“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.

Friday, May 4, 2007

"Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down At The Station, Punk?" # 439: Tess Gerritsen

Yep, it's rubber-hose time, folks: a rapid-fire pick-'n'-mix Q&A for those shifty-looking usual suspects ...
What crime novel would you most like to have written?
Tokyo by Mo Hayder.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Lisa Scottoline.
Most satisfying writing moment? When the manuscript goes off in the mail.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
Not gonna answer that one because I don't think I've read enough of them. Suffice it to say that Ken Bruen's books would likely be on the list of bests! I've also really enjoyed Julie Parsons and John Connolly, but I don't know if they're considered "Irish" enough?
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Pretty much any of Ken's!
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The worst? That you can never really turn it off. I feel as if I’m never really on vacation because I'm always thinking about the next book, or still re-writing the last one. The best? When an idea hits me for a new book, there's no greater high in all the world.
Why does John Banville use a pseudonym for writing crime?
I have no idea.
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Fast, dark, creepy.

Tess Gerritsen's latest, The Mephisto Club, is available now.

Lost Classics # 297: Sad Bastard, Hugo Hamilton

Ireland's very own Dirty Harry, Pat Coyne is 'reminiscent of a (slightly) more well-adjusted Ignatius Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces, as Roddy Doyle might have imagined him,' according to one reader's review, while in the Times Antonia Logue reckoned that, "If Flann O'Brien's lunatic Professor De Selby had genetically engineered a cross between the novels of Raymond Chandler and those of Patrick McCabe, this is what the progeny might well have looked like.' Stirring stuff, indeed, so it's a crying shame that Hugo Hamilton seems to have deserted crime fiction for autobiography. Boo, etc. Come back, Hugo - we'll find something to forgive!

Free Plugs Seminar 101: Ta Very Much For The Freebies, Mercier Press

So the good folks at Mercier Press sent us over Senan Molony's The Phoenix Park Murders, Ray Kavanagh's Mamie Cadden: Backstreet Abortionist, and Desmond Fahy's Death On A Country Road ... et voila, we've just plugged 'em. See? It's as simple as that, people. You know what to do ...

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

This Week We're Reading ... The Lost Get-Back Boogie and The Midnight Choir

James Lee Burke's Pulitzer Prize-nominated The Lost Get-Back Boogie takes a bit of a kicking from Amazon's readers' reviews, but Crime Always Pays reckons it's one of his best of the non-Robicheaux novels ... Meanwhile, 'Cheer Up Weepy' Gene Kerrigan's latest, The Midnight Choir, is superior stuff to the normal police procedural according to a host of reviewers, not least of whom are the overworked Crime Always Pays staff (above, offering Weepy Gene the ultra-rare 'four-thumbs-aloft' treatment). Incidentally, if you fancy reviewing recent Irish crime fiction novels at the standard rate of one decapitated jelly-baby per paragraph, drop us a line in the comment box and we'll get back to you ...

Hark! Is That A Trumpet Parp We Hear?

There we were, happily trawling around for some Ken Bruen material, when we stumbled across the best hardboiled and noir books published since 2000. Lawksamussy, there was yon Eight Ball Boogie in company with Ken Bruen, George Pelacanos, Richard Stark, James Sallis, Michael Connelly and Joe Gores. Did we soil ourselves with excitement? T'was a close-run thing, people, and no mistake ... except then we spotted this from last Saturday's Indo, and lost the run of ourselves completely. We'll be declaring ourselves an independent republic next ...

Brian McGilloway Update: Think Of The Rain Forests, Man!

He's only just had Borderlands published, but Brian McGilloway already has what looks like an entire series of Inspector Devlin novels mapped out. "Brian has recently signed a deal with Pan Macmillan," says his info people, "who will publish the next three books in the Inspector Devlin series following Gallows Lane in 2008. The first of the three books, Bleed A River Deep, is slated for April 2009 release." Jump over here to get that last place on the bandwagon, folks ...

