When Manda Ferguson falls out of an apartment window to her death, the story is on all the front pages. But then her death starts to have an effect on the living. Baz: the man accused of killing her has to decide whether or not to turn himself in. Maurice: the taxi driver who inadvertently helped Baz escape wrestles with whether he should mete out his own form of justice. Rachel: the failing election candidate who has to choose between giving up or speaking her mind. Michael: the priest who administered the last rites to Manda and who is finally forced to confront his true (dis)beliefs. Carol: a tabloid reporter on the verge of losing her job who begins to discover some curious gaps in her memory…Sounds like the good stuff, alright. Given the way Ireland has been screwed to the sticking-place over the last few years and betrayed by the formerly great and good, which has resulted in an erosion of faith, hope and trust in the kind of natural justice that underpins the crime novel, THE ANGEL OF THE STREETLAMPS should find itself pushing at an open door. I’ll keep you posted …
But the effect travels even further than these five intersecting stories when claims are made that Manda’s ‘spirit’ is appearing beneath lampposts. In an economically devastated Ireland, where people have lost faith in politics, in business or religion, each character strives to answer the question: when there’s nothing left to believe in, what can we believe?
“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.
Friday, September 7, 2012
Down These Mean Streets An Angel Must Go
THE ANGEL OF THE STREETLAMPS (New Island), which is published on October 11th. Moncrieff’s previous novels, such as DUBLIN (2002) and THE HISTORY OF THINGS (2008), have tended be as concerned with their time and place as much as character and plot, so it’ll be interesting to see where this latest odyssey takes him. Quoth the blurb elves: