“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 True Crime Round-Up: It’s Crime! It’s True!! And It’s A Round-Up!!!

Some intriguing new Irish true crime offerings for your perusal, people: first up is Padraig O’Keefe’s Hidden Soldier, subtitled ‘An Irish Legionnaire’s Wars from Bosnia to Iraq’. Unable to settle back into civilian life after serving in Bosnia and Cambodia with the French Foreign Legion, O’Keefe became a ‘hidden soldier’ and wound up on ‘security operations’ in Haiti and Iraq. ‘An intense, exciting and vivid account of extraordinary and sometimes horrific events,’ reckon the blurb-elves at O’Brien, and if any of them are reading this, we’d love a review copy, ta very much … Minor Offences: Ireland’s Cradle of Crime is the title of Tom Tuite’s investigation into the underage criminals ‘who spend more time in the courtroom than the classroom’. Alongside the more lurid details of their criminal activity, Tuite explores the backdrop to juvenile crime, concluding that the one constant element that links anti-social behaviours is dysfunctional families. Gill and Macmillan are doing the honours … Finally, Brandon Books will publish James Monaghan’s Colombian Jail Journal in November. “Now, for the first time,” say Brandon’s blurb-elves, “James Monaghan tells the inside story of the Colombia Three: why they were in the demilitarised zone; what they discussed with the FARC rebels; how they survived the daily dangers of their time in prison. It is an extraordinary, unique account.” The burning question: were Monaghan, Martin McCauley and Niall Ferguson – allegedly IRA men advising the FARC rebels on how best to maximise their mass-killing capacity – really in the Colombian demilitarised zone for a spot of bird-watching? Only time, that perennial doity rat, will tell.

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