“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, September 5, 2012

Red Ribbons, Bunting, Balloons ...

Two interesting debuts are launched this week, either side of the Atlantic. The first is Louise Phillips’ RED RIBBONS, which is to the best of my knowledge the first Irish crime novel to feature a criminal psychologist in pursuit of a serial killer. I might be wrong, of course - if so, don’t be shy about letting me know. Quoth the blurb elves:

When the body of a missing schoolgirl is found buried in the Dublin Mountains, her hands clasped together in prayer, two red ribbons in her hair, the hunt for her killer reaches epic proportion with the discovery of a second girl’s body 24 hours later.


Desperate to find the murderer, police call in criminal psychologist Kate Pearson, to get inside the mind of the serial killer before he strikes again. But the more Kate discovers about the killings, the more it all begins to feel terrifyingly familiar as her own past threatens to cloud her investigations.


Ellie Brady has been institutionalised for 15 years, for the killing of her twelve-year-old daughter, Amy. After all this time, does Ellie hold the key to finding the killer of the Dublin schoolgirls?
  RED RIBBONS launches at 6.30pm this evening, Wednesday 5th of September, at Hughes & Hughes in the St Stephens’ Green Shopping Centre, Dublin. If you’re in the vicinity, I’m sure Louise would be delighted to see you.
  Over in New York, meanwhile, Seamus Scanlon launches AS CLOSE AS YOU’LL EVER BE at 7pm at the Mysterious Bookshop tomorrow evening, September 6th, a launch that will feature, according to the press release, ‘wine, food, crime, reading and Tayto’. And lashings of Red Lemonade to wash all that Tayto down, no doubt. But what say the blurb elves?
Blood and memory reign in a collection of stories concerning the social and political aspects of an Irish killer from the 1970s to the present. Rooted in Ireland’s history of internal violence, an inescapable brutality that drags like a shadow for natives and exiles alike, the ‘war of Ireland’ ensues in Seamus Scanlon’s short story collection, AS CLOSE AS YOU’LL EVER BE. From Dublin to New York, Scanlon’s stories cover the vicious exploits of boy soldiers and IRA initiations, a son returning home to help his mother, a man mourning the boyhood loss of a cousin, or a childhood memory of first flight and escape. Operating under different circumstances of violence and crime, the characters are propelled in a ruthless conflagration between the binds of heritage and the burden of remembrance.
  So there you have it. For all the details, clickety-click here

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