Shane’s Books: Stories From the Margins

Stories From the Margins #1 – Bleak Alley (Released February 2020)

True crime within the dark heart of Irish gangs. Featuring original Irish folksongs written and performed by the author, Shane Dunphy.

He seems like a typical 16-year-old boy except that Mikey is walking the knife edge of crime. He’s tough and good with his fists, but when journalist Shane Dunphy is offered the chance to write his story, he discovers a lost, vulnerable child, in danger and desperate for help.

Shane descends into the perilous underworld of organised crime and discovers that the glamour of gangland life is riven with brutality and murder. Far from providing a means of survival for boys from broken families, the price they pay is often with their life.

With skill and empathy, and no little courage, Shane attempts to rescue Mikey from the clutches of warring gangland leaders and to restore the love and harmony of Mikey’s family which has been shattered by poverty and bad blood.

For fans of Peaky BlindersBleak Alley is the first in a series of true crime stories from the heart of Irish gangland life. The author provides extensive historical analysis of the rise of Irish street gangs and their outlaw Celtic culture, as well as original Irish folksongs.

Bleak Alley examines serious issues of social deprivation, state indifference and lawlessness with the pace and intrigue of a high-class thriller.

Stories From the Margins #2 – The Bad Place (released October 2020)

True Crime meets inspirational memoir in this shocking tale of redemption. A retired journalist believes a killer is on the loose, a dangerous man who is being protected by those sworn to bring him to justice; Shane Dunphy must decide if this is terrifying truth or dark fantasy.

In this shocking new True Crime Audible Original an old friend contacts child protection expert and writer Shane to seek his advice. He believes he knows what happened to a group of children who went missing in the 1980s.
The veteran journalist is certain there is a conspiracy going right to the top of the police and government in Ireland – and maybe even further afield – to protect those responsible.

Is he just jumping at shadows, burnt out by years at the sharp end of a tough job, or is this one of the biggest stories in the history of Irish crime reporting? As Shane investigates, he begins to recognise the MO of the alleged killer, and is drawn back to a case from the very beginning of his own work in child protection, one that almost ended his career before it started.

It was the case that brought him face to face with a terrifying figure known as The Dark Man. And to a crumbling mansion in the Irish countryside terrified children call The Bad Place.

Punctuated by folk songs, stories from Ireland’s dark history and Shane’s trademark empathy and sensitivity, The Bad Place combines the best of True Crime writing with the tenderness of an inspirational memoir. Fans of both genres will be riveted.

Stories From the Margins #3 – No Ceremony for the Dead (to be released January 2021)

No Ceremony for the Dead – Shane is giving a talk at a social care conference when he is approached by a skinny young man in an ill-fitting and mismatched suit. He tells Shane his name is Charlie, and for the past two decades he has been attending a project for adults with intellectual disabilities. A staff member at the unit has been terrorizing Charlie and his friends, and they have decided they have had enough: they are coming after the man who abused them and put one of their friends in a coma.

In fact, they are planning on killing him.

Can Shane stop these determined but very frightened youngsters from committing a crime they will surely live to regret, but still bring the predator to justice?

An investigation into this institutional abuser, a man who has been continually protected by the establishment, brings Shane on a collision course with a dangerous and deranged sadist, and along the way he finds himself clashing with a Nazi biker gang, a wealthy philanthropist with a dark history and the hidden horrors of Ireland’s past.

Told with wry wit and deep compassion, this is a story you won’t want to miss.