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.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Time To Talk Turkey

There are a number of interesting aspects to Laurence O’Bryan’s debut thriller, THE ISTANBUL PUZZLE, not all of them related to the novel’s plot. For starters, the back cover of the ARC I’ve been sent tells us that O’Bryan is ‘the second writer to be discovered through the Authonomy programme’. It’s also the first book I’ve ever seen to mention an author’s Twitter followers, claiming over 13,000 on behalf of @LPOBryan (as it happens, the number is now in excess of 15,000). The emphasis on marketing capacity is further enhanced by the fact that THE ISTANBUL PUZZLE has its own book trailer and a number of story-related puzzles for readers to solve. All in all, it’s an impressive set-up for a debutant writer.
  But what of the story itself, I hear you yodel. Well, the blurb elves have been wittering thusly:
Buried deep under Istanbul, a secret is about to resurface with explosive consequences … Alek Zegliwski has been savagely beheaded. His body is found hidden near the sacred archaeological site of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. When Sean arrives in the ancient city to identify his colleague’s body, he is handed an envelope of photographs belonging to Alek and soon finds himself in grave danger. Someone wants him dead but why? Aided by British diplomat Isabel Sharp, Sean begins to unravel the mystery of the mosaics in the photographs and inch closer to snaring Alek’s assassin. Evil is at work and when a lethal virus is unleashed on the city, panic spreads fast. Time is running out for Sean and Isabel. They must catch the killer before it’s too late. An electrifying conspiracy thriller which will entice fans of Scott Mariani, Sam Bourne and Dan Brown.
  So there you have it. Is Laurence O’Bryan the Irish Dan Brown? Only time, that notoriously doity rat, will tell …
  Meanwhile, if you’re in the mood for a taster, you can read the first chapter of THE ISTANBUL PUZZLE here