“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.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Bagman Cometh

The redneck wing of Crime Always Pays, The Bagman, aka Patrick Shawn Bagley (he’s Scots-Irish, like), gets in touch to let us know that THE LINE-UP: POEMS ON CRIME has just been published, featuring Ken Bruen, Daniel Hatadi, Gerald So, Sarah Cortez and a host of others. And, yes, we know exactly what you’re thinking – what does Sean Chercover make of it all? “THE LINE-UP is packed with passionate portraits of lust, revenge, guilt, obsession, regret … all the good things in life. Some of these poems will make you smile, others will put a lump in your throat. And some will stay with you for a very long time after you’ve closed the book.”
  Thank you, Sean. Meanwhile, as a sample taster, here’s The Bagman’s contribution, to wit:
110 M.P.H. in a Stolen Pickup
by Patrick Shawn Bagley


When I came to, the world
was a blur—my glasses lost
in the trail of wreckage—
but an orange glow pulsed
right where the hood had been.
When I saw those flames,
I thought my Jesus-freak foster parents
were right and I’d gone to Hell.
When I tried to move, my head felt
like Satan himself had gone upside it
with a baseball bat and then kicked me
in the face for good measure.
When I came to again, I was lying
in a ditch, gravel plastered to my arm
in a sheen of blood, and the back
of my wrist looked like raw hamburger.
When I looked down at my T-shirt,
saw the holes where the spray of battery
acid had eaten through the cloth
but never touched my skin;
when I saw what was left
of the truck; when the EMT pulled
glass from my scalp and said
you’re one lucky little bastard,
then I knew nothing
could ever kill me.

© Patrick Shawn Bagley