“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
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.