“Busted flat in Baton Rouge / Headed for the train / Feeling nearly faded as my jeans …” Bobby McCue (right, in back behind Sarah Chen, Michael Haskins and Linda Brown) of The Mystery Bookstore in LA does our humble offering THE BIG O proud, choosing it as his ‘other favourite’ in this month’s Mystery Bookstore newsletter, with the gist running thusly: “Another Irish writer new to American readers, Declan Burke is drawing comparisons to Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen.” Which is nice.
Mind you, it’d be even nicer if THE BIG O was his actual favourite, rather than his ‘other’ favourite. His actual favourite? Brian McGilloway’s “terrific debut”, BORDERLANDS. Which would be a stone-cold bummer if yon McGilloway wasn’t as nice a bloke as you could meet. But he is, so it’s not. Brian? Tell Tanya we were asking for her.
Anyhoos, it’s three cheers, two stools and a resounding huzzah for Bobby McCue. All together now: “Feeling good was easy, Lord / When Bobby sang the blues / And feeling good was good enough for me / Good enough for me and Bobby McCue …”
Praise for Declan Burke: “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – The Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “A hardboiled delight.” – The Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review). “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre, was ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL.” – Sunday Times. “The writing is a joy.” – Ken Bruen. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.