“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 25, 2008

The Monday Review

It’s Monday, they’re reviews, to wit: “[Liam] Durcan’s outstanding debut novel walks a taut line between skilful thriller and philosophical novel of ideas … he already writes with an ease reminiscent of Graham Greene … As the plot unfolds, the novel takes on a breathtaking immediacy that will awe readers and tune them into probing ethical dilemmas,” says Library Journal’s Christopher Bussman of GARCIA’S HEART (via Barnes & Noble). At the same link, Mr & Mrs Kirkus agree: “Canadian neurologist and award-winning writer Durcan plumbs his stock in trade to inform this audacious literary debut, its purpose no less than finding a window to the soul … [Durcan’s] shrewd, intricate debut reveals a multi-talented artist.” Hmmm, nice. They’re still coming in for Benny Blanco’s debut: “CHRISTINE FALLS is carefully crafted, layered, story … Black has written an excellent character-driven story with a compelling story to move it forward,” says Mack Lundy at Revish. Over at Shadow of the Raven, David Lampe-Wilson concurs: “A great read whether you like mysteries or not,” says he pithily. What say you, Nancy O? “Very noir-ish in tone, CHRISTINE FALLS may not be something that mainstream mystery readers will pounce on, and more’s the pity, since they’ll be missing a splendid piece of writing …Recommended.” Thank you kindly, ma’am … A trio of big-ups for Siobhan Dowd this week, starting with BOG CHILD: “The characters are beautifully drawn and totally convincing … Overall, the story flows well and works wonderfully as a novel. Certainly one of the best Young Adult novels I’ve read for a long time,” says Colin Mulhern at Chicklish. Maylin at The Dewey Divas and the Dudes (!) likes A SWIFT PURE CRY: “The relationship between the siblings is wonderfully written and this novel has one of the most exuberant endings I’ve read in a long time. Beautifully written and award winning.” Staying with the Dewey Divas, THE LONDON EYE MYSTERY gets a mention too: “Ted is an original, charming creation and half the fun of this novel is getting inside his head as he uses his knowledge about weather systems to logically make sense of the world. Great fun.” Lovely stuff … Over at Asylum, John Self likes Gerard Donovan’s JULIUS WINSOME: “In Julius’s remote landscape, “distances collapse, time is thrown out,” and the book achieves a similar trickery by being both spare and immersive, short but engrossing right up to the breathless closing chapters.” Thank you, John … Ronan O’Brien’s CONFESSIONS OF A FALLEN ANGEL is still impressing ’em, to wit: “It’s a clever plot. The story holds together well as a narrative, hurtling towards its end as classical tragedy, and the main character is engaging in how he deals with adversity … On balance, the heart leaps up at this new Irish novel,” says John S. Doyle at the Sunday Independent. Beth at Beth’s Reading List likes Eoin Colfer’s ARTEMIS FOWL AND THE LOST COLONY: “I enjoyed this – the description of fairy technology is always intriguing and amazing. Colfer draws the new characters with as much personality as the ones we already know.” Meanwhile, over at Stone Library’s Book Blog, Derek Landy’s SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT gets an Eoin Colfer comparison: “Fans of Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl series, or anyone who likes a dash of violence and danger served up with magical humour will enjoy this book.” Finally, it’s a couple of big-ups for The Artist Formerly Known as Colin Bateman. “I found I PREDICT A RIOT to be a hugely funny and very entertaining read … it is also a murder / mystery, a crime thriller and a hilarious piece of social commentary on Belfast, and the current situation in Northern Ireland life,” says Austin Lynch at the Fermanagh Herald, while Gerard Brennan has been reading his little cotton socks off: “This last few weeks I’ve been reading a lot of crime fiction. So far Declan Hughes’ THE WRONG KIND OF BLOOD is impressing me, I highly recommend Ken Bruen’s PRIEST, and Colin Bateman’s latest novel I PREDICT A RIOT was a pure Belfast blast.” Yes indeed, yon Bateman is pure literary Semtex, we find …

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