“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.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The FLIGHT Stuff

Considering she’s due to inherit the earth any day now, Euro Crime’s Karen Meek is surprisingly tolerant of mere mortals in general and very helpful to the CAP elves in particular. Thus it was that she tipped us off about yet another Irish crime fiction writer who had yet to blip across the radar screens of the elves, John McAllister, whose post-Troubles thriller LINE OF FLIGHT (2006) sounds like a potent brew. Quoth the blurb elves:
“Jimmy watched the white van on the television and saw people stream away from the surrounding buildings. The mortars had been found and the Queen was safe, and yet something was not quite right.” Jimmy has spent a lifetime fighting the Republicans who wanted to take over his country, and the politicians who ran it to suit themselves. But old enemies have formed new alliances based on greed, and now, when his deadly skills are needed most, Jimmy is powerless. The only outsiders Jimmy can rely on are an unorthodox policeman, Ian Patterson, and his mortal enemy, IRA killer Mick Quinn. But Ian has divided loyalties and Mick is obsessed with taking his revenge on the SAS. To save the life of the Queen, the three men have to counterattack even as the mortars begin to fly. But first, for the sake of his children, Jimmy must throw away his gun. McAllister’s LINE OF FLIGHT is more than just another thriller; it explores the aftermath of a peace process that has left fear, doubt and loathing to breed under the shiny new skin of reinvestment, forming a volatile cocktail that needs but the barest spark to ignite. McAllister’s skill at capturing the language and nuances of the main factions is impressive, but the warning it provides for those waging a war on terror is terrifying for us all.
They’re coming thick and fast out of Norn Iron now, people: in the last month alone we’ve had David Park’s THE TRUTH COMMISSIONER, Garbhan Downey’s CONFIDENTIALLY YOURS, Sam Millar’s BLOODSTORM and (The Artist Formerly Known As) Colin Bateman’s ORPHEUS RISING, with Seamus Smyth’s THE MOLE’S CAGE to be published in France later this year. For more on the topic, jaunt on over to Gerard Brennan’s distressingly cool Crime Scene Northern Ireland

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