I never met the man, and he refused (very sensibly) to publish my books on a number of occasions - so why has the death of David Thompson (right) come as such a shock? Possibly because he was a relatively young man, with so much enthusiasm for crime writing of all stripes; possibly because he had so much going on (Murder by the Book, the recent Busted Flush merger with Tyrus Books) right now; possibly because he had an unerring instinct for the underdog; and maybe it’s just that it’s possible to feel a real affinity with someone even when all of your communication is done via email.
A couple of years ago, when I was even less well known than I am now, and was announcing to very little fanfare that I was travelling to the US to promote a new book I had coming out, David Thompson was the first to contact me and insist that I come to Houston, and Murder by the Book, to read and sign. In the end, I couldn’t make it to Houston; I only had a week to play with, and the ‘tour’ took in the East Coast instead; but the gesture was absolutely typical of David Thompson’s generosity and unflagging support for the new, the unchampioned and those most in need of a break.
Really, it’s desperately sad. My thoughts are with David’s wife, family and friends. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
“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.