“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “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. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Distant Voices, Stilled Lives

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!

9 comments:

John McFetridge said...

Fantastic opening, great read. Really looking forward to it.

Now, if only there was a way to get Hughes out of his shell, get him to maybe say something and perhaps have a drink.

Declan Burke said...

As Mr. Hughes would no doubt remind you, John, the secular prayer of Ireland is, "Whatever you say, say nothing."

Cheers, Dec

Gerard Brennan said...

So, I've still time to read The Dying Breed before ATDV comes out, then. Lovely.

What do you think about epilogues, then?

gb

Declan Burke said...

Gerard - Epilogues, for some reason, I don't mind so much. Although there is a feeling of, "Oh, just before you go ..." about them.

Cheers, Dec

Uriah Robinson said...

I can never remember what happened in a prologue anyway. I have read a few books in which I think the author forgot what he had written there as well. What is wrong with calling it chapter one?
But that sounds a great opening.

Dana King said...

I was lucky enough to be asked to review the first Ed Loy novel, THE WRONG KIND OF BLOOD; I thought Declan Hughes was on his way to becoming an important writer then, and nothing he's done in the interim has changed my mind. This book is eagerly anticipated.

col2910 said...

If my memory serves me well, I used to walk past Tolka Park on my way to my grannies in Fairview.......bit of trivia, perhaps Mr Hughes can incorporate me as a bystander is the book goes to extra time,
Colman

Anonymous said...

Hi Dec

I see the blog got a mention in the Irish Times today. Congrats. There is also an article on Irish crime fic including Declann Hughes.

Fiona

Declan Burke said...

Hi Fiona - Ta for the tip-off, much obliged.

Cheers, Dec