“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.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

There Will Be Bloodstock

It’s Cheltenham week, of course, so who else - rhetorical question alert - would we be talking about today other than Ireland’s finest exponent of the horse-racing thriller, Brian O’Connor. Brian’s debut novel, BLOODLINE, was a very fine thriller set in the world of Irish sport of kings, a setting O’Connor has stuck with for his follow-up offering. THREATEN TO WIN (Poolbeg) was published last month, with the blurb elves wittering thusly:
Lorcan Donovan is an ex-amateur rider in charge of the bloodstock empire of the billionaire American, Jake Weinberger. But behind the glamour of big-money horse deals and the world’s great races, all is not as it seems. Jockey Mike Clancy is in the pocket of a ruthless Irish gangster and is stopping Weinberger’s great Derby hope from winning. With millions gambled on the result, Donovan becomes a pawn in a vicious game of blackmail, kidnapping and corruption. The race to the finish line becomes a simple race to survive and the only one he can trust is himself.
  Brian O’Connor, incidentally, is a racing correspondent with the Irish Times, so it’s fair to say that he knows of what he speaks. Mind you, if he was that clued-in, he’d be rich as Croesus from betting on the nags, and wouldn’t need to write about them. Wouldn’t he?