“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.
Monday, October 22, 2007
The Monday Review
The Bruen / Starr combo has been beeping Mostly Fiction’s not inconsiderable jeep recently, to wit: “While writers Ken Bruen’s and Jason Starr’s collaboration in BUST is a farcical comic success, with plenty of dark humour and quite an ensemble of screwy characters, the result is a fascinating, enjoyable read,” reckons Hagen Baye, before continuing with “SLIDE is another masterful writing effort by these two skilled (and uninhibited) writers, who know how to create and bring to life bizarre characters and unusual plots … this is another outrageous, out-of-control, comic success of Bruen’s and Starr’s.” Lovely. Upward and onward to MURDERING AMERICANS, and Mary Elizabeth Devine is impressed over at Reviewing the Evidence: “First let me say that my role models are the Red Queen from Alice’s adventures in THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS and Baroness Jack Troutbeck from Ruth Dudley Edwards’ series. The Baroness is so deliciously politically incorrect that she makes Maggie Thatcher look like Mary Poppins.” Crikey! Yet more big-ups for John Connolly, to wit: “THE UNQUIET introduces its plot and characters, and then steps back and lets everything unfold neatly. It is a bit more of a linear tale than THE BLACK ANGEL was, and everything seems to jibe more evenly. Almost like the story wrote itself, actually,” gushes Bookins via Amazon reviews, where you’ll also find this - “The story is still dark, gruesome, at times scary and has a large body count. But it is also atmospheric, lyrical and completely enthralling.” – and a host of others. Meanwhile, over at Tonight, Roland Solomon is somewhat more restrained: “Well-crafted and well-paced, with a contemporary theme of child abuse and paedophilia. Connolly’s writing has more depth and beauty than the average quick-read of the genre.” The Builder’s Book Site quite likes Gerard Donovan’s JULIUS WINSOME: “It’s a brilliant meditation on revenge that completely draws the reader into Julius’ orbit and has one alternately rooting for and against his tragic quest. Ignore the terrible cover art, this is a book worth savouring.” As for Paul Charles’ THE DUST OF DEATH, Alan Geary at the Nottingham Evening Post is predicting, erm, tourist trips: “This is a page-turner: you do actually want to know whodunit and why … The scenery in Donegal is breath-taking so perhaps in a decade there’ll be tourist trips to Starrett Country.” Finally, recent Shamus winner Declan Hughes gets the huppiest of hup-yas from Hell Notes for THE COLOUR OF BLOOD, to wit: “Irish Noir is a genre all to itself, with a dark, horrific side that keeps readers coming back for more. If you’d like a taste, Declan Hughes is the place to start.” Don’t let anyone tell you size doesn’t matter, people – Dec is the man who put the ‘huge’ into Hughes …