“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, August 14, 2012

Hot To Trot

The trope of the crime fiction protagonist battling his or her inner demons is a common one, as you all know, although John Connolly gave the convention an ingeniously literal twist by externalising said demons for poor, tormented Charlie Parker. More recently, for his young adult novels, Connolly has pitted the boy wonder Samuel Johnson against a host of demons, and even sent him down to harrow hell.
  Elsewhere, Ken Bruen cut straight to the chase with THE DEVIL (2011), in which poor, tormented Jack Taylor came face to face with Satan himself - or did he?
  Now Gerard Brennan publishes FIREPROOF (Blasted Heath). Quoth the blurb elves:
Hell hath no fury for Mike Rocks. He’s fireproof, an anomaly caused by a slip-up in afterlife bureaucracy. Lucifer bundles him off as an embarrassing problem with a mission to introduce Satanism to Northern Ireland. And while he’s at it, Mike can exact revenge on the men who took his life. FIREPROOF is equal parts crime fiction, dark urban fantasy and black comedy. For fans of Colin Bateman, Charlie Huston and Duane Swierczynski.
  So there you have it. “Scintillating, hilarious, surreal … a total blast,” declares the aforementioned Ken Bruen of FIREPROOF, and in truth it sounds a ripsnorter. Introducing Satanism to Northern Ireland? This could well be the (blackly) comic novel of the year.

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