In the sixteenth century, as it is now, the Burren, on the western seaboard of Ireland, was a land of grey stone forts, fields of rich green grass and swirling mountain terraces. It was also home to an independent kingdom that lived peacefully by the ancient Brehon laws of their forebears. On the first eve of May, 1509, hundreds of people from the Burren climbed the gouged-out limestone terraces of Mullaghmore Mountain to celebrate the great May Day festival, lighting a bonfire and singing and dancing through the night, then returning through the grey dawn to the safety of their homes. But one man did not come back down the steeply spiralling path. His body lay exposed to the ravens and wolves on the bare, lonely mountain for two nights ... and no one spoke of him, or told what they had seen. And when Mara, a woman appointed by King Turlough Don O’Brien to be judge and lawgiver to the stony kingdom, came to investigate, she was met with a wall of silence ...Erm, maybe it’s just us, but practically every Irish woman we’ve ever met has been a ‘judge and lawgiver’. Or is it just us? Answers on the back of used €20 notes to the usual address …
“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.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
A Burrening Passion
“This charming book could be the start of a million-selling series,” reckoned the Evening Herald in its review of Cora Harrison’s MY LADY JUDGE, and the impending release of the novel on audio, with Caroline Lennon narrating, suggests that the Herald got it spot-on. For those of you wondering what the fuss is all about, here’s the skinny from the blurb elves: