“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “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. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Ghoul-Light Of Murder

Given that Declan Hughes has written, in CITY OF LOST GIRLS, one of the finest Irish novels of 2010, it’s entirely appropriate that he should review for the Irish Times Eoin McNamee’s ORCHID BLUE, which will very probably be the finest Irish novel of the year. The gist runneth thusly:
“Alongside Peace and DeLillo, the noir influence of James Ellroy is also discernible in this haunting novel’s elegant, fateful, inexorable progress, not only in the comparison between Pearl Gamble and Elizabeth Short, the Black Dahlia, but also in the mesmerising, almost hallucinatory beauty McNamee conjures from such dark material: “The bride and groom . . . looking into the flash as though dazzled by the promise of the life to come. Robert and Pearl the sombre reverse of that promise. Fixed in the ghoul-light of murder.” Eoin McNamee is a magnificent writer, and ORCHID BLUE may be his finest novel yet.” - Declan Hughes
  For the rest, clickety-click here
  Meanwhile, McNamee continues his perambulations around the country promoting ORCHID BLUE, appearing at Dublin’s Gutter Bookshop on Tuesday, November 9th, and Belfast’s No Alibis on Wednesday, November 10th. Trust me, if you haven’t read Eoin McNamee before, the comparisons with David Peace and James Ellroy are well founded, even if McNamee writes in a more formal, elegant style. The danger that comes with dipping into McNamee, of course, is that you’ll find yourself compelled to rush out and pick up his entire canon of work, but we’ll worry about that another day. Mind you, if you want to make a head start, I thoroughly recommend THE ULTRAS, which is as good a novel, crime or otherwise, as has been written in the last decade.

3 comments:

Stuart Neville said...

I have to agree, ORCHID BLUE is a terrific book. Highly recommended.

Declan Burke said...

It's all that, Stuart.

Best of luck with the Irish Book Awards, squire ...

Cheers, Dec

Swierczy said...

You guys just sold me on this. Pre-ordering now.