Nicola White

Nicola White grew up in Ireland and New York and graduated from Trinity College, Dublin. She lived in London and Belfast before moving to Glasgow to work as a contemporary art curator, moving on to produce arts documentaries for BBC radio and television.

In 2008 she won the Scottish Book Trust’s New Writer Award, and began to publish short stories in a range of journals, anthologies and for broadcast on Radio 4. In 2012 she was Leverhulme Writer in Residence at Edinburgh University.

Her novel, In the Rosary Garden, won the Dundee International Book prize and was shortlisted for the 2014 Deanston (now McIlvanny) Prize. It was selected as one of the four best debuts by Val McDermid ‘New Blood’ panel at the Harrogate crime festival and was one of the Glasgow Herald’s 2014 ‘books of the year’.

She publishes non-fiction with The Dublin Review and has contributed essays to numerous visual art publications, such as the National Galleries of Scotland’s 2014 ‘Generation Reader’.

Nicola currently splits her time between Glasgow and the Highlands, which means she lives mostly on the A9.

Nicola is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Jenny. For all enquiries contact

Books by Nicola

The Burning Boy

Viper, January 2022

A dead police officer. A murder that no-one wants to solve…

Dublin, 1986. The murder of an off-duty officer in Phoenix Park should have brought down the full power of the Dublin police force. But Kieran Lynch was found in a notorious gay cruising ground, so even as the press revels in the scandal, some of the Murder Squad are reluctant to investigate.

Only Detectives Vincent Swan and Gina Considine are determined to search out the difficult truth, walking the streets of nighttime Dublin to find Kieran’s lovers and friends. But Gina has her own secret that means she must withhold vital evidence. When a fire rips through Temple Bar and another man is killed, she must decide what price she is willing to pay to find a murderer.


The Rosary Garden

Viper, January 2021

It was Ali who found the body of a murdered newborn baby, hidden in the garden of her convent school. In an Ireland riven by battles of religion and reproduction, the case becomes a media sensation, even as the church tries to suppress it. But this is not the first dead baby Ali has found.

For Detectives Vincent Swan and Gina Considine, the pressure to discover the identity of the dead child is little help against a community with secrets to protect. Gina knows all too well how many of Ireland’s girls are forced to make difficult decisions in terrible circumstances, silenced by shame. Is Ali one of those girls? Because what evidence there is, points to Ali herself…

A Famished Heart

Viper/Serpents Tail, 2020

They did it to themselves. But someone was watching…

The Macnamara sisters hadn’t been seen for months before anyone noticed. It was Father Timoney who finally broke down the door, who saw what had become of them. Berenice was sitting in her armchair, surrounded by religious tracts. Rosaleen had crawled under her own bed, her face frozen in terror. Both had starved themselves to death.

Francesca Macnamara returns to Dublin after decades in the US, to find her family in ruins. Meanwhile, Detectives Vincent Swan and Gina Considine are convinced that there is more to the deaths than suicide. Because what little evidence there is, shows that someone was watching the sisters die…

Praise for A Famished Heart

Sunday Times Crime Club Star Pick

A terrific new gem of Irish noir. –Sunday Times

Psychological nuanced and compassionate… gripping. –Irish Times

Thrilling… will keep you guessing until the very end. –My Weekly

This creeps up on you until you’re hooked. –Heat

‘Infused with depth, darkness and acute psychological drama’ Herald

A fabulous closed-room mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end. –Denise Mina, acclaimed author of Conviction

In the Rosary Garden

Cargo/Freight, 2013

Summer in Dublin, 1984. Ali Hogan is leaving school, all the possibilities of adult life glistening before her, when her discovery of a murdered newborn in a convent garden shatters her world and resurrects half-formed memories of a terrible incident from her childhood.

For detective Vincent Swan, a dead newborn is a sad, but not particularly unusual, occurrence. But this baby’s resting place in the grounds of a prosperous school, in an Ireland riven by battles over God and reproduction, makes the case a media sensation even as the church moves to suppress it.
Ali flees the media spotlight, seeking refuge at her uncle’s farm in remote Buleen where she starts to put together the fragments of that older tragedy, another infanticide. Meanwhile in Dublin, Swan’s investigation is stalling, forcing him to consider the scraps of evidence that point to Ali Hogan herself.

Praise for In the Rosary Garden

“In the Rosary Garden” is a moving, intelligent and courageous book – both a family story and a genuine thriller.” – AL Kennedy

“A mesmerising tale of secrets and lies rising from the past to strangle the present.” – Val McDermid

“In The Rosary Garden is as good as it gets: a debut shot through with the real, horrifying cruelty of true crime and a heart-race ending.” – Denise Mina

“A vivid thriller. Engrossing right up to its sombre resolution… an arresting debut” – Irish Independent

“An unusual but absorbingly twisting narrative is hugely enhanced by White’s creation of Detective Swan, a complex man whose own frustrated paternal instincts ensure that a highly politicised case becomes very personal indeed.” – The Irish Times

In The Rosary Garden, Nicola White’s superb, pitch-perfect debut, is a compulsive, page-turning crime novel, a haunting slab of Irish family gothic and a moving study of a young woman coming of age in a society deeply unsympathetic to women. Nicola White writes beautifully, with wit, verve, a gift for scene-setting and a compassionate eye for the foibles of her characters. – Declan Hughes, author of the Ed Loy novels.