“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, January 7, 2008

The Monday Review

It’s Monday, they’re reviews, to wit: “With, at times, echoes of the legend of Icarus and strongly redolent of a Victorian boys’ adventure story, AIRMAN really is a ripping yarn, with some excellent writing, notably in its concluding chapters,” says Robert Dunbar in the Irish Times (no link) about Eoin Colfer’s latest standalone. Over at The Arts Fuse, Harvey Blume likes Ronan Bennett’s latest: “ZUGZWANG is rich in historical detail … an historical thriller that makes good use of the fact that chess games are thrillers, too.” The inevitable John Connolly hup-ya runneth thusly: “THE UNQUIET takes a step back from the myth-building of THE BLACK ANGEL, and tells a smaller story, the closest thing to a straightforward investigation that the series has presented … The supernatural overtones are not forgotten, and are represented by the terrifying Hollow Men lurking on the edges of Parker’s vision, controlled by a shadowy figure he has met before,” says Richard Wright … Derek Landy’s SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT has been nominated for a Cybil, aka the 2007 Science Fiction & Fantasy Finalists: “This smart novel is full of humour, action, and a real sense of danger – and has a sly wit that would appeal to a wide age range,” reckons Sarah via the Cybils Blog … A couple of big-ups for Benny Blanco, starting with CHRISTINE FALLS: “I really enjoyed this and look forward to more. Definitely not a formulaic mystery; very well written,” says Beth at Paradise is a Library. Meanwhile, John Spain at the Irish Independent likes THE SILVER SWAN: “Black’s imagery perfectly evokes the stale and smoky Dublin of the time. Brilliant writing makes the leisurely pace a pleasure.” Staying with John Spain in the Indo, and his verdict on Julie Parson’s I SAW YOU: “As connections surface it all gets very murky and chilling in a story of love, revenge and atonement.” Sarah Harker at the Crewe Guardian likes Tana French’s IN THE WOODS, to wit: “Touching and poignant, thrilling and fast paced, this debut novel by Tana French is a unique read that will leave you up all night and hungry for more. Beautifully written, with a twist that you won’t see coming, IN THE WOODS is a stunning debut.” Over at Crime Reports, Adam Colclough can barely contain himself over Ingrid Black’s latest: “THE JUDAS HEART is a truly superior thriller with an original setting and a plot that keeps the reader guessing until the last moment … By far the best feature of this and Black’s other novels is the laconic but always touchingly human voice of Saxon herself, making her one of the most consistently realised serial characters in modern crime fiction and offering a potentially Oscar-winning role for some lucky Hollywood star in the almost inevitable film adaptation of this or one of Black’s other novels … Ingrid Black stands out as being the real deal.” Crikey! Finally, the Florida flag-flyer for Irish crime fiction, Michael Haskins, has Mr & Mrs Kirkus (no link) poring over his debut CHASIN’ THE WIND: “If the plot sounds outlandish, blame it on all the booze Mad Mick and his pals imbibe as they rescue a tortured lady, shoot it out with those Cubans and … sail off to Castro’s paradise to settle the score, although not to the complete satisfaction of the feds.” The question being, of course, whether anything is ever settled to the complete satisfaction of the feds …

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