The quality of football played in the League of Ireland is not very high as a rule, and if you’re not a committed supporter of one of the teams on the field, in this case Shelbourne and Monaghan United, it can tend towards the boring, to put it mildly, but when the bloke behind me said that what we needed was a bit of fucking action, I don’t think a guy in a balaclava piling out of the fans’ car park with a submachine gun and spraying bullets around Tolka Park was what he had in mind …Shades of the 1920 Bloody Sunday massacre at Croke Park from the first lines of Declan Hughes’ latest, ALL THE DEAD VOICES, if you don’t count the prologue, which I don’t, because I hate them, but that’s just me. Anyhoos, ALL THE DEAD VOICES won’t be released for another couple of months, but I’ve snagged an advance copy, which is very sweet indeed for me, because the boy Hughes is rapidly becoming one of the most important Irish novelists of his generation. Here’s hoping Ed Loy gets him the Edgar award he’s been nominated for, so that Irish crime fiction can bask in his reflected glory. He’ll be unbearable if he wins, of course, but sure he’s pretty much unbearable now anyway. Go Ed!
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.