“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, April 14, 2008
The Monday Review
It’s Monday, they’re reviews, to wit: “McGilloway’s storytelling is razor-sharp and the description and atmosphere is outstanding … Thoughtful and taut storytelling with an edgy tone beneath the rural setting,” says Sharon Wheeler at Reviewing the Evidence of GALLOWS LANE. “A stunning second novel … McGilloway has written another compelling book here with no clichés or easy answers. Taut and fast paced,” says Verbal Magazine. Over at It’s A Crime, Crime Fic Reader agrees: “McGilloway’s strengths lie in plotting … But, above and beyond that, characterisation is key to any good crime novel and in this, McGilloway excels … McGilloway’s novels are essentially police-procedurals, but the psychological impact and theme is never far way.” Maxine Clarke at Euro Crime won’t be out-done: “[GALLOWS LANE] is an absorbing, satisfying book that delivers on all its plot promises; provides a strong sense of humanity; and leaves the reader looking forward to more.” The inimitable Gerard Brennan at CSNI tosses in his two cents on McGilloway’s BORDERLANDS: “As the story unfolded and through his thoughts and actions, [Devlin] became a fully-formed and complex protagonist. No major flaws, apart from a slight lack of restraint emotionally and physically, but you know, that’s kind of original in itself, isn’t it? I am looking forward to getting to know the man a lot better in the coming instalments.” Lovely stuff … And now a quartet of reviews for Sibohan Dowd’s THE LONDON EYE MYSTERY: “Grabs readers from the beginning and doesn’t let go … Just as impressive as Dowd’s recent debut, A SWIFT PURE CRY, and fresh cause to mourn her premature death,” says Publishers Weekly via Powell’s Books. Mr and Mrs Kirkus can be found at the same link: “This is a well-constructed puzzle, and mystery lovers will delight in connecting the clues.” You’ll also find the Booklist verdict: “Everything rings true here, the family relationships, the quirky connections of Ted’s mental circuitry, and, perhaps most surprisingly, the mystery.” Meanwhile, Norah Piehl at Kids Read has this to say: “THE LONDON EYE MYSTERY would be a compelling story even without Ted’s unusual perspective. Plenty of twists and turns, dead ends and false hopes make for a breathlessly fascinating mystery plot.” Kyrialyse at Live Journal likes Tana French’s IN THE WOODS: “A must-read. Mystery-thriller-sly bits of horror. Outstanding voice, outstanding characterization. So disturbing and so real that at one point I had to put it aside and remind myself that this wasn’t happening to real people.” Some lovely big-ups for Cora Harrison’s MY LADY JUDGE from her peers, beginning with Peter Tremayne (via Macmillan US): “Sister Fidelma would be delighted with her sleuthing ‘descendant’ – a new female Brehon named Mara … Well researched and written.” PC Doherty agrees: “An excellent historical novel with a most original leading character. Cora Harrison has wonderfully recreated the Celtic culture of Ireland in its mysterious twilight at the end of the Middle Ages.” As does Brenda Rickman Vantrease: “A lovely, balanced blend of historical detail and good storytelling. This book is appealing in every way: a likeable protagonist, a clever mystery, and a richly textured rendering of sixteenth-century Ireland with its fascinating legal system.” What news of John Connolly? “Connolly is a master of suggestion, creating mood and suspense with ease, and unflinchingly presents a hard-eyed look at the horrors that can lurk in quiet, rustic settings,” says Publishers Weekly of THE UNQUIET, while Answer Girl has the first review we’ve seen of THE REAPERS: “THE REAPERS is a special treat for fans of the Parker series, but also holds its own as an updated version of the classic Western, a story of hard men facing each other on the frontier.” A quick brace of hup-yas for David Park’s latest: “Northern Irish novelist David Park imaginatively alludes to these historical and literary antecedents from South Africa in the opening of his new novel, THE TRUTH COMMISSIONER, a sombre but totally engrossing portrait of post-peace treaty Belfast … It’s hardly the stuff of photo ops, but it makes for great reading,” says James Grainger at The Toronto Star. Cheryl Wonders agrees: “I loved this book. Immediately started re-reading it when I’d finished … For anyone thinking of dealing with the misdeeds of the past – seeking revenge, atonement, forgiveness, cleansing – there is a hope of freedom, but you can only find it in the chaos.” A quick one for Benny Blanco’s latest: “Black / Banville is a fine prose stylist with the bleakest of outlooks, as befits any winner of the “dark is deep” Booker. THE SILVER SWAN is a finely tuned psychological drama, but be prepared if you read it for the irresistible impulse to crawl under your bed that will follow,” says LW at Provo City Library Staff Reviews. Fionnuala McGoldrick at Verbal Magazine likes KT McCaffrey’s THE CAT TRAP: “I found it to be thoroughly intriguing – with a well written plot and humorous interludes … This book is absolutely fantastic and I would love to see it televised or made into a film. The storyline is so full of twists and turns that any viewer would be glued to the screen. The ending is completely unexpected … I was particularly impressed with the male author’s understanding of the female psyche.” Finally, they’re really starting to tumble in for Derek Landy’s sequel to SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT, to wit: “PLAYING WITH FIRE is better than Landy’s first offering. Landy manages to write a dark gothic fantasy that is laugh out loud funny and also incredibly original, fresh and new. Landy has managed to do something that many authors have not: transcend genres. While this is first and foremost a young adult fantasy, it’s also a noir comedy and can be read by young adults and adults alike,” says Jamieson Villeneuve at the American Chronicle. Tasha Saecker at Kids’ Lit likes it too: “This was one book I was thrilled to get my hands on … A wild ride of a book, the battles are gory, choreographed and often funny. The book continues the strong sense of humour, laugh out-loud commentary, and vibrant relationship of the two main characters. Plenty of banter and wit as well as some deeper questions about life make this a winner of a novel.” Quoth Lupins Angel: “I prefer [PLAYING WITH FIRE] because the storyline is darker and more tense, and there’s more mystery in these books than there was in Harry Potter. It’s also the humour, Derek Landy would make a great comedian. He manages to make the tensest of situations laugh-out-loud funny, and does so at least twice in every chapter.” And RJ McGill isn’t about to rock the boat at Revish: “A fabulous series that seems to get better with each new instalment – the book is filled with biting dialogue that propels the action with the speed and intensity of lightning … From the ultra-cool skeleton to the action and scenery, each has been vividly painted to fully immerse the reader in Skulduggery’s world.” Make no (ahem) bones about it, people – Derek Landy is headed for Eoin Colferdom …