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?
THE BLACK ICE by Michael Connelly. THE BLACK ICE ties in back family history with the actual plot in a superb way.
What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Freddie Croft in Dick Francis’ DRIVING FORCE. Freddie was a nice, hardworking, decent guy. You couldn’t understand why he had such a complicated private life.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Douglas Reeman. His novels remind me of my youth and a style of writing that has long since passed.
Most satisfying writing moment?
When I complete the penultimate chapter of a new novel. For some reason the final chapter is always complete in my head.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
Has not been written yet. They either have literary pretensions or have alcoholic, anti-social main characters that you can’t care about.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
My own novel, LINE OF FLIGHT.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The blank screen / Somebody saying they read your book and enjoyed it.
The pitch for your next book is …?
Title: STEINER. Steiner joined the FBI, not to protect the American way of life, mamma and apple pie, but to bring down the senator who killed his mother. But before Steiner can act, a wanted assassin recognises him, and from then on Steiner must keep running in order to survive …
Who are you reading right now?
Tess Gerritsen – the fifth of her novels on the trot. You know exactly what the characters are doing and why, and you still don’t know how it’s all going to end.
God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
I’d ask the devil for a second opinion.
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Story Story Story.
LINE OF FLIGHT is John McAllister’s debut novel.
“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.