“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.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Second Life Of Reilly

Last year’s TABOO, from husband-and-wife writing partnership Casey Hill, dragged Irish crime fiction into the bright ‘n’ shiny CSI age, as their Quantico-trained investigator Reilly Steel arrived in Dublin to head up a brand new forensics office and hunt down a nefarious serial killer. A UK production team is currently beavering away to bring Reilly to a TV screen near you; in the meantime Casey Hill’s sophomore offering, TORN (Simon & Schuster), will be hitting the shelves in March. Quoth the blurb elves:
When an ex-cop is found frozen to death in a bath of ice at a disused meatpacking plant, the Dublin police conclude it may be one of the man’s past collars taking revenge. Shortly afterwards, a tabloid journalist is found drowned in his own septic tank, buried up to the neck in excrement. The reporter had many enemies, but why would someone go to such elaborate lengths to exact revenge? Both crime scenes are a forensic investigator’s worst nightmare. The locations and victims yield little in the way of usable evidence, and Reilly Steel quickly discovers that she may be dealing with a killer - or killers - who know all about crime scene investigation. The police are just as frustrated by the crimes’ impenetrable nature, and it’s only when a third murder occurs - equally graphic and elaborate in its execution - that the police and Reilly begin to wonder if the same person might be responsible. And they soon discover that this particular killer is using a very specific blueprint for his crimes. Who is the killer’s next victim? And what’s his endgame?
  Bodies packed in ice in meatpacking plants? Journos drowning in septic tanks full of excrement? Outsiders coming in to clear up our mess? Is TORN an extended metaphor for how ripped apart is Irish society in these straitened times? Or is it just good, clean serial-killing fun? YOU decide.

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