“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.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

TAKEN, Not Stirred

Niamh O’Connor’s TAKEN, the follow-up to her debut IF I NEVER SEE YOU AGAIN, isn’t out until May, but already I’m feeling a tad queasy. I know I’m supposed to be a hard-boiled crime writer and all the rest of it, but stories about abducted kids send me weak in the guts these days. That said, TAKEN should make for a rollicking read. Quoth the blurb elves:
It’s a cold wet winter night when a car pulls into a service station on Dublin quays. Strapped on to the back-seat is a three-year-old boy. Asleep. Five minutes later he’s gone – kidnapped in the time it’s taken his mother to pay for her petrol. Distraught and fearing for his safety, she has only one option. DI Jo Birmingham. One of the few female senior officers on the Dublin police force, Jo has a keen reputation for solving crimes and righting wrongs. Her search for the little boy takes her into a dark world of lies and corruption, where hard cash is king, where sex is a commodity to be bought and sold – and where the lost and vulnerable are in terrifying danger …
  She’s done very nicely for herself, has Niamh O’Connor, since the publication of her debut. The quote adorning the cover of TAKEN is from Tess Gerritsen, and suggests that Ms Gerritsen is well impressed: “Gripping, terrifying … If you like Martina Cole, you’ll love this.” Very nice indeed …
  Actually, it’s shaping up to be an interesting year of offerings from the ladies of Irish crime writing. Casey Hill’s TABOO is a debut courtesy of husband-and-wife writing team Melissa Casey and Kevin Hill, and is either available now or coming in July, depending on what interweb source you prefer. Ava McCarthy returns to the fray with her third thriller, THE DEALER, in October; Tana French’s BROKEN HARBOUR will be with us in August; Jane Casey’s third offering, THE RECKONING, will be thumping down on a bookshelf near you in July; and - intriguingly - Arlene Hunt leaves QuicK Investigations behind to present us with a standalone novel, which is currently rejoicing in the working title of FAIR GAME and is set in the US.
  I kid you not, folks, it’s a marvellous time to be writing about Irish crime fiction …

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