“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.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

THE BIG O by Declan Burke

Karen can’t go on pulling stick-ups forever, but Rossi is getting out of prison any day now and she needs the money to keep Anna out of his hands. This new guy she’s met, Ray, just might be able to help her out, but he wants out of the kidnap game now the Slavs are bunkering in.
  This is the story of a tiger kidnapping seen through the eyes of a wide cast of characters. It jumps from Karen and Ray to Detective Doyle, Frank—the discredited plastic surgeon who wants his ex-wife snatched—and Doug, the lawyer who convinces him to do it. Then there’s the ex-wife herself, who just happens to be Karen’s best friend. Can Karen and Ray trust each other enough to carry off one last caper? Or will love, as always, ruin everything?

THE BIG O at Amazon UK

THE BIG O at Amazon US

Praise for THE BIG O:
“If Elmore Leonard met Jim Thompson down a dark alley at midnight they might emerge a week later with thick beards, bloodshot eyes and the manuscript for The Big O … raises the bar on its first page and keeps it there till the last word.” – Eoin Colfer

“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

“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

“Irish thrillers don’t get much more hard-boiled than this gritty, violent and wildly hilarious kidnap caper.” – Irish Independent

“A plot that takes off at a blistering pace and never lets up. The writing is a joy, so seamless you nearly miss the sheer artistry of the style and the terrific, wry humour.” - Ken Bruen, author of AMERICAN SKIN

“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: Shamus, Barry, and Anthony Award-winning Author of THE JAMES DEANS

“Declan Burke’s THE BIG O is full of dry Irish humour, a delightful caper revolving around a terrific cast … If you don’t mind the occasional stretch of credulity, the result is stylish and sly.” – The Seattle Times

“Delightful … darkly funny … Burke’s style is evocative of Elmore Leonard, but with an Irish accent and more humour … Here’s hoping we see lots more of Declan Burke soon.” – Kansas City Star

“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, author of THE BLOOMSDAY DEAD

“Faster than a stray bullet, wittier than Oscar Wilde and written by a talent destined for fame.” - Irish Examiner

“THE BIG O is everything fans of dark, fast, tightly woven crime fiction could want ... As each scene unfolds, tension mounts and hilarity ensues.” – Crime Spree Magazine

“Burke has [George V.] Higgins’ gift for dialogue, [Barry] Gifford’s concision and the effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak. In short, THE BIG O is an essential crime novel of 2007, and one of the best of any year.” – Ray Banks, author of DONKEY PUNCH

“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’

“THE BIG O has everything you want in a crime novel: machinegun dialogue, unforgettable characters, and a wicked plot. Think George V. Higgins in Ireland on speed.” – Jason Starr, author of THE FOLLOWER

“Burke shows remarkable skill at weaving a complex story from multiple points of view and pulling the strands together in an engaging fashion, and he clearly has the genius required to pull off a large-scale story.” - Spinetingler Magazine

“This is an extremely funny crime novel that takes Irish crime fiction in a whole new direction. Under the cracking comedy of the book lurks some very subtle and highly skilful plotting and prose.” - Brian McGilloway, author of BORDERLANDS

“Burke effortlessly ratchets up the tension, rings the changes of the perceptions of reality between the characters, provides an element of farce, a few choice set-pieces, some neat observations of domestic minutiae, and keeps the laughs coming.” – Euro Crime (1)

“THE BIG O has a wonderfully tight and convoluted plot that plays out like a movie … The bad guys are endearing, the good guys are wicked … A kidnap caper that is very funny, exhilarating, violent and snappy … A hell of a lot of fun.” – Euro Crime (2)

“It’s hard to praise THE BIG O highly enough. Excellent writing, great characters, superb storytelling – all played out at a ferocious tempo. By turns it’s dark, funny, moving, brutal, tender and twisted. A book that makes one hell of an impact. More Declan Burke please.” - Allan Guthrie, award-winning author of TWO-WAY SPLIT

“A kidnap caper with style and plotting more like Elmore Leonard (or maybe Donald Westlake) … a kaleidoscopic narrative that moves forward at a rapid pace … a crime farce of the first order.” - International Noir

“The deliciously complicated plotting, the wry dialogue and the sympathy Burke engenders for his cast of characters made this one of the most fun and purely pleasurable reads I’ve had in a while.” – Detectives Beyond Borders

