“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. “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 8, 2010

Cry Havoc, And Let Slip The Dogs Of Rome

An Irish author, an Italian setting, and a literary crime novel courtesy of a former arts editor who has produced a current affairs magazine for foreign embassies in Rome: Conor Fitzgerald’s debut THE DOGS OF ROME is an intriguing proposition. The early word is good too. To wit:
“A powerful and hugely compelling novel. Dark, worldly and written with tremendous style and assurance.” - William Boyd

“Guaranteed to whet the thirst of international crime fiction fans. This promising debut is reminiscent of early Michael Dibdin, and that is more than enough to put Fitzgerald’s series on your radar.” - Booklist

“Impressively plotted … those who like their gritty crime thrillers with a European flair will be well rewarded.” - Publishers Weekly
  Nice. Meanwhile, the blurb elves have been wittering thusly:
Rome. A city where rules are compromised. And compromise rules. It's one of the hottest days of the year. Chief Inspector Blume is enjoying a rare solitary lunch in a tranquil corner of Trastevere when an unwelcome phone call intrudes with news of a brutal killing a few streets away. Arturo Clemente is no ordinary victim. His widow is an elected member of the Senate, and Blume arrives at the scene to find enquiries well underway, the case itself apparently clear-cut, a prime suspect quickly identified. Blume must fight to regain control of the investigation, but well acquainted with the city's underworld, he knows from bitter experience that in Rome even a murder enquiry must bow to the rules of politics. But when worrying shortcuts sanctioned by one of his superiors are uncovered, it seems events are being manipulated from on high. The complex and uncomfortable truth Blume will unravel will shock even him, and his struggle for justice may yet cost more innocent lives ...
  Incidentally, Conor Fitzgerald has in the past “collaborated in the translation and annotation of “Scritti Italiani” by James Joyce. These consist of lectures and essays in Italian written by Joyce while in Trieste and Rome, and were included in JAMES JOYCE OCCASIONAL, CRITICAL AND POLITCAL WRITING (Oxford World’s Classics, Oxford 2000).”
  Hmmmm. James Joyce? Leopold Bloom? Inspector Blume? Let the third-form theorizing commence post-haste …

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