“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “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. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Monday Review

It’s Monday, they’re reviews, to wit: “Not quite another coming of age novel – more a densely plotted, fast-paced and action packed adventure story with characters so real you feel as though you could reach out and touch them. I enjoyed [ARTEMIS FOWL AND] THE LOST COLONY immensely. It gave me a few hours of enjoyment that I recall from my youthful days, when I had more time to sit and read for the sheer pleasure of it. Colfer speaks to the teenager in all of us and manages to help us come to terms with the discomfort we once felt at that difficult time in our own lives. The strangeness and newness of it. Absolute brilliance!” raves Pseudo at The Truth About Books. Over at Everyday Reads, Lightheaded is largely in agreement: “Wherever Colfer gets his ideas I sure hope as hell it doesn’t run dry. He continually surprises with plots that seem to come out of nowhere, grab and shake you to the core while still making you believe that hopefully, things will turn out right in the end.” Staying with the Eoin vibe, Sarah Weinman picks Eoin McNamee’s 12:23 as one of her reads of the year at The Millions: “If Graham Greene had lived to write about the death of [Princess] Di, this would have been the result.” As for Eoin’s alter-ego, John Creed, Mark Timlin at the Independent on Sunday likes BLACK CAT, BLACK DOG: “An intriguing mystery full of violence and double crosses … Creed writes like a master, and this is as good an espionage novel as I’ve read for years.” Lovely. Peter Guttridge at The Observer includes Cuddly Dudley Edwards’ MURDERING AMERICANS in his yearly round-up, to wit: “Edwards delights in bashing political correctness in US academia but there’s a skilfully plotted mystery behind all the jokes.” Another yearly round-up, this time in the Village Voice, finds Elizabeth Hand lauding John Connolly’s latest: “Anyone still yearning for a fix of something cold and dark should turn to Irish novelist John Connolly’s taut, disturbing THE UNQUIET, the latest in his series about Maine P.I. Charlie Parker … THE UNQUIET deals with supernatural tropes in a realistic milieu, though Connolly sides with the dark angels when it comes to this exceptional novel’s denouement.” Speaking of supernatural tropes: “I’d like to recommend an absolutely fantabulous book to you peoples – SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT by Derek Landy. Finished it last night and it was freakin’ greatness, it was! I mean, skeletons, detectives, wizards and good ol’ wisecracks are fab on their own, but mush them all together and you’ve got yourself some AWESOME!” reckons Lydia at Crazy Crazy Monkey And now a brace for SLIDE, starting with Craig at Craig’s Book Club: “SLIDE is extremely dark fun all the way. [Ken] Bruen and [Jason] Starr put their characters (who are hardly likeable, even on their best days) through wringer after wringer (a Bruen specialty) just for their and our amusement. And it is quite a ride.” Over at International Noir, Glenn Harper sounds a tongue-in-cheek warning note: “The pulp end of the crime fiction spectrum is so stylized, in the pure form of the genre, that an author constantly risks tipping his story over into parody … Parody can be a lot of fun, but there’s a risk that comes along with it: can the reader ever again take pulp-noir fiction seriously after experiencing its comic travesty in a book like SLIDE?” New York Entertainment is isniffily mpressed by Gene Kerrigan’s THE MIDNIGHT CHOIR: “With crime novels, you can usually be satisfied if a couple of things go right, but here the author does everything well. He conveys beautifully the rituals of cops and their quarry, while evoking the feel of a city where new yuppie affluence rubs up against the remnants of a seedy, savage past.” And while we’re on the subject of seedy and savage: “Declan Hughes has written an amazing mystery … The characters are convincing, the dialogue is crisp, the setting is wonderful, and the villains are brutal, and chilling. Irish Noir at its best! Highly recommended!” parps our old friend Bob the Wordless about THE WRONG KIND OF BLOOD. “The story is slow to start – much of the first half is taken up with flashbacks to the earlier story and the past of the current one. But once it finally takes off, it gallops like a hunt through the hills, and readers will whip through the final pages, unable to sleep for dread,” reckons Lucille Redmond at Heatseeker Reviews of Julie Parsons’ latest, I SAW YOU … “Satisfyingly plotted and resolved … Sinister priests and baby-smuggling rings might tempt lesser men to melodrama, but Black swathes the action in near-Beckettian gloom,” says Alexis Soloski at Village Voice (via the Charleston City Paper, for some reason) about Benny Blanco’s CHRISTINE FALLS. Finally, they just won’t quit for Tana French’s IN THE WOODS: “Beautifully written, this intelligent thriller is laden with an atmosphere that blends shades of the gothic novel with the modern mystery. French keeps the suspense taut while never stooping to violence or cheap theatrics. This is subtle storytelling that steadily accelerates with each paragraph, as the author makes us deeply care about the characters as the story closes in on a surprising finale … IN THE WOODS is an exquisite debut,” purrs Oline H. Cogdill at the Florida Sun-Sentinel. It is most definitely that, ma’am …

1 comment:

Craig Clarke said...

Thanks for the link to my Slide review. Much appreciated.