“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, February 18, 2008

The Monday Review

It’s Monday, they’re reviews, to wit: “Bruen covers and makes manifest many tenets of human pathology. He keeps the reader wanting to cover one eye and peek through thin spaces to see what happens next, since there will inevitably be someone getting a shot to the face, a sloppy, bloody mix-up, or the classic narrow escape that turns into being much more devastating than anyone could have anticipated,” says Francesca Camilla at Pop Matters of AMERICAN SKIN. Over at Revish, Mack Lundy has been reading PRIEST: “Ken Bruen writes clean, spare prose without anything that could be considered filler. He is the master of the one word paragraph … PRIEST is a dark look at contemporary Ireland, the Church, and society. It is a compelling read.” Alan in Belfast likes David Park’s latest, THE TRUTH COMMISSIONER: “It’s a great book. A book of this time and of this place,” says he, pithily. Equally pithy but no less direct is Lois Peterson’s verdict on WHAT WAS LOST at LP Words: “What can I say but ‘Brilliant’ in craft, theme, story.” S.J. Hollis at I Must Write That Down likes Derek Landy’s SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT: “It reads like a damn good crack!fic and the one-liners are worth the cover-price alone. Skulduggery is simply a fantastic character.” Over at The Times, Nicolette Jones is very impressed by Siobhan Dowd’s BOG CHILD: “This book is sometimes funny, despite the seriousness of its subject. It is also psychologically and historically convincing, showing the impact of politics on domestic life. The work of an outstanding writer, it is preoccupied with the preciousness of life and the finality of death.” Over at the Irish Times, Margrit Cruickshank agrees: “In Dowd’s handling of complicated plot strands, her lyrical prose, her humanity and her humour, we recognise a talent which was been very sadly cut short.” They’re still coming in for Gerard Donovan’s JULIUS WINSOME: “Donovan’s disturbing novel brilliantly describes the pleasures of being alone and the simultaneous perils of loneliness … the shocking contrast between nature’s calm and humankind’s capacity for violence is superbly realised,” says Ian Critchley at the Sunday Times. Back to Mack Lundy at Revish for his thoughts on Declan Hughes’ THE WRONG KIND OF BLOOD: “If you like classic-style private investigator stories, on the edge of being hard-boiled, with good, witty writing, I highly recommend THE WRONG KIND OF BLOOD … There is blood, violence, and swearing using at least one word we don’t use often in the US.” Hmmm, must be ‘feck’ … Nicola at Back To Books likes DB Shan’s PROCESSION OF THE DEAD: “This is a dark fantasy, set in a violent world and fortunately, the first in a series. I hope I don’t have to wait too long to read the next one! Highly recommended!” Finally, a couple of big-ups for Tana French’s IN THE WOODS, to wit: “IN THE WOODS by Tana French is set in my favourite virtually-visited country, the land of magic, great literature and outstanding beverages, Ireland … This book will be in my top ten of the year. Beautiful writing and good character development,” says Mary Saums at Femmes Fatales. But we’ll leave the last word to Bernd Kochanowski at International Crime: “It is a daring book. A lesser writer would have abbreviated the lush text, reined in the narrative flow and dealt with the end in a more conventional manner. However, this is multilayered, moves stylistically from one subgenre to another, and pleases again and again with opulent and felicitous phrases.” Just like Bernd himself, as it just so serendipitously happens …

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