“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.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Conor Fitzgerald: Start Spreading The News

If you can make it there, you’re going to make it, period. It’s always nice to see the cream rise to the top, and such was the case over the weekend, when Conor Fitzgerald’s very fine novel THE FATAL TOUCH was reviewed in the New York Times. To wit:
Some Americans abroad fantasize about lingering in Paris to paint or jumping ship in Jamaica to become beach bums. Conor Fitzgerald had a better idea in his first novel, THE DOGS OF ROME, when he allowed his ex-pat hero, Alec Blume, to put down roots in Rome as a homicide cop. A free-spirited maverick, Commissario Blume returns in THE FATAL TOUCH (Bloomsbury, $25) to investigate the death of an old tramp, a notorious brawler and a drunk, assumed to have been killed during a mugging. But this routine case takes a tricky turn once Blume, whose parents were art historians, determines that this was no mugging and that the victim was really a skilled forger with clients in high places. Although an organized crime angle injects an element of danger into the investigation, there’s more pleasure to be had from Fitzgerald’s commentary on the victim’s dodgy trade, including fascinating technical instruction for “forgers, interpreters, emulators, admirers and genuine artists.” - Marilyn Stasio
  Very nice indeed. In fact the ‘victim’s dodgy trade’, which Fitzgerald offers courtesy of a memoir written by said victim, the art forger Henry Treacy, could very easily have spun off into a novel itself, and one that wouldn’t be dissimilar in tone and content to John Banville’s THE BOOK OF EVIDENCE, had Freddie Montgomery traded in ripping of famous artists as opposed to murder. I very much liked THE FATAL TOUCH too, with the gist of my review running thusly:
“Beautifully written, the story proceeds at a stately pace which disguises an exquisitely complex plot, as Blume delicately negotiates the labyrinth that is Roman policing. Fitzgerald has an elegant, spare style that straddles both the literary and crime genres, and the style is perfectly pitched to reflect Blume’s own world-weariness.” - Declan Burke
  For the rest, clickety-click here
  Meanwhile, I had a hugely enjoyable chat with the very generous Ben LeRoy of Tyrus Books yesterday, which he recorded and has since posted as a podcast. The general thrust of the chat had to do with DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS and my forthcoming ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL, but it’s a pretty general chat, and incorporates crime writing of all stripes, with a strong flavour of Irish crime fiction. If you’re interested, clickety-click here
  Finally, although staying with GREEN STREETS, Tony Black was good enough to post his memories of the launch of said tome over at Pulp Pusher, although by the time the pic at right was taken in the Turk’s Head, it was all over bar the screaming, and plenty of that there was too. Quoth Tony:
“Mr Bruen was on particularly sparkling form, dropping a request for the assembled to reveal their life’s regrets! Don’t think I’m detailing those here: what goes on in the Turk’s Head stays in the Turk’s Head. Particularly nice to see Ken again, though, because the last time we met (the London launch of CROSS) I was an unpublished wannabe and he couldn’t have been more effusive in his encouragement. Hollywood success hasn’t changed him a bit. Luvly fellah.”
  Amen to that. For the rest of Tony’s reminisces, clickety-click here

No comments: