“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.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Future Is Claret

There’s a couple of interesting launches next week, folks, and lashings of ye olde claret in prospect as BLOODLAND and THE BLOODY MEADOW see the light of day.
  First up, the official send-off for Alan Glynn’s BLOODLAND, which takes place on Tuesday 13th at - where else? - the Gutter Bookshop, Dublin, which appears to have become the bookstore of choice for the Irish crime fraternity. All the details are available in the invite to your right ...
  I got to read an early copy of BLOODLAND, although to be honest it didn’t arrive half early enough. As all Three Regular Readers will be aware, I’m a big fan of Alan Glynn’s first two offerings, THE DARK FIELDS and WINTERLAND, and BLOODLAND more than delivers on the promise of those novels, being something of a synthesis of the two, and a damn fine example of the classic paranoid thriller. If you don’t believe me - and I wouldn’t - then check out the couple of early reviews over at the Mulholland Books interweb lair, one of them written by no less a personage than the venerable Ali Karim. Sample quote:
“Glynn’s ability to take these big themes and distil them down to the seedy personal stories and motivations of the protagonists is the key to why this novel hypnotizes the reader.” - Ali Karim
  Elsewhere, William Ryan launches THE BLOODY MEADOW next Thursday, said tome being the follow-up to his critically acclaimed debut, THE HOLY THIEF, and one hotly anticipated around these here parts (said he, hoping to nudge some eagle-eyed PR personage into sending on an ARC). Quoth the blurb elves:
Following his investigations in THE HOLY THIEF, which implicated those at the very top of authority in Soviet Russia, Captain Alexei Korolev finds himself decorated and hailed as an example to all Soviet workers. But Korolev lives in an uneasy peace – his new-found knowledge is dangerous, and if it is discovered what his real actions were during the case, he will face deportation to the frozen camps of the far north. But when the knock on the door comes, in the dead of night, it is not Siberia Korolev is destined for. Instead, Colonel Rodinov of the NKVD security service asks the detective to look into the suspected suicide of a young woman: Maria Alexandovna Lenskaya, a model citizen. Korolev is unnerved to learn that Lenskaya had been of interest to Ezhov, the feared Commissar for State Security. Ezhov himself wants to matter looked into. And when the detective arrives on the set for Bloody Meadow, in the bleak, battle-scarred Ukraine, he soon discovers that there is more to Lenskaya’s death than meets the eye ...
  I thought THE HOLY THIEF was a terrific read, but I won’t be able to make the launch, unfortunately, given that it takes place at 7pm in O’Mahony’s Bookshop, 120 O’Connell Street, Limerick on Thursday the 15th, at which time I will be working in Dublin and still forlornly struggling to master the art of bi-location.
  So there you have it: Alan Glynn’s BLOODLAND and William Ryan’s THE BLOODY MEADOW. That’s another good week for Irish crime fiction right there …

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