“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.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Baby, You’re A Starrett

Camden Town’s twinkly-eyed finest, Paul Charles (right), plays his part in wrecking the rainforests with the release of The Dust of Death this week through Brandon, whose blurb elves may well be considering strike action given the amount of overtime they’ve been working recently. Anyhoo, the gist runneth thusly:
“The bloodied body of a crucified man is discovered in the Second Federation Church in the Donegal Heritage Town of Ramelton on the first Friday of summer. The investigation by Inspector Starrett of the Serious Crime Unit and his young team reveal a team that is not nearly as righteous as its many churches might suggest. The body is that of local carpenter James Moore, whom Starrett discovers was having a relationship with the wife of the pastor of the very same Second Federation Church, and she has mysteriously disappeared. Meanwhile, it transpires that Moore’s own wife had started to get close to her childhood sweetheart. While investigating Moore’s past, Starrett also discovers that the carpenter might have witnessed a local professional in action …”
Marvellous. So what’s yon Starrett like then, Mr Paul Charles, sir?
“Starrett is in his mid forties, has deep blue eyes, dresses well, likes a pint of Guinness and is a decade into his third career. The locals say he may have a sixth sense: he’s not so sure but has been eternally grateful when that special something or other has kept him out of trouble and come to his aid while on a few of his cases … ”
Oooh, spooky. And are there any advance reviews we could pop in here at the end, just so the post doesn’t end too abruptly?
“Well, Mark Billingham was kind enough to say: ‘From its killer first line to its last, The Dust of Death is compelling and elegant, like a well-woven garrotte.’ John Harvey added: ‘A mystery that’s as smooth as a good single malt and none the less satisfying.’ And who am I to argue?”
With Billingham? Too right, sir. Never argue with anyone who sounds like an English stately home, that’s our policy …

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