Dan, an Irishman who’s ended up in New Jersey, finds himself embroiled in a world of murder, kidnapping and corrupt cops. Dan works as a bouncer in a seedy club, half in love with hostess Connie. When Connie is murdered on the premises, a vengeful Dan finds himself embroiled in an increasingly deadly sequence of events in which his doctor friend Zeb goes mysteriously missing, a cop-killing female cop becomes his only ally, and he makes an enemy of ruthless drug-dealer Mike Madden. Written with the warmth and wit that make the Artemis Fowl novels so irresistible, though with additional torture and violence, PLUGGED is a brilliant crime debut from a naturally gifted writer with a huge fanbase.Brilliant or otherwise, I’m not so sure about it being a ‘crime debut’ - Artemis Fowl is the greatest criminal mastermind of his generation, and HALF MOON INVESTIGATIONS was / is a superb homage to the Chandleresque detective novel, albeit one starring the 12-year-old playground PI, Fletcher Moon: (“My name is Moon. Fletcher Moon. And I’m a private detective. In my twelve years on this spinning ball we call Earth, I’ve seen a lot of things normal people never see. I’ve seen lunch boxes stripped of everything except fruit. I’ve seen counterfeit homework networks that operated in five counties, and I’ve seen truckloads of candy taken from babies …”).
Excessively pedantic quibbles apart, it’s all kinds of good news that Eoin Colfer is joining the teeming ranks of (adult) Irish crime writers. Is it too much to ask that the sequel feature an acoustic-guitarist-turned-hitman and be called UNPLUGGED?