Crime Never Sleeps. Or Ken Bruen, For That Matter

Does Ken Bruen (above, left, with Lawrence Block at the launch of Dublin Noir) ever sleep? We'd just finished his latest Jack Taylor outing, Cross, when we heard about American Skin, and now there's rumours about another standalone title, Once Were Cops. Jump on Spinetingler and Pulppusher for more info ... or you could always jump on Crimespace to hear and see Ken reading from Cross. Opening line: "It took them a time to crucify the kid." Which is nice-ish ...

Never Judge A Book Writer By His Cover: TS O'Rourke Speaks!

Don't know about you, but TS O'Rourke frightens the shite out of us. So when we mustered the courage to ask, 'Anything cooking over there, Mr O'Rourke, sir?' and he answered, "I'm working on a Dublin-based crime novel right now, it's a real dirty book, great fun to write ... especially the research ... hur-hur-hur," we immediately feared for the ordinary decent civilians of Dublin. But lo! Seems TS isn't so scary after all! Even the rather salubrious Dublin Quarterly thinks so! Which is nice.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Always Be Giving Away Free Stuff: Alex Barclay, The Caller

It's been harder than we expected to get some reviews together for Alex Barclay's The Caller, so instead we thought we'd offer you a free extract from the novel - always be giving away free stuff, folks! - and treat you to the inimitable Critical Mick's unedited email interview with said Alex. Take her away, Critical Mick! No, not literally, man - put the lady down! Y'know, just ask her a few questions and whatnot ...

"Some Je Ne Se Quoi With That, Madam?" Tana French Goes Global

Hodder Headline are all a-swirl with excitement that erstwhile actress Tana French's (left) Into the Woods has now sold into 13 territories, although they're probably nowhere near as delirah-'n'-exirah with the rather mixed readers' reviews it's been getting, particularly when it comes to the ending. What's wrong, people? Never heard of an ambiguous denouement before? Bloody ingrates, etc. Tap-dance over here to see and hear Tana do her 'exquisitely gorgeous actress/author' thingymagummy ... yep, we think she looks a lot like how a young Jamie Lee Curtis might with a gun to her head too.

Colin Bateman: Taking Name-Dropping To A Whole New Level

Crikey. There we were, happily plugging Colin Bateman's upcomer I Predict A Riot, when we were stopped dead in our tracks by eagle-eyed lawyers - because he's not rubbishy old Colin Bateman anymore, he's 'Bateman'. There's posh, eh? Here's hoping no one confuses him with this Bateman, or there'll be hell to pay. Meanwhile, we just can't resist sharing Arena's oldie-but-goodie verdict on Colin Bateman / 'Bateman': "If Roddy Doyle was as good as people say, he would probably write novels like this". Mee-ow, etc.

Monday, April 30, 2007

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?” # 937: TS O'Rourke

Yep, it's rubber-hose time, folks: a rapid-fire pick-'n'-mix Q&A for those shifty-looking usual suspects ...
What crime novel would you most like to have written?
If we're talking Irish crime novel then Every Dead Thing. John Connolly rocks!!! Otherwise, anything by Ed McBain, James Ellroy or Elmore Leonard or George Pelecanos ... Andrew Vachss is great too ... how much space have you got?
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Paul Auster, the master of chance, but Henry Miller will always be king.
Most satisfying writing moment?
Starting a new novel with no known ending ...
The best Irish crime novel is …?
Ganglands by T.S. O'Rourke. You had to ask????
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Ditto.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The pay / the hunger.
Why does John Banville use a pseudonym for writing crime?
So that people with lower brows might buy his books?
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Violent, sexual, social ...

Word around the campfire is, TS O'Rourke is currently embroiled in writing a new Dublin-based novel. Jump over here for updates.

Living the Dream, Keeping it Real: Aisling Ltd., Sean Harnett

It's more refined than hardboiled, but Sean Harnett's cracking tale, Aisling Ltd, is well worth a couple of hours of your time: "sparse, sardonic and enjoyable …" say the folks at Open Book, and who are we to argue? No one, that's who - we just direct you to an extract from the novel and let you make your own mind up, 'cos that's the kind of guys-'n'-gal we are. Although, if you jump here, you'll discover that it's "a hugely enjoyable parody of an idealistic young businessman who is equal parts Holden Caulfield and Tom Ripley," apparently. Which is nice ...