“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, May 9, 2012

The Comfort Of Strangers

Niamh O’Connor’s third novel, TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT (Transworld Ireland), is due early next month, and bears an intriguing strap-line. To wit: ‘Would you trust your neighbour with your life?’
  Quoth the blurb elves:
A woman’s body is found in Ireland’s most notorious body dump zone, an area in the Dublin mountains where a number of women disappeared in the past. The victim is from an exclusive gated development in the suburbs - where the prime suspect in the vanishing triangle cases, Derek Carpenter, now lives. It looks like the past is coming back to haunt the present. But DI Jo Birmingham doesn’t believe the case is open and shut. Her husband Dan was part of the original investigation team; is she trying to protect her own fragile domestic peace? The one person who could help her crack the case, Derek’s wife Liz, is so desperate to protect her family that she is going out of her way to thwart all efforts to establish the truth. Can both women emerge unscathed?
  I’m looking forward to this one. Niamh O’Connor is a crime reporter with the Sunday World, and she doesn’t try to pretend that her novels aren’t influenced by her day job. Indeed, there are times when they dig very close to the bone. She has been compared to Lynda LaPlante, and her previous novel came with a very nice blurb from Tess Gerritsen on the cover.
  It’s a very fine couple of weeks for Irish crime writing, actually. Casey Hill’s TORN, Jane Casey’s THE LAST GIRL, Michael Clifford’s debut GHOST TOWN, Brian McGilloway’s THE NAMELESS DEAD, Conor Fitzgerald’s THE NAMESAKE … It’s early days, I know, but already it’s looking like the Irish Book Awards’ crime fiction title will be a pretty hotly contested category come the end of the year.
  Meanwhile, here’s my review of Niamh O’Connor’s IF I NEVER SEE YOU AGAIN, which was her fiction debut (she has also published a number of non-fiction titles); and here’s a review of her second offering, TAKEN.

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