of author Stuart Neville for those who are unfamiliar with him and his loosely connected series of Emerald noir books known as the Belfast novels. These stories, many of which feature characters and situations from those titles, sink the hook and draw one in. Those who are already familiar with Neville’s immense talent will find at least two stories that are new to them --- the previously unpublished title piece and “The Night Hag” --- and a number of others culled from a wide and diverse range of sources. Resistance is futile. This collection is composed of 12 short pieces and “The Traveller,” a novella, but it is the wonderfully lengthy “Introduction by the Author” that sets the mood. Neville summarizes each of the stories and discusses how they came about, but he creates a bit of a problem in doing so. One is tempted to break off from the Introduction and proceed straight to the meat of the book, even as it is all but impossible to leave these opening pages unread. In any event, let’s proceed to the main course. THE TRAVELLER is divided into two parts: “New Monsters” and “Old Friends.” The phrase “New Monsters” brings to mind horror and/or the supernatural, and both are in ample supply throughout the book. If there is a lesson here (as if it were needed), it is that monsters exist on both sides of the veil in the area where the natural and supernatural don’t so much meet as meld. We learn this all too quickly in “Coming in on Time,” which is about a young boy who seemingly has been abandoned by his mother. Neville subtly lets the reader know that this is not the case, which makes the story all the sadder as we watch the boy wait for her return as our suspicions are confirmed. “The Green Lady” is based on a local Irish legend meant to frighten children away from an area. Neville demonstrates that it is equally useful in scaring adults as well. “Echo” concerns a young boy who is raised as the reincarnation of his deceased sister. We get the whole nine yards here: two birthdays celebrated, two sets of presents and the like. It isn’t a long story, but that doesn’t prevent the author from tossing a live hand grenade or two into the already creepy proceedings near the end. “London Safe” repeats the theme of the absent parent, with an extra layer of tragedy applied to the plot. A man travels to London to find his father, who apparently abandoned the family decades before. Some things are better left undone. As with many of the stories in THE TRAVELLER, this one offers a brooding take on the ripples formed in the aftermath of the Troubles that proceed to this day. “Queen of the Hill,” as noted in Neville’s introduction, is a crime story based on Irish mythology and centers on a man torn between the impulses of his mind and his heart. Of course, as with most of the stories here, it does not end well. Set during the Christmas season, this was an entry in THE USUAL SANTAS, a Soho Press holiday anthology, but remains fresh and new in this setting as well. The aforementioned “The Night Hag” explores what occurs when a guilty conscience results in sleep paralysis. Hilarity does not ensue. Then there is a very short tale titled “Black Beauty,” which documents the horrific consequences of stealing a prized guitar from the wrong person. I am prattling on too long and yet not long enough. “The Craftsman” concerns Albert Ryan, a hitman in the twilight of his life who retains his skills but has lost his drive and that which he holds most dear --- until he is motivated to do what he does best one more time. At least. Gerry Fagan, who first appeared in Neville’s debut novel, THE GHOSTS OF BELFAST, makes an appearance in several of these stories (sometimes as a surprise, so I won’t say which). He is a tragic figure, an enforcer with a conscience who is haunted in the most literal sense and who in turn... But that would be telling. “The Traveller” closes the book and, as Neville notes, was written at the request of his fans, who wanted to know what happened to Belfast cop Jack Lennon and his daughter, Ellen, after the conclusion of THE FINAL SILENCE. The answer would be “Nothing good.” That said, it is a superlative tale in a collection filled to the brim with such. The tales in THE TRAVELLER AND OTHER STORIES are beautifully crafted. They are also grim, dark and humorless, shot through with people whose lives are running out of a pot-holed road but who knowingly trudge gamely onward toward the inevitable without a deus ex machina or “happily ever after” to be had. How then can one help but be absolutely enthralled by every word that is found here? As you sit comfortably in your chair and bemoan the state of the world these days, read this book. It will put you and all of your blessings in perspective. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub

