“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.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
This Week We’re Reading … The Dead Yard and Half Moon Investigations
The Dead Yard being the second in Adrian McKinty’s ‘Dead’ trilogy, in which Michael Forsythe – Bourne with an evil sense of humour – goes undercover to infiltrate an Irish paramilitary splinter group operating out of New England. A pounding pace, rugged prose and a palette of pop culture references put this one in the Pelecanos bracket, but it’s McKinty’s turn of phrase that marks him out as an original – even if, hailing as we do from the Yeats County, we could have done without the various references to the ‘cow fuckers from Sligo’. Fabulous stuff, and The Bloomsday Dead yet to come: our cup runneth over. Meanwhile, Half Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer details the adventures of Fletcher Moon, a 12-year-old PI investigating the disappearance of a lock of hair. The rules of underage fiction dictate that there’s a refreshing absence of gore, violence and generalised psychosis, but on the basis of its seamless writing, sly humour and reading-as-pure-pleasure, this tucks effortlessly into Elmore Leonard’s slipstream. Colfer is obviously a fan of Chandler et al, and he has distilled essence of the hardboiled style here, with the emphasis very much on style. Writers will read it and weep; less self-conscious readers will be wearing a smile throughout.