“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.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Gallows Humour: Laughing All The McGilloway To The Bank

The ongoing raves for Brian McGilloway’s (right) Borderlands suggest that people will be taking a more critical squint at the second in his DI Devlin series, Gallows Lane, which will be published by Macmillan next spring to coincide with the mass-market publication of a paperback edition of Borderlands in April. Happily, you can starting squinting now, as Crime Always Pays offers an exclusive-ish extract from the first chapter of Gallows Lane, to wit:
Things reached a peak for James [Kelly] when he took a shine to a neighbour’s daughter, Mary Gallagher, who was seventeen. Their blossoming relationship seemed to keep James on the straight and narrow right up until the day, just a week shy of his sixteenth birthday, when he discovered that Mary was in fact his half-sister, the product of one of his father’s clandestine affairs. Things became further complicated when it transpired that Mary was pregnant with James’ child and, in the manner of parochial Irish towns country-wide, the girl was sent to live with an aunt in England and James became the wandering protagonist in his own personal Greek tragedy. […]
Finally, Kelly had been injured fleeing the scene of an armed robbery just over the border and had been arrested by the RUC, the law in the North before the Police Service of Northern Ireland was established. He had served eight years of a twelve year sentence before allegedly finding God and, the Friday previous to my meeting him, had earned early release for good behaviour. All of this Superintendent Costello had explained to me that Sunday morning in his office. Costello had received word from the PSNI that Kelly had been released from Maghaberry Prison. Since then, Costello had posted someone on the border waiting for Kelly to appear – which he finally did.
‘I don’t want Kelly coming back here, making trouble, Benedict. If he arrives, convince him to stay on the Northern side of the border, eh?’
‘What’s he done?’ I asked.
‘Found Jesus, apparently; that’s why they let the wee shite out.’
‘Maybe he has,’ I suggested.
‘What?’
‘Found Jesus.’
‘I doubt it,’ Costello said. 'If Jesus knew Kelly was looking for Him, He would’ve hid.’
If you haven't already got your grubby mitts on Borderlands, we'd advise you to do so toot sweet. This bandwagon is officially leaving the station ...

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