  5. 4 out of 5

    Gary Regan

    The Traveller and Other Stories— 3 Stars. I have been a fan of Stuart Neville since his first book “The Ghosts of Belfast”. He is one of the best and consistent writers out there and no one captures the “troubles” in Ireland quite like him. I’m not a big fan of short stories in general, but hey, it’s Stuart Neville so I figured I’ll give it a shot. It goes without saying, that my primary interest would be on part 2 “Old Friends which brings back characters from previous full-length novels. It doe The Traveller and Other Stories— 3 Stars. I have been a fan of Stuart Neville since his first book “The Ghosts of Belfast”. He is one of the best and consistent writers out there and no one captures the “troubles” in Ireland quite like him. I’m not a big fan of short stories in general, but hey, it’s Stuart Neville so I figured I’ll give it a shot. It goes without saying, that my primary interest would be on part 2 “Old Friends which brings back characters from previous full-length novels. It does disappoint, in particular the novella “The Traveller which I expected so much more from. Part 1 “New Monsters. as there were some interesting reads but some others that I was less than enthralled with. Overall a book that I would not recommend. The book is divided into two parts: New Monsters, which contains seven chilling stand-alone tales that traverse and blend the genres of crime fiction, horror, and speculative fiction; and Old Friends, which contains five short pieces that reveal the origins or hidden backstories of Neville fan-favorite characters like Albert Ryan, Roberta Garrick, and of course Gerry Fagan. It also contains the long-awaited novella The Traveller, the companion piece to The Ghosts of Belfast and Collusion.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Patrick SG

    An eerie, noirish collection of stories by this Irish master. If you're looking for comfort stories, you've come to the wrong place. These are tales of bad 'uns, usually unrepentant and unredeemed, with a hint of the supernatural thrown in. An excellent choice for around Halloween. While these stories can be read as a stand-alone, the only caution I would have is that they are better read after you have read some of the authors other novels. His classic thriller, "The Ghosts of Belfast," the firs An eerie, noirish collection of stories by this Irish master. If you're looking for comfort stories, you've come to the wrong place. These are tales of bad 'uns, usually unrepentant and unredeemed, with a hint of the supernatural thrown in. An excellent choice for around Halloween. While these stories can be read as a stand-alone, the only caution I would have is that they are better read after you have read some of the authors other novels. His classic thriller, "The Ghosts of Belfast," the first chapter of which is reprinted here in its original short story form, introduces one of the characters you'll read about in at least two other stories here. Other stories, including the title one, include characters in three other of his novels. So if you don't want some surprises to be revealed, you'd be better to read other stand-alone novels before. But definitely come back to this collection of tales to close the loop.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ab

    I am not familiar with Stuart Neville, and I cannot BELIEVE it! This was a phenomenal collection of short stories. They were dark and noir, but also incredibly unsettling and otherworldly. I most enjoyed the first half of the collection, grouped under "Monsters," but the second half was also good, just more noir than supernatural. Neville writes children suuuuuuper eerily and perfectly. The mastery of this collection is the incredible atmospheric quality he creates, with grit, chill, dark, and e I am not familiar with Stuart Neville, and I cannot BELIEVE it! This was a phenomenal collection of short stories. They were dark and noir, but also incredibly unsettling and otherworldly. I most enjoyed the first half of the collection, grouped under "Monsters," but the second half was also good, just more noir than supernatural. Neville writes children suuuuuuper eerily and perfectly. The mastery of this collection is the incredible atmospheric quality he creates, with grit, chill, dark, and eeriness, almost Gothic without the historical feel. Even when his stories are more about a gritty mobster underbelly of this Northern Ireland setting, something just feels perfectly, darkly "off" and unsettling. I will definitely be adding Stuart Neville to my must-read authors.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    Normally I recommend that one read a single short story from a collection each night before bed but that's not the case with this wonderful collection. Read them in the light,. This is Irish Noir at its best. The 13 stories here are about dreadful crimes and scary things, It's divided into two sections- New Monsters and Old Friends. As I'd not read Neville before I might have missed the additional pleasure his fans will have from seeing familiar characters but that doesn't mean I enjoyed it any Normally I recommend that one read a single short story from a collection each night before bed but that's not the case with this wonderful collection. Read them in the light,. This is Irish Noir at its best. The 13 stories here are about dreadful crimes and scary things, It's divided into two sections- New Monsters and Old Friends. As I'd not read Neville before I might have missed the additional pleasure his fans will have from seeing familiar characters but that doesn't mean I enjoyed it any less. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. It's a great and interesting read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Rivera

