“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. “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, January 14, 2008
The Monday Review
It’s Monday, they’re reviews, to wit: “If you don’t know either Bruen or Starr’s writing, they’re both masters of thinking up the most degenerate shit to put people through and then getting it on the page … These guys are among the reigning kings of the darkest of dark noir. And it’s not just because they’re so twisted … they really do tell a damn fine story,” says Rob at 52 Novels of SLIDE. Over at Book Reporter, Joe Hartlaub is equally impressed with BUST: “This is a dark, gritty and inappropriately hilarious cautionary tale – exquisitely conceived and flawlessly written – about getting what you think you want and regretting it, and the endless consequences of evil deeds.” Nice … Mack Lundy at Mack Pitches Up likes Ingrid Black’s THE JUDAS HEART: “I really enjoyed this book and rate it one of my top reads of 2007,” and so does Max at Revish: “THE JUDAS HEART is one of the best crime thrillers I read in 2007 … This is a good, fast-paced story that pulled me in from the beginning and kept me interested throughout … a cracking good read.” Strangely Connected dives into Adrian McKinty’s back catalogue to consider HIDDEN RIVER: “As in his first book, McKinty’s prose is sharp, well-paced, and compelling. But I think I like DEAD I MAY WELL BE better because it was bleaker, more noir, and its Michael Forsyth was somehow more real than Alex Norton.” They won’t stop coming for Benny Blanco: “Further novels in this series are planned – they are superbly written, with very strong characterisation and a fantastic picture of Dublin and Ireland before the Celtic Tiger was even a cub,” says Trapnel at Books to Furnish a Room of CHRISTINE FALLS and THE SILVER SWAN. Harriet Klausner at Genre Go-Round Reviews agrees: “This sequel to the superb CHRISTINE FALLS is an excellent investigative thriller that grips the audience … THE SILVER SWAN is a great Irish whodunit,” while John Dugdale at the Sunday Times (no link) chips in with, “Although it recalls the 1930s London of Graham Greene or Patrick Hamilton, Black’s 1950s Dublin is more poisonously village-like, intensifying the sense of everyone watching everyone else.” Which, presumably, is a good thing … Dugdale also liked Ronan Bennett’s ZUGZWANG: “It’s an enjoyable brainy caper … with Buchanesque derring-do, Pynchonesque blending of politics and cultural trends, and sex scenes a la The White Room – there’s a feeling of the whole exercise being a literary version of role play.” Over at the Mail on Sunday, Eithne Farry got her hands on an early copy of Ronan O’Brien’s CONFESSIONS OF A FALLEN ANGEL: “Author Ronan O’Brien has a fine sense of drama, marrying the minutiae of everyday life to the extraordinary, with spirited aplomb.” Finally, Derek Landy’s SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT showed up in Terri Schlichenmeyer’s Best Books of 2007 for the Argus Observer: “Great for adults as well as kids, this gentle mystery with a magic skeleton detective was fun and it made me laugh. What more could a kid — of any size — want?” Quippe at Live Journal agrees: “The latest children’s / YA book to inherit the title ‘The Next Harry Potter’, this comes a lot closer than most. Landy’s experience as a scriptwriter really shines through in the dialogue of this novel, which snaps and crackles with wit and whilst there’s a curiously old-fashioned feel to the narrative, it’s very easy to buy into and reflects the world he’s created.” Snaps, crackles and damn near pops off the page, ma’am …