“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Friday, May 25, 2007


’Twas a sordid ‘n’ shameful dalliance and perhaps it’s best that the twisted relationship between crime fiction and the Dublin Writers’ Festival (June 13-17) has ended, for the sake of the kids if nothing else. Mind you, the kids are all growed up now and well capable of looking after themselves – skulking around Eason’s last week, Crime Always Pays counted nine Irish crime fiction authors on the new release wall, as compared with six Irish chick lit writers. Has Irish crime fiction reached some kind of tipping point? Is it time for a Crime Writers Ireland association thingymabob? Only time, that notorious tittle-tattler, will tell … Elsewhere on the festival circuit, Ruth Dudley ‘Do-Wrong’ Edwards (left) of Murdering Americans fame will very probably be a model of decorous restraint when she debates ‘Multi Cultural Ireland – Is There A Limit To Tolerance?’ with Brian Lenihan, TD, and Anna Lo, MLA, on Saturday, June 2, at the Goldsmith International Literary Festival, while John Blandville will be able to take a break from all that pesky talk of crime fiction scribbling when he fetches up at the John Hewitt International Summer School in the company of Fintan O’Toole, TP Flanagan and Kenneth Bloomfield. Blandville (right), who is quickly becoming notorious among the crime writing cognoscenti for his – to put it politely – disdainful attitude to crime fiction and the grubby urchins who read it, should find himself right at home in the rarefied atmosphere of Armagh’s Market Place Theatre from July 23rd to the 27th. Which is nice …

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