“TOWER goes off like a slo-mo explosion, a raging blast of white-heat light. It’s a compelling study of pathologies, and style, and friendship and fate. Fuelled by tenderness and murderous hate, it’s as tender as it is brutal, tender as a savage wound, ragged and raw. Here be monsters, crippled monsters: Nicky and Todd are the truest angels and demons of our mean streets I’ve read for some time. Be afraid.”There’s actually two covers for the book, given that there’s two authors, and what’s fascinating about what’s inside the covers is the very different styles employed for the parallel voices. It’s not the same set-up as the Ken Bruen / Jason Starr collaborations for Hard Case Crime: here you get the same tale of mutual destruction told twice, in a split narrative reminiscent of Jim Thompson, but filtered through radically diverse mind-sets. It’s a fascinating exercise that packs a hell of a wallop.
“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. “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.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Is it just me, or is there a distinctly ’70s vibe emanating from the cover of the Ken Bruen / Reed Farrel Coleman collaboration from Busted Flush? Pretty stark artwork for a stark and not very pretty story, it has to be said, and one that puts yours truly in mind of blaxploitation and funkadelia – neither of which, I should probably point out, feature in the novel itself. Herewith be your humble correspondent’s take on it: