“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, November 5, 2007
The Monday Review
Yet more cracking reviews for the latest Ken Bruen / Jason Starr collaboration, to wit: “What makes SLIDE a great book, of course, is the frenetic combination of Bruen and Starr, who write as if conjoined at the brain. Starr is a master at digging and probing into the molecules of the mortar that cements relationships for bad or worse, while Bruen’s ability to bring a stygian humour to the worst of humanity’s most malevolent foibles is unsurpassed. Put them together in a room, and just like the back jacket says, SLIDE may be the most shocking book you’ll ever read. It may also be one of the best,” burbles a breathless Joe Hartlaub at Book Reporter. Over at the New York Sun, Otto Penzler concurs: “The New York chapters are clearly written by Mr Starr, and the Irish chapters by Mr Bruen, and they obviously had a lot of fun writing the outrageous scenes, the over-the-top violence and obscenity, and some of the funniest dialogue this side of Elmore Leonard. The books aren’t for anyone easily offended — nor for anyone offended with difficulty, come to think of it. For the rest of us, they are a blast.” Mmm, lovely. Meanwhile, Declan Hughes’ THE WRONG KIND OF BLOOD gets a big-up at Hell Notes, to wit: “The story, while fairly standard noir, is elevated by Hughes’ prose. His experience as a playwright is evident in setting scenes that come vibrantly to life, punctuated by excellent dialogue … a high body count, plenty of violence, and, as the title indicates, much to keep the sanguinary sort of reader happy. It packs a punch to the gut, and leaves a hole in the heart.” But where’s the inevitable John Connolly mention, you cry? Here: “NOCTURNES is the book I’d recommend to anyone new to Connolly’s work. On its face, it’s not much like any of his other books, except for THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS – but it’s a sort of tasting menu of all the things that interest him as an author, and already seems to hold the germ for whatever follows,” says Answer Girl … They’re still coming in thick and fast for Eoin Colfer’s ARTEMIS FOWL AND THE LOST COLONY. First up, Karissa of Karissa’s Books: “For some reason I always start reading these books with a bit of reluctance because they are, after all, kids books. A few pages into the book though I am always hooked again; this continues to be the case … This is another fun book that further enhances the Artemis Fowl series. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.” Then there’s Amy at Blog 2013: “After reading the opening chapter of this book, I couldn’t wait to continue reading. The mention of time travel really piqued my interest because this is an interesting new theme for the Artemis Fowl series.” Hurrah! A pithy hup-ya from Alice at Random Musings for Gene Kerrigan’s THE MIDNIGHT CHOIR: “Really interesting, really well written … Highly recommended.” Can’t say fairer than that … Lesley at Skeins of Books likes Tana French’s debut: “IN THE WOODS was quite compelling, though somewhat flawed … but she is a compelling writer and I will definitely look for her next book.” Over at Mostly Fiction, Sudheer Apte is bigging up Ronan Bennett’s ZUGZWANG thusly: “This is a very fast-moving novel … an intense and satisfying thriller, but more than that, it shows the impossibility of love and controlling your own destiny in times of political turmoil.” The late, lamented Siobhan Dowd’s THE LONDON EYE MYSTERY wowed Laurina at We Love Children’s Books, to wit: “I was totally immersed in this story; the characterization of Ted is particularly well written; an intelligent mystery.” Some belated reviews for Brian McGilloway’s BORDERLANDS, which we’re only finding now on his shiny new blog: “Brian McGilloway has got off to an excellent start … He has written a taut, well-paced story with strong characters and an ingenious plot that seizes the reader’s attention from page one and holds it to the last sentence. Along the way, he delivers a memorable debut novel that stands up there with the best,” trumpets Myles McWeeney at the Irish Independent, while The Book Place made it its Editor’s Choice: “BORDERLANDS has a maturity way beyond what the reader has a right to expect from a first novel … A fantastic start to a writing career that is set to flourish.” Beautiful. A swifty from Harriet Klausner at Genre Go Round Reviews for Jack Higgins’ latest: “Jack Higgins is the master of the espionage and political thriller,” and it’s onward to Sean Moncrieff’s THE HISTORY OF THINGS courtesy of Angela M Cornyn in the Sunday Independent: “This book reeled me in … It was refreshing to have a work of fiction focus on a hidden Ireland. It provided an informative, insightful, honest expose of the underbelly of the Celtic Tiger in the capital city. The book is clear-eyed, astute and always entertaining with its generous sprinkling of quirky humour, delivered with a deft hand. A cracking good read.” Finally, The Artist Formerly Known As Colin Bateman’s I PREDICT A RIOT is jazzing ’em over at Amazon UK, to wit: “As a huge fan of Colin Bateman, and as with all of his books, I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone between the ages of 12 & 70,” quoth a reader’s review, while Margaret Cannon at the Globe and Mail is tossing bouquets: “Colin Bateman is one of Ireland’s many gifts to the world of crime and mystery. I PREDICT A RIOT is one of his best, which makes it about as smart, funny and convoluted as a crime novel can get … This one is definitely not to be missed.” Lovely stuff. More carrot cake, vicar?