“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.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The Monday Review: But Who Reviews The Reviewers, Eh?

They’re still coming in thick and fast for Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant, folks – to wit: “Skulduggery Pleasant has all the ingredients of a huge success … Landy’s wit shines through the narrative and his adventure reads with pace and excitement,” says Lindy at Lindy B’s Live Journal, while Debra Hamel over at Spike Books likes it a lot too: “Landy’s Skulduggery won’t assume the Potter mantle – if such a thing were even possible – but it is highly readable and funny, a charming page-turner for the YA crowd.” Lovely … “A sympathetic understanding of Dublin’s Little Africa makes this a special whodunnit,” reckons Anna Kurnuszko of Andrew Nugent’s Second Burial down under at the Aussie Sunday Times … “The humour is by turn slapstick and very dark. Bateman does not follow in the conventional tradition of crime writing; rather he should be seen as the natural heir to the black comic novels of Tom Sharpe,” says Mike Ripley over at Eurocrime about The Artist Formerly Known As Bateman’s I Predict A Riot … Tana French’s In the Woods is still garnering raves, not least from Jo Litson in the Aussie Sunday Times: “This is a classic whodunit with twists and turns and red herrings aplenty. But it is Ryan’s past that truly fascinates, and here French explores complex notions of identity and memory.” MySpace Books is equally impressed: “An entertainingly complex and cinematic crime thriller that is also quite simply a good novel, Tana French’s In the Woods has the forensic interest of CSI and the nuanced characterizations and compelling interpersonal relations of The Wire, along with quick pacing, a sense of humour, and a strong sense of place.” Crikey! … “Tenderwire is a carefully-balanced book, constructed with as much skill and precision as the instrument at the centre of it, and as haunting as the strains of its music,” claims Fay L. Booth at Hags, Harlots and Heroines of Claire Kilroy’s latest … But what of Ruth Dudley Edwards’ Murdering Americans, I hear you cry. Well, Jean Utley at I Love A Mystery likes it: “Edwards writes wonderful caricatures of American types in a very funny way … Jack Troutbeck is a character to be savoured and enjoyed as the fine wine she drinks. Highly recommended.” Marvellous stuff … We haven’t featured Gemma O’Connor in a while, but Crime Time likes Walking on Water: “This is Gemma O’Connor’s fifth psychological mystery set in rural Ireland, and once again she dazzles the reader with her haunting prose and insightful characterisation,” says Mark Campbell … Siobhan Dowd’s The London Eye Mystery is ‘One to Watch Out For’ over at The Daily Mail, while Kathryn Ross in The Scotsman likes it too: “A traditional mystery adventure where the youngsters beat the police detectives at their own game … Dowd keeps the tension cranked up, but there’s plenty of humour too.” … Mmmm, lovely … Garbhan Downey’s Running Mates is Fiction Book of the Month over at Kenny’s: “Behind the satire, however, there is a serious message and this even makes the book more interesting.” You couldn’t beat it with a stick … That all-important John Connolly review runneth thusly: “As beautifully creepy, well-written thrillers go, this one in Connolly’s Charlie Parker series is way cool,” reckons Barbara King at What Are Writers Reading … Over at The Telegraph, Helen Brown likes Anna Burns’ Little Constructions: “I can’t remember the last time I read prose so profound and so punchy, at once scattergun and forensic. It’s like the ink’s been made from gunpowder. And every line leaves a darkly sparkling residue you won’t be able to wash off.” Yummy … Finally, Adrian McKinty’s The Bloomsday Dead gets the hup-ya from Mystery News, via The Mean Streets: “Adrian McKinty is an author who just keeps getting better and better. He’s also a guy who’s not afraid to take chances … McKinty’s just having a little fun and at the same time engaging in the kind of literary shenanigans that, I’m sure, would have warmed the cockles of Joyce’s heart. At its core, The Bloomsday Dead is the sort of full-throttle crime novel that other authors in the genre would sell their souls to be able to write … You can’t go home again. Or can you? Either way, this is one of the most entertaining, high-octane and literate explorations of that question you are likely to find anywhere on the shelves today.” All of which is scrotumtighteningly riverun nice …

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