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, September 20, 2009


It’s a Red Letter day, folks. This time last year, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt published THE BIG O in North America. A humble offering that started life as a co-published novel, with the small but perfectly formed Hag’s Head Press, THE BIG O sank like the proverbial granite submarine, although it did garner one or two decent blurbs and reviews in the process. To wit:
“Imagine Donald Westlake and his alter ego Richard Stark moving to Ireland and collaborating on a screwball noir, and you have some idea of Burke’s accomplishment.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Declan Burke’s THE BIG O is one of the sharpest, wittiest and most unusual Irish crime novels of recent years … Among all of the recent crop of Irish crime novelists, it seems to me that Declan Burke is ideally poised to make the transition to a larger international stage.” – John Connolly

“Burke has married hard-boiled crime with noir sensibility and seasoned it with humour and crackling dialogue … fans of comic noir will find plenty to enjoy here.” – Booklist

“Burke’s the latest – and one of the best – bad-boy Irish writers to hit our shores … the dialogue is nothing short of electric. This caper is so stylish, so hilarious, that it could have been written by the love-child of Elmore Leonard and Oscar Wilde.” – Killer Books

“THE BIG O is a big ol’ success, a tale fuelled by the mischievous spirits of Donald E. Westlake, Elmore Leonard and even Carl Hiassen … THE BIG O kept me reading at speed – and laughing the whole damn time.” – J. Kingston Pierce, January Magazine, ‘Best Books 2007 - Crime Fiction’

“Declan Burke’s crime writing is fast, furious and funny, but this is more than just genre fiction: Burke is a high satirist in the tradition of Waugh and Kingsley Amis . . . but he never forgets that his first duty is to give us a damn good read.”—Adrian McKinty

“Carries on the tradition of Irish noir with its Elmore Leonard-like style ... the dialogue is as slick as an ice run, the plot is nicely intricate, and the character drawing is spot on … a high-octane novel that fairly coruscates with tension.” – The Irish Times

“With a deft touch, Burke pulls together a cross-genre plot that’s part hard-boiled caper, part thriller, part classic noir, and flat out fun. From first page to last, THE BIG O grabs hold and won’t let go.” – Reed Farrel Coleman

“The writing is a joy, so seamless you nearly miss the sheer artistry of the style and the terrific wry humour.” – Ken Bruen
  CRIME ALWAYS PAYS is the sequel to THE BIG O, and it’s being published to Kindle at some point today, September 21st, or so I’m reliably informed. Technically speaking, then, today marks the publication of my third novel, after EIGHTBALL BOOGIE and THE BIG O, which is where the Red Letter bit comes in. Because it’s not every day you publish your third novel, even if it is to a fairly limited audience on Kindle …
  Anyway, you very probably don’t own a Kindle, but if you know someone who does, let them know – CRIME ALWAYS PAYS will be retailing for something less than two dollars, at which rates I can positively offer a cast-iron guarantee of a bang for their buck (or, with two ‘bangs’ on page 74 alone, a bang per buck, at least).
  For a brief taster, clickety-click here
  By the way – if you don’t own a Kindle, and don’t know anyone who does, feel free to join in the general revelry anyway, by leaving a comment or tweeting it or sending good vibes through the ether. Or, y’know, don’t.
  Today, it’s all good.