“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, June 6, 2007
This Week We’re Reading … Borderlands and Clean Break
“This really is a stunning debut,” says It’s A Crime of Brian McGilloway’s opening gambit in the Inspector Devlin series. “The writing is excellent and the suspense of the plot is maintained to the end … So strong is the novel, it’s easy to imagine Morse’s Oxford and Rebus’ Edinburgh having Devlin’s Borderlands snapping at their heels.” High praise indeed, but Marcel Berlins over at The Times wasn’t to be outdone. McGilloway as joined the ‘roll of excellence’ in Irish crime fiction that includes Ken Bruen and John Connolly, he assures us: “Brian McGilloway’s command of plot and assurance of language make it difficult to believe that Borderlands is his debut… [He] tells this with style and compassion.” And there’s plenty more here where they came from … Style and compassion weren’t really Lionel White’s forte – prose as brutally blunt as a headbutt was more his thing. It’s difficult these days to dig up a Clean Break review that isn’t wibbling on about Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing, but we’ve managed to dig up a couple. “For unadorned action, suspense, and vigorous storytelling, Lionel White’s novels have seldom been surpassed,” says Bill Crider, while over here they reckon that, “For action-packed thrills, for hard-boiled, slugging adventure, The Killing is a fast-paced crime novel that won’t quit until the exciting photo finish.” The edition to your right is a complete mess inside the covers, the myriad typos and infantile layout suggesting it was photocopied from a first draft, but until they get around to republishing Clean Break, it’ll have to do. Grumble, rhubarb, etc.