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Books written by Noel Scanlon

Black Ashes
Black Ashes
When "poor old Johnny Johnson", the manager of the Consolidated Bank in Ranpur, India, mysteriously commits suicide, responsible, 40-ish Paul Roberts is swiftly sent out by the Home Office to take over. He brings his wife, Deirdre, and their 17-year-old daughter, Monica, and they all move happily into his predecessor's house. Happily, that is, until they realise that Johnson (who'd hung himself in the master bedroom) is haunting the place...
Soon Paul and his family begin to understand the mysterious circumstances surrounding Johnson's suicide, and are unwillingly drawn into the same desperate struggle. At its centre are some gruesome apparitions, and a dream setting for the family soon turns into a nightmare to try and escape from . .

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Praise for Noel Scanlon on Black Ashes:
'Punchy and pacey: grabs you from the opening and holds you all the way to the last full stop.'
- Gordon Thomas, author of The Pontiff.
'Noel Scanlon is Ireland's answer to Stephen King.' - Harry Harrison, author of West of Eden.
The Gulf cover picture
The Gulf
David and Deborah, working in the Gulf state of Khor Fahal, are caught up in the chaos of a revolution. When David is kidnapped, Deborah, isolated on the wrong side of the creek, has to fend for herself in a situation where it is dangerous for a European woman to venture out alone but she must attempt to locate where David is held. With a depth of knowledge and understanding of the Gulf area and set against the vivid background of Arabia, Noel Scanlon tells a gripping tale of plotting, intrigue and revolution with all the heat, intensity and inflamed passions of the Middle East. The Gulf forecasts events that may well take place in the Gulf area in the near future.

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The Sunday Business Post Review
Roisin O'Sullivan

On top of a great storyline, there's a lot to be learned about Muslim culture from this book. The role of women in society is one main theme as is the perceived violence and dominance of men.

Novel look at Gulf between east and west

The most difficult part of reading Noel Scanlon's new book is keeping in mind that it is a work of fiction. This brilliantly researched novel offers us a rare insight into the Middle East, a culture that can seem at times to exist in a completely different universe from western civilisation.

The Gulf tackles our often closed-minded views of Muslim culture, but also highlights the discrepancies in how occupants of the Gulf region see westerners.

The story follows Irish banker David and his journalist wife Deborah as they live and work in the Gulf state of Khor Fahal, a strange and often hostile climate. Both are reasonably open-minded when compared to the other foreign diplomats they socialise with and so, through their eyes, we get quite a balanced outsider's view of Khor Fahal.

Khor Fahal is a deeply divided country. There are the Shi'ites, a deeply religious community with a strong majority. Then there are the Sunnis, who have only half the numbers of the Shi'ites, but are in possession of most of the political and financial control, a power they have maintained by aggressively eliminating any outspoken opposition.

Life in the Gulf has its ups and downs for the couple as they struggle with sizzling heat, strange customs and underlying hostility from the natives. However, things go I from bad to worse when David finds the body of the local Mullah at the bottom of the sea. When word spreads of the development, the Shi'ites I, feel completely violated and decide to stage a revolution.

Led by Ayatollah Abd Wahhab, a man with a strange ability to evoke fanatical support in anyone who listens to him, the Shi'ite men, women and children pledge themselves as martyrs to their cause and attempt to expunge the state of everything they deem to be sinful. Unfortunately, for the Irish couple and all the ex-pats they associate with, this includes westerners.

Although this book falls under the banner of fiction, its strength comes from the extensive background detail provided and the often insightful comments of its protagonists who bemoan the conflict in Palestine, There are also some interesting meditations on the Irish psyche and our tendency to align ourselves with the colonised, rather than the coloniser regardless of the reality.

Initially, we see Deborah trying to 'save' the women of Khor Fahal from their oppressive marriages, but as the book continues we start to understand that, in many cases, this way of life is an informed decision rather than an enforced one, Though beyond Deborah's ability to comprehend, it gives the reader food for thought.

This book is the perfect option for anyone looking for a summer read with a bit of substance. The disclaimer at the beginning of the book offers you a choice. You either take the book at face value as a riveting fictional tale, or you can read between the lines and see Scanlon's criticisms and predictions about the situation in the Middle East. Either way, The Gulf is unmissable.

From the moment Quinn enters the watchmaker's shop in the narrow alleyway in the walled town of Al Hajr and hears the terrified man's startling revelations he is caught up in the events that bring him and Abdul, his feckless and endearing servant, on an incredible journey across the great desert of southern Arabia

The Quinn and the Desert Oil
Quinn and the Desert Oil
Only Quinn, a man of cool reserve, who lives and breathes the desert, can prevent the ruthless oil minister, Wadia, from cutting off the lifeblood oil to the west.
An island off the Irish coast - a deserted island with Druid remains at the top of a hill. To this island comes S and his eight young followers of an Indian guru. They turn the remaining derelict cottages into roughly habitable buildings and convert the disused church into a place of meditation. And then Rosemary dies under mysterious circumstances and the group begin to wonder who is controlling their lives.
'Not to be read while you are alone in the house at night' Harry Harrison