“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, March 26, 2009

In For A Ha’Penny, In For A Pound

The whys and wherefores of cover art are, at the best of times, a mystery wrapped in an enigma at the heart of a Russian doll, but there seems something wilfully perverse about the North American and U.K. covers for Declan Hughes’s latest, ALL THE DEAD VOICES. The North American version (right) features a rather handsome take on the Ha’Penny Bridge, a classic Dublin icon (with the terrific second-hand bookshop The Winding Stair in the lower left corner), whereas the U.K. cover (below) is suitably noir and seedy, but is an image that could be taken from practically any modern city. Odd, really, when U.K. residents are far more likely to be au fait with the image on the North American edition; and odder still when you realise that the building of an Independence Bridge across the Liffey features as part of the backstory.
  Anyhoos, enough with the cavilling, and on with the blurb, to wit:
The past is never far behind. Ed Loy has made some changes. He has moved into an apartment in Dublin’s city centre, leaving behind his family home: he wants to break free of the ghosts of his own past, to live in the teeming present. But if that’s what he wants for his own life, it’s not always what his clients will permit: the baggage they bring with him propel him relentlessly into past. The police are working along similar lines with their new Cold Case unit. Looking back over a fifteen-year-old murder, they are satisfied by their original findings - but not so Loy. He has been hired by the victim’s daughter to investigate the suspects ignored by the first investigation: a rich property developer, an ex-IRA man and Loy’s own nemesis, George Halligan. But Loy has to watch his back: in the murky world into which he has fallen, he can’t tell which threats come from the IRA and which from the police protecting their old case. Can Loy persuade his longstanding friend DI Dave Donnelly to help solve the Fogarty case, or does he have to rely on the murderous George Halligan? Does it all go back to the IRA? Are the men who gave the commands now respectable citizens? In his toughest case yet, Ed Loy delves into the dirty side of life in the New Ireland, where progress comes at a price and no one is free of their past.
  I’ve about 100 pages to go in ALL THE DEAD VOICES, and it’s terrific stuff, the best yet from Squire Hughes. Which is saying a lot, given that he’s already nabbed himself a Shamus, and he’s up for an Edgar next month. Naturally, we’ll be cheerleading from the comfort of the Crime Always Pays chaise-longue with the traditional CAP terrace chant. All together now: “Ra-ra-ree / Kick him on the knee / Ra-ra-rollocks / Kick him on the other knee …”

5 comments:

Fiona said...

This is spooky. It's 18.05 on Wednesday 25th March, and I'm reading a post written by declan at 8.37am TOMORROW, Thursday 26th March.

yikes

bookwitch said...

It's probably his automatic posting thingie that's gone mad. And so will he, when he finds out.

Declan Burke said...

Actually, it's a whole other time-travelling dealio. And I'm pretty cool with it. Except I forgot to get the lottery numbers again. Bummer.

Gordon Harries said...

God, the North American cover is lovely.

Gordon.

Mack said...

Most of the time I prefer the UK covers to books but agree with the sentiments here.