He has written two novellas, The Last of Deeds and Love in History (Raven Arts Press, Dublin), which was shortlisted for the 1989 Irish Times/Aer Lingus Award for Irish Literature; and the novels, Resurrection Man (London, Picador, 1994), which detailed the bloodletting of the UVF gang the Shankill Butchers ; Booker nominated The Blue Tango (London, Faber & Faber, 2001), which examined the murder of Lancelot Curran's 19-year-old daughter; The Ultras (Faber & Faber, 2004); 12.23. Paris. 31 August 1997, based on the final days of Diana, Princess of Wales (Faber & Faber, June 2007); Orchid Blue (Faber & Faber, 2010), which looked at the last hanging on Irish soil, in Crumlin Road gaol, of Robert McGladdery for the murder of 19-year-old Pearl Gamble, near Newry, in 1961. He has also written the Navigator trilogy, for young adults, The Navigator, City of Time and The Frost Child.
The film version of Resurrection Man, for which he wrote the script, was released in 1998.
He has also written a series under the pseudonym John Creed. The Sirius Crossing; The Day of the Dead and Black Cat Black Dog. These feature the character of intelligence officer Jack Valentine. McNamee commenced writing another series for children, the first book of which is "The Ring of Five", and the second of which is "The Unknown Spy",both of which are based on plotting and "The devious arts", or espionage. He was awarded the Macauley Fellowship for Irish Literature in 1990. He lives in Co Sligo.
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