“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, September 9, 2007

The Monday Review

It’s Monday, they’re reviews, let’s roll. “[Declan] Hughes seems bent on doing the same thing for Dublin that Ross Macdonald did for the Los Angeles area … [He] twists and turns his characters and events so much that even a close reader has to stay on his toes in order to keep that. And the writing is packed with detail, emotion, and history. This is a gifted storyteller at work,” reckons Mel Odom of The Colour of Blood over at Blog Critics … Let’s get the inevitable John Connolly review out of the way early this week, eh? “Gimmicks aside, complex hero Parker is the chief draw in The Unquiet — he’s got a revenge-inspired evil streak to him, but metes out justice freely to those who truly deserve it. B,” says Tanner Stransky at Entertainment Weekly … They’re still coming in for Gene Kerrigan’s The Midnight Choir: “A ripping crime tale, impressive in scope and crackling with energy, as well as a fascinating portrait of contemporary Ireland,” says Mr & Mrs Kirkus, via Barnes & Noble … Frank Wilson at the Philly Inquirer likes Benny Blanco’s Christine Falls: “There’s mystery aplenty, but if you’re looking for fast-paced excitement, look elsewhere. Christine Falls offers a subtler, deeper satisfaction than just finding out whodunit.” Lovely … Be warned that it’s subscription only, but the Romantic Times has given Cora Harrison’s My Lady Judge a four-star review … “The suspense makes this a page-turner until the climax, as Collins’s plot combines academic satire, philosophical speculation and tragedy,” reckon Mr & Mrs Kirkus of Michael Collins’ Robert E. Pendleton, via Barnes & Noble Brace yourself for another flood of Derek Landy / Skulduggery Pleasant big-ups, beginning with Christina over at her Live Journal: “The essential seriousness of the quest is nearly (but not quite) lost in the humorous episodes and witty quips; I often found myself laughing out loud. This was a very quick, enjoyable read.” Wyvern Friend at Library Thing concurs: “Interestingly complex, the characters aren’t always just black and white and betrayal is a strong motif. The idea of an animated skeleton as hero is interesting too.” Meanwhile, Sheila at Wands and Worlds goes above and beyond the call of duty: “Skulduggery Pleasant is one of those books that you just can’t put down. It’s exciting, it’s funny, and it’s filled with interesting characters doing interesting things … a fun, fun book that will appeal to kids and adults who love adventure, excitement, magic, and humour.” Can’t say fairer than that … A couple of reviews courtesy of the Irish Aires interweb page, first for Gerard Donovan’s Julius Winsome - “Narrated by the unforgettable voice of Julius himself – at once compassionate, vulnerable and threatening – it reads like a timeless, lost classic.” And then for He Who Must Be Called Bateman’s I Predict A Riot: “Colin Bateman’s hugely witty new novel will take you to the darker corners of a city bursting with intrigue, extortion, greed, love, murder, carrot cake and every twist, turn and outrage of human behaviour in between.” Upward and onward with Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl and The Lost Colony, via Tyler at Avoir Lu: “In the penultimate Artemis Fowl book, the series manages to get even weirder than before. The story is just as lively and interesting but a little disturbing with Artemis’s switching digits and gaining magical abilities.” Finally, yet more hup-yas for Adrian McKinty’s The Bloomsday Dead, via Powell’s Books: “Bullets fly and Joycean literary references ricochet everywhere,” purrs the New York Times; “Reading any of McKinty’s novels is a verbal treat, a contact high of an experience,” yodels the Rocky Mountain News, while the Booklist chips in with a starred review that runneth thusly, “Michael Forsythe is a virtuoso mayhem machine — except when it comes to handling his fatal attraction to Bridget Callaghan, the ex-girlfriend turned New York Irish mob boss who’s been trying to kill him for a decade ... Raise a glass; young Forsythe will be missed.” And so say all of us.

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