“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.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Maverick Genius Of The Week # 349: David M. Kiely

Just when we finally think we’re getting some kind of handle on the many-backed beast that is Irish crime fiction, up pops a true maverick. Take a bow, David Kiely, author of THE ANGEL TAPES (1997) and much more besides. But first, Mr & Mrs Kirkus on THE ANGEL TAPES, to wit:
The Dublin police are shocked and mystified when a bomb explodes under a busy city street, killing six and injuring many others, this just days before the state visit of the US President. Detective Superintendent Blade Macken, head of the investigation, takes the first call from the bomber, who, in an electronically disguised voice, names himself Angel and threatens more explosions if his demand for $25 million isn’t met. A frantic police search follows, with dogs below the streets hunting for devices planted years ago, along with harried consultations with American Ambassador Seaborg, his CIA man Lawrence Redfern, and police psychologist Dr. Earley. Meanwhile, the calls to Blade keep coming, revealing Angel’s familiarity with officers on the force and an eerie awareness of Blade’s every move. The detective has personal crises to deal with, too, mostly concerning his long-estranged wife Joan, their teenaged son and daughter, and Joan’s live-in lover, Jim Roche, owner of Centurion Security and an electronics gizmo expert. But Blade’s own heavy drinking and wenching habits don’t prevent him from making connections that eventually uncover Angel’s true identity and, in time, also reveal the past events that underlie the carnage. A first novel marked by breakneck pacing, slowed later by too many bloody encounters, too many subplots, and too much electronics babble. Unrelentingly raw language and graphic sex scenes may be off-putting to some, but, still, most readers will stick with this hard-bitten, tumultuous story to the finish. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
“Drinking and wenching habits”, eh? Sounds like our kind of man. But David Kiely doesn’t just restrict himself to crime fiction. According to his interweb thingy, he’s currently ‘living in Mexico and working on a novel set in the early part of the 20th century’, AND ‘working on a literary-historical novel – MESOPOTAMIA – set largely in Paris in the 1920s’. Oh, and did we mention the sequel to HUCKLEBERRY FINN? Someone, somewhere, please put us in touch with David Kiely. At the very least we want to pick up a few tips on wenching … Meanwhile, anyone wanting to download the entire novel of THE ANGEL TAPES can go here, where Mr Kiely has kindly provided free downloads. Top bloke, eh?