“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.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Nobody Move, This Is A Review: The Colour of Blood by Declan Hughes

When Shane Howard, a Dublin dentist, receives compromising pictures of his 19-year-old daughter accompanied by a note demanding 50 grand, he calls in the professionals. Enter one Ed Loy, your standard troubled private investigator with a passion for the gargle who somehow manages to avoid cliché; by the end, Loy has uncovered about ten murders all tangled up with one family’s tortured history. The myriad subplots zig-zagging through the novel keep the pace at a steady gallop and Hughes weaves together a complicated story with aplomb, without sticky endings or facile conclusions. The cast of characters – which includes a South Dublin princess, a supposedly reformed criminal whose pots of cash have bought his acceptance at an exclusive rugby club, and a femme fatale who calls the shots – often play for laughs, but they never run into caricature. It is contemporary Dublin, however, which is the novel’s central character. Its new wealth, opportunity, development and shiny apartments may shimmer at the surface but it’s the city’s nefarious underbelly that becomes a much more prominent persona – with all its attendant greed, exploitation, criminal gangs, hypocrisy, snobbery and the repression of old.- Claire Coughlan

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