“A polished, sharp as a tack and witty caper novel … If you’re a fan of the likes of Steve Brewer and Carl Hiaasen, you’ll devour THE BIG O ... Declan Burke is undoubtedly a writer to watch.” - Reviewing the Evidence

“Recalls Elmore Leonard’s more humorous works … It’s a perfectly realized, twisted little 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle that slowly snaps together, with more than a few surprises along the way … The humour is of the dark and wicked kind, but both it and the inevitable violence are handled in a refreshingly subtle manner, more ice pick than chainsaw.” – Mystery Scene Magazine

“THE BIG O is one big-old crazy caper with an eerie hint of Elmore Leonard and a brash, bold, ball-bustin’ tempo … As a stylist, Burke is as kick-ass Irish as the great Ken Bruen … The really big appeal of THE BIG O, however, is that there is simply nothing like it – nothing close – on the bookshelves today.” – Crime Scene Scotland

“Declan Burke writes like Raymond Chandler on crystal meth. This character-driven mystery has the velocity of Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels or Snatch combined with the stylish prose and effortless dialogue of Elmore Leonard at his best.” – Tim Maleeny, author of GREASING THE PINÃTA

“THE BIG O is a fun-filled and intense joyride ... The humour’s great, but there’s a lot of poignancy too … The dialogue is wicked and the prose slick and stylish. This man’s going to go a long way.” – Crime Scene Northern Ireland

“Outstanding ... If you are a Carl Hiaasen or Elmore Leonard fan, don’t miss this dark, wacky story of bad people plotting bad things … Burke’s dialogue is spot on, as are his characters … This is a biting, wickedly funny noir farce that builds to a knock-out ending.” – Shelf Awareness

“Declan Burke is regularly compared to Elmore Leonard and Donald Westlake, even though THE BIG O is only his second novel. Anyone that new receiving that kind of praise has earned a skeptical eye, just as Leonard and Westlake have earned their legends. Burke and his cast of losers are up to it.” – New Mystery Reader

“A classic underworld caper … with a freshness and often satirical edge that distinguishes it … A hell of a lot of fun to read.” – The Poisoned Pen

“A noir hybrid of murder and merriment … as if Quentin Tarantino and Buster Keaton had a love-child who could write … There have been few novelists who could plot tightly, create well-developed characters and write laugh-out-loud dialogue – Burke is a welcome new addition. – Mystery on Main Street

“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: absolutely wonderful Irish hardboiled novel … Elmore Leonard crossed with Ken Bruen and Fredric Brown!” – Murder One

“THE BIG O is the stuff Tarantino or Guy Ritchie would make into a film, a great fun film like Snatch, Layer Cake or Get Shorty. Filled with as many great characters as Pulp Fiction … [it] would inspire a classic full of tough crooks, wisecracks, drugs, flash and boobies.” – Critical Mick

“A lightening-paced new kidnap caper … with its precision engineered plot, oodles of incident and moments of rampant hilarity, THE BIG O displays a particularly filmic sensibility, part film-noir, part Pulp Fiction – but totally entertaining.” – Verbal

“An exhilarating, hilarious and unmistakably Irish escapade in crime fiction ... a very funny thriller, packed tight with cracking moments and sizzling dialogue.” - Village

“This book is a blunt, rude, crude, politically incorrect, raucous, rumbustious, rollicking, romp of a crime caper novel.” – Crime Scraps

“The real treat in THE BIG O is the dialogue. Burke has a knack for sharp banter, and it is a rare chapter that doesn’t have a witty exchange between characters … It’s clear that he’s a writer who deserves a wider audience.” – Independent Crime

“Clips along at a tremendous pace … the dialogue is snappy, stylistic and sometimes laugh-out loud-funny … [a] slightly lunatic caper, albeit this time with a twist in the guts at the end.” – AustCrimeFiction

“Declan Burke has managed to get away with breaking all of the rules with his fun comedic thriller … THE BIG O moves quickly as it continually keeps you in stitches. This hilarious novel is filled with plenty of drugs, sex, and even a little rock ‘n’ roll.” – Nights and Weekends

“A tale that begins with criminal intent and snowballs into a messy denouement that leaves little doubt about Burke’s skills as a writer of an ironic and entertaining thriller.” – Curled Up With A Good Book

“THE BIG O is twisty, hilarious, sharp, dialogue-heavy, and a fucking breeze to read … a very real charm that is no-bullshit irresistible.” - Nerd of Noir

“THE BIG O is an absolute joy. A hangover cure, even.” - You Would Say That, Wouldn’t You?

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