“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.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Rime Of The Not-So-Ancient Mariani

Is Scott Mariani (right) the only Crime Always Pays correspondent with 18% Egyptian blood in his veins? Erm, we’d imagine so. Irish-American, mainly, but based in Wales, Scott’s the guy behind The Fulcanelli Manuscript. ‘What the blummering flippery is that?’ we hear you cry. Take it away, Scott …
“The idea for The Fulcanelli Manuscript was a coming together of a whole bunch of elements. The main part of the story is the hunt for a mysterious alchemical elixir that could save the life of a little girl. The alchemical material is something I’ve been researching for years. The Fulcanelli of the title was a real-life alchemist, whose disappearance in 1920’s Paris has never been explained. Rich ground for me, I thought. It was originally going to be a non-fiction book, and then about two years later I had the idea of incorporating it into a thriller with this character who had been floating around in my mind for a long time. His name is Benedict Hope, and he’s a kidnap and ransom consultant: in other words, he’s the guy who can fetch your loved ones back out of trouble when baddies have snatched them away. The various strands came together – I have a renegade scientist, a couple of crazy religious maniacs, a super-intense coffee-addicted neurotic French cop, a self-mutilating lunatic, a seriously sexy Italian historian lady who comes close to stealing our hero’s affections. And a lot of bullets. Oh, and a huge secret that could change the course of civilisation as we know it ... The action takes us from the west coast of Ireland to Canada, via the south of France and a nice Irish pub in Paris. You CAN get good Guinness in Paris ... that was the best part of the research, naturally!”
Dan Brown, your ass is grass. For a download of the first chapter of The Fulcanelli Manuscript, alchemise yourself all the way over here

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