“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, December 12, 2008

The Gospel According To Paul. And Philip.

Two relatively new non-fiction crime tomes for your perusal, folks. First up is Paul Williams, crime correspondent with the Sunday World, and scribe of many non-fiction titles on Ireland’s criminal underworld, the latest of which is CRIME WARS. Quoth the blurb elves:
CRIME WARS is a chilling exposé of Ireland’s brutal underworld from the beginning of the new Millennium. In this powerful investigation Williams reveals the stories behind the gangland warfare that erupted, with devastating results, at the start of the 21st Century. He exposes the godfathers and the stories behind the international drug deals, the murders and the mayhem which have all dramatically escalated since the year 2000. Williams reveals the secret worlds of brutal godfathers Martin ‘Marlo’ Hyland and paedophile, drug trafficker Christy Griffin. He tells the chilling inside story of the ‘cursed’ Finglas murder gang and the blood-soaked McCarthy / Dundons in Limerick. CRIME WARS uncovers the background of the horrific Grand Canal double murder – one of the worst atrocities of recent years – and tells the story of Joey the Lip, a desperate young man who became a vital witness in a gruesome execution case. Williams also follows the trail of the Syndicate, a huge international drug trafficking conspiracy organised by Irish criminals, which led to one of Europe’s biggest drug seizures. CRIME WARS is a terrifying account of organised crime in modern Ireland.
  Tasty stuff. And then there’s Philip Bray’s INSIDE MAN (written with Anthony Galvin), which gives a flavour of what it’s like to be the guy who locks up the less-than-salubrious types. To wit:
Philip Bray joined the Irish prison service in 1977, working in Limerick Prison. At the time prisons were places where pillows, blankets and even food were scarce. Most prisoners were illiterate and luxuries such as television and books were unheard of. Philip's story of the changes in the prison service charts Ireland's first female high-security prison in Limerick, a place where wealthy Englishwoman-come-IRA-operative Rose Dugdale’s pregnancy went unnoticed, while Limerick Prison's cells were filled with leading Republican figures and later notorious feuding Limerick families and the ‘Dublin Mafia’, whose imprisonment fuelled a violent protest. Philip offers a bridge between the Ireland of yesterday and the Ireland of today in this intriguing account of life in the prison service in one of the most turbulent eras in recent history.
  So there you have it – Granny’s stocking-fillers all wrapped up in one quick post. No, don’t thank me. It’s all part of the service …

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