“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, July 4, 2012

If It’s Broken, Don’t Fix It

It feels a bit odd to be suggesting that Tana French’s latest offering will be a game-changer, given that she’s already a multi-award-winning, best-selling author, but I do believe that BROKEN HARBOUR is going to take her onto a whole new level. In conversations in the last couple of weeks, I’ve used the words ‘majestic’, ‘superb’ and even ‘epic’ about BROKEN HARBOUR, and while that kind of hyperbole generally leaves me cold - for an industry based on words, publishing is rather less rigorous when it comes to praise than it might or should be - I think BROKEN HARBOUR deserves every plaudit coming its way.
  I think it’s a very, very good crime novel, even though I’m generally not all that fussed about police procedurals; and as I’ve also mentioned somewhere else (Twitter, probably), BROKEN HARBOUR is also ‘the great post-Celtic Tiger novel’ the literati has been baying for. There’s even more to it than that, though. Rooted in the banality of suburban life, the story is nonetheless genuinely horrifying; and despite being one of the most fatalistically noir titles I’ve read recently, the story also moved me to tears.
  Of course, my reaction to the book probably says a lot more about me than it does about BROKEN HARBOUR or Tana French’s writing; and maybe I’m just getting soft in my middle age, given that Brian McGilloway’s THE NAMELESS DEAD also had me reaching for the hankies ...
  This isn’t a review per se, because I’m not in a position to review BROKEN HARBOUR, given that - declaration alert - Tana French has been kind enough to write a blurb for my forthcoming book. But you don’t have to take my word for it: Maxine over at Petrona had a very early review of the novel, while Myles McWeeney reviewed it last weekend in the Irish Independent.
  Enjoy, folks.

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