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.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Collusionist

That cradle and lair of all things Irish crime fiction, Belfast’s No Alibis, hosts the official launch of Stuart Neville’s COLLUSION tomorrow, July 30th, with the details running thusly:
No Alibis Bookstore is pleased to invite you to the launch party for Stuart Neville’s second novel, COLLUSION, on Friday 30th July at 6:30PM.
  Stuart Neville has been a musician, a composer, a teacher, a salesman, a film extra, a baker and a hand double for a well known Irish comedian, but is currently a partner in a successful multimedia design business in the wilds of Northern Ireland. COLLUSION is his second novel, the follow-up to the hugely successful and award winning THE TWELVE.
  In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, THE TWELVE (aka THE GHOSTS OF BELFAST) came complete with a blurb from none other than James Ellroy (“THE TWELVE will knock you sideways. This guy can write.”) and scooped the LA Times’ Mystery / Thriller of the Year a couple of months back. Not bad for a debut, but THE TWELVE has also been nominated for a Best First Novel gong in each of the Anthony, Barry and Macavity awards, to be announced at this year’s Bouchercon.
  I mentioned a couple of weeks back that COLLUSION is a finer novel than THE TWELVE, not least because it’s rather more cynical than its predecessor about joining the dots between ‘the Troubles’ and post-conflict Northern Ireland. Here’s another snippet:
Did anyone live here now? He searched for signs of someone, anyone, making a life on this street. Not a soul. Less than a mile away, millions were being pumped into brownfield sites, building apartments, shopping centres, technology parks. Just across the river, property was changing hands for prices never imagined just a few years before. One-bedroom flats sold for a quarter of a million, snapped up by investors looking to make a killing out of Belfast’s peace boom, desperate to get rich before the bubble burst, as it surely would. And here, not ten minutes away, stood two rows of empty houses with generations of memories rotting away along with the mortar and woodwork, all because small-minded thugs couldn’t see beyond the world of Them and Us.
  In my humble opinion, COLLUSION is a very fine novel indeed. A good old-fashioned page-turner of a thriller, it should be required reading for those Ivory Tower types who bemoan the paucity of novels addressing social and political flux of contemporary Ireland, and the lack of post-ceasefire literature concerning itself with Northern Ireland.