    This was a really great short story collection featuring 12 stories and 1 novella which has an introduction by the author that gives you a description or the background for each story and an amazing foreword by John Connolly. I have never read any of Stuart Neville's books and I really want to now. This was set up in 2 parts in Part 1 New Monsters the stories are largely more on the supernatural side with a side of tragedy and sadness as well while Part 2 Old Friends ties into characters who hav This was a really great short story collection featuring 12 stories and 1 novella which has an introduction by the author that gives you a description or the background for each story and an amazing foreword by John Connolly. I have never read any of Stuart Neville's books and I really want to now. This was set up in 2 parts in Part 1 New Monsters the stories are largely more on the supernatural side with a side of tragedy and sadness as well while Part 2 Old Friends ties into characters who have appeared in his other novels which ends with a novella about what happens to Jack Lennon and his daughter Ellen after the events in The Final Silence. So this was a really fast read and every story was super interesting and Stuart Neville is a really great engaging writer. Even though I had no clue about any of the characters in Part 2 since I haven’t read any of his other novels, it didn’t matter I wasn’t lost and every story was so intriguing that it kept me engaged even when I wondering what was happening here. So all in all a fabulous read and can’t wait to start on his other novels. Thanks to Soho Crime and Netgalley for the complimentary copy of this book in e-book form. All opinions in this review are my own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    John Rumery

    Hey! This was good. I sometimes forget how enjoyable short stories can be. This collection was very Irish. Stories ranged from modern Grimm Fairy Tales to drunken, mysterious hitmen. Reminded me of the great John Connolly. Evil people and spirits. I’ve queued up earlier Stuart Neville books. I like his style. Especially the haunted hitman.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Knapp

    If you are expecting happy little stories, this book is not for you. It is sad, skewed, and mildly warped without happy endings. Echo is my favorite...having two birthdays each year sounds fun, but not after you read this story.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    3.5 stars

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Really I would like to split my rating; 3 for the short stories and 5 for the Traveller novella.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Elzane

    OVERRATED A disappointing collection of stories. Many felt like scenes cut or edited from his Ghosts of Belfast series. Really not worth the expensive price tag.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Martina

    Coming from Soho Crime October 6, 2020. Shorter fiction from Stuart Neville. Also received a starred review from Publishers Weekly!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Natasha D'Cunha

    Short stories aren’t my cup of tea. They begin without context and just when I’m getting the hang of the characters and plot, it ends 😐 Wham bam thank you ma'am! Where's my wine and dine?

  17. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Neville writes really well, so it's no surprise that this is a solid collection of stories. Decent variety and most were engaging. Recommended. Thanks very much for the ARC for review!!

  18. 4 out of 5

    David

    Short stories all stemming from the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Some are fantasies, others are hard driving murder mysteries, all are grief filled, and a couple are heart wrenching.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Janie Prim

    I love the way Stuart Neville writes! The short stories were great, and the novella, "The Traveller", is right out of "The Ghosts of Belfast"! When it comes to suspense, Neville does it for me!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Martina

    New collection of short stories from Stuart Neville. Looking forward to reading this. I doubt I'll finish this before it has to be returned today. The previous book I was reading took much longer to finish than I expected. I read several of the stories from the beginning of the book and can only say that Neville's story telling is brilliant. Unfortunately they struck me in turn as unbearably sad, or frightening, or some other emotion I'd rather not have in these insane weeks of political and medi New collection of short stories from Stuart Neville. Looking forward to reading this. I doubt I'll finish this before it has to be returned today. The previous book I was reading took much longer to finish than I expected. I read several of the stories from the beginning of the book and can only say that Neville's story telling is brilliant. Unfortunately they struck me in turn as unbearably sad, or frightening, or some other emotion I'd rather not have in these insane weeks of political and medical insanity! I will definitely come back to the book when I'm in a better place. Neville can absolutely spin a tale worth a bag full of stars. I'll 'rate' it when I can finish it. Had to return the book on 16 November 2020.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Boisvert

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ricky McAllister

  23. 4 out of 5

    Deryck Vincent

  24. 4 out of 5

    Greg

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lorraine Durand

  26. 5 out of 5

    Eileen Ahern

  27. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sue

  29. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  30. 4 out of 5

    Maximilian Birner

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