“Like many others, I was impressed by Peter Temple’s THE BROKEN SHORE. The voice is both brutal and lyrical and he writes with a terse precision that at times almost incapacitated me with envy. I also liked the poodles and the distinctly Australian swearin’. But ideally a great Christmas book would be a great read that also happens to be set at Christmas. Brian McGilloway’s BORDERLANDS fulfils both criteria splendidly. There’s an extra dimension of seasonal pleasure that comes from realising that however bad your own yuletide mishaps – fairy-lights not working, turkey a bit burnt on one side – they don’t come close to the unstoppable hell on wheels that is Garda Inspector Benedict Devlin’s Christmas. It doesn’t surprise me that McGilloway is a fan of James Lee Burke (whose PEGASUS DESCENDING provided another highlight of my crime-reading year). McGilloway’s Devlin, like Burke’s Robicheaux, is given a convincing home life, which far from detracting from the twists and excitement of the murder case, adds a thematic counterpoint, as well as a psychological and moral point. In McGilloway’s concern for the domestic we understand what drives Devlin to pit himself against the forces of chaos beyond his front door.”Beautifully put, Mr Morris sir. Now dance some more. We said DANCE! Please?
“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.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Hot-Stepping Morris Dancing
Yet more Christmas books flummery from It’s A Crime!, folks. This time out Crimefic rat-a-tatted bullets at the feet of the hot-stepping Roger Morris (right) until he ’fessed up to loving Brian McGilloway’s BORDERLANDS. To wit: