Yep, it’s rubber-hose time, folks: a rapid-fire Q&A for those shifty-looking usual suspects ...
What crime novel would you most like to have written?
Since my focus is more toward the intrigue / spy type of thing, I’d have to say a three-way tie - either MARATHON MAN by William Goldman, THE BOURNE IDENTITY by Robert Ludlum or one of my favourite books of all time, THE QUIET AMERICAN by Graham Greene. They’re all books I continue to reread when the mood strikes.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
I guess I would have to say Steven Hockensmith. His HOLMES ON THE RANGE series about a couple of cowboy Sherlock Holmes wannabes set in the 1890s is not something I would typically pick up. But once I read the first one, I was hooked. The series is hilarious and fun and smart. It’s a nice change from the other books I usually read.
Most satisfying writing moment?
Finishing a chapter or scene that worked out even better than I expected it to. I get kind of a runner’s high after that, and feel great for the rest of the day.
The best Irish crime novel is ...?
Ever changing ... but for now, I’ll go with THE GUARDS by Ken Bruen.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Best, creating stories that other people enjoy, and meeting other authors. Worst, deadlines. No question.
The pitch for your next novel is ...?
Jonathan Quinn, the protagonist from THE CLEANER, returns in THE DECEIVED. Quinn’s hired to do a simple job – remove a body that has shown up at the Port of Los Angeles in a shipping container. Only when he opens it, and sees whose body it is, he realized the job isn’t going to be so simple.
Who are you reading right now?
I just finished an Ian Rankin, and was trying to figure out what was next. As you can probably guess I read a lot of thriller and crime fiction. Sometimes I just need to step away. So that’s exactly what I’ve done. I picked up a book I’ve read many times before but falls outside my typical genres ... THE RAZOR’S EDGE by Somerset Maugham.
The three best words to describe your own writing are ...?
Clean. Fast. Engaging.
Brett Battles’ THE CLEANER is published in paperback on March 6.
“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.