“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.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Funky Friday’s Freaky-Deak

Being our slightly jaundiced look back over the Irish crime fiction week that was, to wit: Arlene Hunt’s MISSING PRESUMED DEAD got its paperback release and pole-vaulted into the bestseller list, prompting in no little amount of gadzooking around at chez Hunt: “While sitting here at my desk earlier, chewing the end of a biro to ribbons and pondering the imponderable, namely how in the name of shark-jumping I was going to get John out of the scrape I’d just written him into, my telephone rang. Wearily, blearily, none too cheerily, I got up and went to throttle the offending racket. But gadzooks! Stall the ball! Hold yer horses. For it was news, good news, the sort of news Tuesdays never bring forth. MISSING PRESUMED DEAD is number five in the bestsellers list in Ireland!” Yaaaay! … Meanwhile, no one bothered to tell us that Darren Shan, prodigious and bestselling YA author, is shooting for the adult market when PROCESSION OF THE DEAD is released on February 25 … Ditto for THE INSIDER: THE PRISON DIARIES OF EAMONN BOYCE, which was published by Lilliput back in November. Like, was it something we said, people? Happily, the ever-lovely folk at Hodder Headline Ireland saw fit to pop a copy of Stephen Leather’s latest, DEAD MEN, in the post. It hits the shelves on January 24 … Marshal Zeringue was kind enough to wrassle our humble offering THE BIG O to the ground and Page 99 it until it uncled … Irish Independent columnist Kevin Myers (right) took a pop at gun crime and the Irish political classes, the gist of the piece running thusly: “For we have criminal gun crime for the same reasons that IRA gun crime went on for so long: because our political classes have not been shot, and are too morally inert to have taken the necessary action to have crushed either terrorist or criminal. But just one gangland killing, just one, among the precious 4 and 6 brigade, and by God, policing priorities would soon change. Until then, our political establishment will not really care what happens in working-class housing estates. If it really did, Garda Commissioner Murphy’s head would be on a stake outside Dublin Castle for even daring to promise a mere 2pc drop in crime in exchange for an 11pc increase in resources. Instead, his bonce is still on his shoulders, and the outcry from TDs over the ploddish modesty of his ambitions could have been completely drowned out by the din of tadpoles darning their socks.” Yep, those blummin’ tadpoles, darning while Rome burns … Finally, here’s Oscar-winning director Martin McDonagh introducing the trailer for the upcoming IN BRUGES, which stars Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes in which looks a lot like an Irish take on an Elmore Leonard-style caper flick. “If I’d grown up on a farm and was retarded, Bruges might impress me. But I didn’t, soooo … it doesn’t.” Maybe not, but the movie impressed Clint at Ain't It Cool News. Roll it there, Collette …

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