Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “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.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Sunday Review

It’s Sunday, they’re reviews, to wit: “Kerrigan’s third novel [DARK TIMES IN THE CITY] is a tense, believable thriller in which one man has to tackle a near-impossible dilemma … this is not an off-the-shelf American-style blockbuster. It’s a damn sight better … Very satisfying,” says Russell James at Crime Time. They like it over at Waterstone’s Quarterly Review too: “Even those readers seldom impressed by crime thrillers will be blown away by this utterly compelling slice of Dublin noir, written in lean, taut prose, with no wrong turns or stylistic errors … Kerrigan’s the real thing, and this is a tough, smart book that’ll give your adrenal glands a sharp prod.” Very nice indeed … And now a big-up brace for Brian McGilloway: “Already it looks like 2009 is going to be a vintage year for Irish crime fiction ... and now Brian McGilloway further enhances his reputation with BLEED A RIVER DEEP. Devlin is an unusual creation in contemporary crime fiction in that he doesn't come burdened with a dark past and this everyman quality allows for a calm certainty when events threaten to spiral out of control,” says the Evening Herald (no link). The Edinburgh Evening News (no link) agrees: “McGilloway has won acclaim for previous novels featuring Benedict Devlin as their hero and he’s kept the standards high here ... BLEED A RIVER DEEP boasts a well-plotted storyline, which has enough twists and turns to keep the reader enthralled to the final page. A great way to pass a rainy spring day!” Speaking of rain, it’s Galway … “Ken Bruen has amazed me always. With SANCTUARY he has taken Jack Taylor from the streamlined to the sublime. With his understanding of the metered word and thoughtfulness towards all that has come before he gives his reader a Jack Taylor outing like none before,” says the inimitable Ruth Jordan at Crime Spree Magazine (no link). But lo! What news of Declan Hughes’ ALL THE DEAD VOICES? “The narrative works through [Loy] and around him, and sometimes you find yourself waiting for another welcome appearance from one of the more morally suspect characters. But then Loy wouldn’t be Loy if he didn't have a streak of the mundane which we recognise in all of us, and Hughes understands this. In the end, an enjoyable and satisfying read,” says Padraig Kenny in the Sunday Tribune. Back to Waterstone’s Books Quarterly for another Squire Hughes hup-ya: “With his terrific sense of place – it’s a great, gritty vision of Dublin – and convincing characterisation, Hughes goes from strength to strength as a writer. As the tension and suspense build, this tightly crafted novel does not disappoint.” Lovely jubbly … A hop, skip and a jump to Canada for the inside skinny on Andrew Nugent’s latest: “SOUL MURDER has a monkish quality about it: a moral seriousness that is reminiscent of P.D. James at her best. Nugent is not a writer of James’s stature, however, and the characters lack the psychological depth, the prose, the brilliance, the plot with the intricacy of the Baroness’s work. Still, it is a satisfying novel of its kind,” nitpicks Michael Wiggins at the Telegraph Journal … Finally, a brace for one of our early contenders for Book of the Year, Adrian McKinty’s FIFTY GRAND: “An amazing page-turner packed with energy and ferocious writing … The writing just bristles with an energy that left me wanting more. This is a novel that promises a thrill ride — at certain points, you’ll want to take a breather, but you’ll keep on reading instead to see how everything comes out,” says Bruce Grossman at Bookgasm. Last word to Ruth Jordan at Crime Spree Magazine (no link): “McKinty’s gift with the Crime Novel is his ability to both unfold and accelerate the plot at the same time. That he does so with a poet’s heart makes the readability factor even higher … This book is a bottle of Pinot Noir amongst an array of table whites, fuller in body and richer in flavour.” It’s a whole new sub-genre, folks – pinot noir. Cheers, hic …