One of these kids has to be wrong, and for once I’m hoping it’s Myles McWeeney. Reviewing the new Declan Hughes novel, ALL THE DEAD VOICES, in the Irish Independent, McWeeney says: “This is the fourth Ed Loy mystery and Declan Hughes continues to up the Irish noir ante with this assured and gory examination of the relationship between IRA splinter groups and crime in Dublin.”
Nice. But then Claire Kilroy, in the Irish Times, has this: “Hughes’s four previous Loy novels were characterised by a strain of high Gothic which centred around the Big House, the notion of fate, and of corrupted bloodlines … Loy is a winning combination of caustic cynicism and romantic idealism, an adept at Beckettian failing better … Hughes gives the reader an ending which confounds the expectations of the genre, and which is all the more satisfying for it.”
So – is ALL THE DEAD VOICES the fourth or fifth Ed Loy novel? Does Claire Kilroy know something we don’t know? And if so, how come Squire Hughes is holding out on us? Was it something we said? Something we didn’t say? Questions, questions …
Anyhoos, upward and onward to the new Derek Landy, THE FACELESS ONES, being the third in the Skulduggery Pleasant series, which Sarah Webb in the Irish Independent likes a lot. To wit: “It’s non-stop action from the first page on … Landy’s dialogue crackles with authenticity and wit … If you want to keep your youngster reading, look no further. It’s Landy to the rescue again.”
Nice. Over at RTE, Tara Loughrey-Grant is loving Twenty Major’s second novel, ABSINTHE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER: “As shockingly entertaining as his debut novel was, ABSINTHE is a better read. The plot is tighter, more mature with added suspense keeping the reader glued until the very last page. Twenty brings Barcelona to live, in full 3D colour, enabling the reader to become part of his hedonistic, dysfunctional team.”
Lovely. Meanwhile, Henry Sutton at the Daily Mirror is bigging up Gene Kerrigan’s rather marvellous DARK TIMES IN THE CITY thusly: “The dark side of Dublin is the star in this brilliantly written slice of Irish noir, featuring a good man who gets himself on the wrong side of a very bad lot.”
Gorgeous. Last word this week goes to the inimitable Glenn Harper over at International Noir, who’s been perusing the latest from The Artist Formerly Known as Colin Bateman: “Bateman’s last novel, ORPHEUS RISING, was magic realism rather than crime fiction, and in the new one, he has come back to crime with a comic vengeance … Good news, since MYSTERY MAN is the funniest crime novel since Bateman’s own DIVORCING JACK and CYCLE OF VIOLENCE.”
“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.