Who says flower growing is for pansies …?So there you have it. Garbhan Downey. THE BLUE ROSE. If it’s not the funniest politically inspired crime fic caper you read all year, I’m a lesser-spotted greenfly.
A gardening competition in a little country village ends up throwing three governments into turmoil when it sparks an international race to grow the world’s first blue rose.
Irish premier John Blake is forced to team up with semi-reformed gangsters Harry Hurley and Vic McCormack to stop British and American politicians shanghaiing the Mountrose Prize and walking off with a billion-dollar patent.
Bugging, burglary, sabotage, murder and sexual deceit – it’s all part of the rose growing business. And the bad guys are even worse …
“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.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Another Dahlia, Another Dollar
I bumped into Garbhan Downey last summer, at a nice little books festival in Kilkenny organised by Neville Thompson, and a nice bloke he was too, and still is, presumably. More importantly, perhaps, or certainly as importantly, he’s a damn fine and funny writer. His latest, THE BLUE ROSE, looks to be a sort-of follow-up to RUNNING MATES (2007), which is terrific news for yours truly, because I loved RUNNING MATES, even though it was funnier than my own stuff, which is something I generally hate, but which put me in mind of a kind of crime fic Norn Iron Tom Sharpe. Anyhoos, quote the blurb elves: