“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, August 26, 2007
The Monday Review
Some tasty thriller action to whet your appetite, folks: “Scott Mariani’s debut novel The Fulcanelli Manuscript turns out to be a sprightly little thriller with action on every page … a brisk and enjoyable enough read and suggests that Scott Mariani might well be an author to watch out for,” says Sharon Wheeler over at Reviewing the Evidence … We haven’t mentioned Eoin Colfer for a week or two, but blog-title-of-the-week Stardust Asylum remedies that with a big-up for Artemis Fowl and The Lost Colony: “This book was superbly written. Artemis has grown into a charming mixture of criminal mastermind and teenager with a heart of gold.” Meanwhile, some inky-fingered chancer called Declan Burke has inveigled his way into the Euro Crime reviewing list, and likes Sylvester Young’s up-coming Sleeping Dogs Lie, to wit: “A punchy, cynical and relentlessly political novel, Sleeping Dogs Lie is as courageous a statement of intent as it is a gripping thriller.” Couldn’t have put it better ourselves … The TLS is always a model of restraint, even when reviewing Eoin McNamee’s stonking thriller 12:23: “As people who stand to profit by witnessing a death, McNamee’s characters surpass the traditional villains of the piece, the paparazzi, in moral sordidness,” proclaims Nicholas Cullen through stiff upper and lower lips … Over at Fantasy Book Spot, Brian Lindenmuth is a tad more expressive about Ken Bruen’s American Skin, to wit: “It’s quite likely that no one, God, the fates and Bruen included are harder on his characters then they are themselves. They are the wardens of their own Hell.” Blimey! The Barnes & Noble review, via Amazon.com, is no less impressed: “Bruen’s latest is a visceral, visionary masterwork; underneath all the graphic bloodshed and drug-induced chaos, however, are deeply profound, darkly poetic themes … that will surely affect everyone who reads this extraordinary and truly unforgettable book. An instant noir cult classic – bottle of Jameson not included,” says Paul Goat Allen … As for Sir Kenneth of Bruen’s Ammunition, Libre-Muncher at Book Crossing gives it four thumbs aloft: “If you liked any of Mr. Bruen’s previous books, you will like this one as well. I know that I am addicted to these books myself.” … Walter Keady’s The Dowry belatedly beeped Gail’s jeep over at the Daily Dose on Powell’s Books, to wit: “Written with an obvious delight in the many twists and turns of life and of human nature, reading this ‘novel of Ireland’ is like a cosy gossip with an old friend.” Which is nice … Back to Amazon.com for the Bookmarks Magazine review of Benjamin Black’s Christine Falls: “Readers expecting a fast-paced crime novel may initially be surprised by Banville’s slow, deliberate rendering of the plot and the complex characters – but they will certainly look forward to the next novel in this projected series.” Hurrah! And what did you think of Christine Falls, O Meen of Meen’s Reading Journal fame? “The idea for the story was very good, but the writing too bland, distant and analyzing to truly grab me.” Boo … Finally, Troy Taylor sends up more than a few balloons on behalf of John Connolly over at his MySpace Blog, concluding thusly: “If you have never read any of Connolly’s books, you are missing on a rare talent. Connolly is an Irish writer who somehow manages to capture Maine and New England like a native, which enhances the books rather than detracts from them. You can feel the cool, crisp air of the region as you turn the pages … In closing, all that I can say is you don’t want to miss out on some of the best books that I have ever had the privilege to read. I don’t make recommendations lightly and if you want to read something truly unique and really immerse yourself into a weird and violent world, don’t miss out on John Connolly’s Charlie Parker series.” And there you have it, folks – conclusive proof, as if it were needed, that John Connolly is now blogging under the nom-de-plume ‘Troy Taylor’. For shame, sir ...