“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.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
This Week We're Reading ... Bishop's Pawn and Cannon Law
I’m not quite dead yet, etc. KT McCaffrey’s latest, Bishop’s Pawn , opens with series heroine Emma Boylan reading her obituary in the newspaper where she works, and subsequently prying the lid off a particularly nasty can of squiggly yokes slithering up out of her past – in other words, it’s a sequel of sorts to Revenge (1999). A multi-character piece with an impressive quotient of psychopathic villains, Bishop’s Pawn is a movie-in-waiting … we’re thinking Hilary Swank as Emma, and the Crime Always Pays staff as the motley crew of psycho freaks. Hey, call us, we’re free … Meanwhile, our nomination for the most underrated private dick scribbler anywhere is Vincent Banville, whose hardboiled(ish), painfully self-aware shamus John Blaine got a third outing in Cannon Law (2001). “An excellent new crime novel from one of Ireland’s foremost exponents of the genre,” reported Read Ireland, describing Banville’s writing as “Gripping, funny and stripped to the bone … packs a punch like a fist in a velvet glove.” Banville treads a fine line between paying homage to the Chandleresque tropes and unmercifully taking the proverbial out of said tropes … and then Blaine, being Blaine, stomps all over that delicately crafted prose. We like it a lot, and wethinks you will too.