Erm, yes. Moving swiftly on … the RTE Guide was less kind than it might have been to Val McDermid’s The Grave Tattoo, claiming that, “the basic premise is good … but there are too many loose ends and sub-plots that never quite get off the ground.” Still, the Raith Rovers fan will always have the Portico Prize AND the Theakston's Old Perculier Crime Novel of the Year award she won for The Grave Tattoo to sustain her … Unsurprisingly, Brian McGilloway’s Borderlands gets the 21-gun salute from Shotsmag: “Borderlands is a highly tense, taut debut novel with the same intensity one has come to expect from established authors.” Which is nice … Staying with Shotsmag, they’re getting to know Ken Bruen (left) quite well, apparently: “Bruen’s writing has a beguiling quality, written in very intimate first person … If you like your crime thrillers to challenge the way you think, then Bruen’s your man.” And staying with all things Bruen, Murderati has his ‘essay’ A Tale of Two Childhoods, which contains the deliciously downbeat kiss-off to the rich ‘n’ famous, “If you want to know what God thinks of money, look who he gave it to.” Ooooh, get him … John Connolly has had his prints taken over at Rap Sheet, where they’re asking a host of writers what crime novel they think has been most unjustly ignored over the years. Ross Macdonald’s The Chill, says John: “At the risk of being heretical, Macdonald was a much better novelist than Chandler, who was a flashier writer … read The Chill not only for its exquisite plotting and elegant, measured prose, but for the empathy, humanity and sheer generosity of spirit that infuses every page.” Couldn’t agree more … Finally, we got information, man, new shit has, uh, come to light … yep, it’s a double-whammy for Coen Brothers fans: not only did Ethan (right) and Joel's (righter) movie of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country For Old Men get les reviews raves at Cannes and finally blot out the blight that was The Ladykillers, but the Guardian brings news of a Coen Brothers-Working Title tie-in, Burn After Reading, Working Title being the company who worked on Fargo and The Big Lebowski (“Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules.”). Joy untrammelled, eh? Finally-finally, here's aspiring author Bernard Black / Dylan Moran of Black Books (below), not really coming to terms with his latest rejection letter. Altogether now: "Piss-midget!" And that’s all for another week, folks: have a good weekend and y’all come back now, y’hear?
Praise for Declan Burke: “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – The Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “A hardboiled delight.” – The Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review). “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre, was ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL.” – Sunday Times. “The writing is a joy.” – Ken Bruen. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.