Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “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.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Taken, Not Stirred

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve found myself referring frequently to an Irish Top Ten bestsellers list from about two months ago, in which eight of the ten titles were crime fiction. Proof positive of the Irish public’s voracious appetite for crime fiction, although none of the titles, unfortunately, were by Irish writers. Exactly why Irish readers have remained so resistant to the fine body of Irish crime writers is something of a mystery, especially given the best-selling and prize-winning calibre of some of said writers in the US, UK and Germany, in particular.
  The following week, Niamh O’Connor’s TAKEN catapulted into the Top Ten, landing with its feet firmly planted in the # 2 slot. I haven’t read TAKEN yet, but the unnamed reviewer at this link from the Irish Independent (although I suspect that said reviewer is the redoubtable Myles McWeeney) obviously approves. To wit:
“Niamh O’Connor, the true crime editor of the Sunday World, has written five successful true crime books, and burst onto the burgeoning Irish thriller scene last year with her first Jo Birmingham adventure, IF I NEVER SEE YOU AGAIN, which was a best-seller. With TAKEN, O’Connor has pulled off the elusive feat of delivering a second novel that betters the original.”
  O’Connor writes police procedurals, has been compared to Lynda La Plante, and TAKEN bears a blurb from no less a writer than Tess Gerritsen, who acclaims the novel as gripping and terrifying. All of which explains why Niamh O’Connor is one of the few Irish crime writers to crack the Top Ten this year. The Big Question is, why so few others? Answers on a used twenty to Declan Burke’s Funny Money Stash, c/o Dodgy Facilitators Inc., Freeport, Grand Bahama. Or you could just leave a comment …