“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 15, 2007

The Monday Review

It’s Monday, so it must be the Monday Review, and by logical extension time for another cracking big-up for Arlene Hunt’s latest, to wit: “Missing Presumed Dead is an enjoyably fast-paced caper … It is rare to come across a thriller like this, which is as well written and amusing as it is gritty and suspense-filled,” says the Irish Daily Mail, which is very nice indeed … Let’s get the inevitable The Unquiet review out of the way early this week, eh? “Connolly weaves elements of the supernatural into a disturbing, very dark tale … The disquieting subject, coupled with Connolly’s dark, lyrical prose, will leave unshakable images lurking on the edge of the reader’s consciousness,” reckons Booklist (and a host of others) over here … What of Cora Harrison’s My Lady Judge, say you? “It is the sort of book that one is sad to end, as it paints such an appealing picture of how life ought to be that the series is bound to have great appeal, and run and run. If you want a feel-good read, this is definitely the feel-good book of 2007 so far,” says one of the reviewing shelves over at My Shelf … “The key to this excellent Irish police procedural is not the cops though they do a great job … Andrew Nugent provides a deep thriller in which his stars take a back seat to the support cast,” says Harriet Klausner of Second Burial … John over at Things I’d Rather Be Doing casts a critical one over Benny Blanco’s (from the Bronx) Christine Falls: “While Banville is clearly a gifted writer – his descriptions of people and places are at times breathtaking – his attempt at mimicking the verbal sleights and shadows of the best thrillers, never mind the pace, show just how difficult it is to write a gripping page-turner.” Hmmm. Much more of that and Benny’ll be sending his boys around, John … How long has it been since we mentioned The London Eye Mystery? Too long, that’s how long: “We don’t stock many hardcover books, but this one by Siobhan Dowd is one of them because it’s so good … For readers nine and above, but adults will love this too,” says Malcolm at Story Time Books “Fans of the Artemis Fowl series will be glad to know that the latest book in the group, The Lost Colony, returns to the heights of some of the previous books … Good fun regardless of your age. If you like the idea of real fairies, dwarfs, pixies, and centaurs, and you like your science current and inventive, then you’d probably enjoy the book,” says Donna at Candle Wasters, while the Bogormen (!) are in agreement: “I get more and more fond of both Artemis and Butler with each book. And the end is heartbreaking. I can’t wait for the next one.” Erm, you’ll just have to, Bogorman … Bernard Knight has been a busy reader over at Tangled Web. First he has a squint at Murdering Americans, to wit: “Another delightful satire by the author of a string of novels, each using the mystery genre to carry her outrageously iconoclastic themes … The many quotes she slips in from learned philosophers on the subject shows that she has taken the issue very seriously and that it is more than just a cynical satire meant to entertain,” he says of Ruth Dudley Edwards’ latest, and then turns his piercing gaze on Gene Kerrigan’s The Midnight Choir: “The complex plot is handled very well but it is the writing and the immaculate conveying of the atmosphere of contemporary Ireland that is this author’s strength.” Lovely … The Irish Emigrant is impressed with Thomas McShane’s true crime offering Loot: “McShane is obviously not only very knowledgeable, but also very appreciative of the various art forms, and the mixture of the higher echelons of the art world with the decidedly seedy world of the mafia and small-time criminals gives Loot an entertaining and almost filmic quality.” Can’t say fairer than that … Publishers’ Weekly likes Shamus nominee Declan Hughes’ The Colour of Blood: “Irish playwright Hughes follows up his successful contemporary crime debut, The Wrong Kind of Blood (2006), with another gripping and gritty whodunit set in his native Dublin … The sharp writing and strong local colour distinguish this novel from the common run of thrillers.” Marvellous. Finally, those krazy kids at the Irish Times are still subscription-only, so you’ll have to take our word for it that Aisling Foster was impressed with Eoin McNamee’s 12:23 (etc.), to wit: “The last section of the book is a triumph. By the end, the borderline between truth and McNamee’s imagination hardly matters … McNamee’s chronicle of a death foretold promises what one would have thought impossible – a new dimension to the mythology of her end.” And whether that’s actually a good thing or not we’ll leave up to you to decide, gentle reader …

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