“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “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. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

SLAUGHTER’S HOUND: A ‘Hard Boiled Delight’, Apparently

Well that was a very enjoyable a week. Off with yours truly to Manchester last Wednesday, to meet with John Connolly and head to Deansgate Waterstones, where the lovely Barbara Nadel was waiting, along with an impressive number of crime and mystery fans agog to hear about (a) John’s latest tome THE WRATH OF ANGELS and (b) BOOKS TO DIE FOR. A great night was had, and particularly for yours truly, as I got to meet with the Book Witch again, after a hiatus of about four years. Not that you’d know she’d enjoyed the experience. Very Scandinavian in her emotions, said Witch. I think I came away with frostbite of the soul. Still, the fact that she brought along a lovely book for the equally lovely Lily did help me thaw out later on …
  Off with us to Scarborough then on Thursday, with yours truly doing the navigating, which is always a recipe for disaster. And so it proved, but we’ll draw a discreet veil, etc. Scarborough was a smashing evening, and it’s a very pretty town too - I’ll be back in short order, and possibly for the literary festival next April. A really, really nice bunch of people …
  I wish I could say the same about the folks in Liverpool, but they let a load of Everton fans into the event, which was - appropriately enough - held at the Bridewell One, formerly a police station, and now a venue where the punters get to have a Pimms or two in what used to be holding cells. Nice. Adam Creed was good enough to join John and I on the dais for what turned out to be a hugely enjoyable evening that quickly dispensed with any kind of formality and turned into a Q&A / chat / slagging match that lasted a couple of hours. Weirdly, even the Everton fans behaved themselves. And I had a terrific conversation about Billy Roche. All told, a brilliant end to the week.
  And then it was back home this morning, on the red-eye into Dublin, to discover a very nice review for SLAUGHTER’S HOUND in the Guardian, courtesy of Laura Wilson. The gist of it runs a lot like this:
“Many writers of crime fiction are drawn to the streetwise narrator with the wisecracking voice – Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett have a lot to answer for – but only a handful can make it credible and funny. Irish writer Burke is one who has succeeded spectacularly well … From the arresting opening image to the unexpected twist at the end, this is a hardboiled delight.” - Laura Wilson, The Guardian
  Which pretty much sets the seal on a week to remember. And now I’m off to bed. For a week. Nighty-night.

3 comments:

Dana King said...

No offense, but I am reading no reviews of Slaughter's Hound until I have had a chance to read it myself. I've read too many of Dec's books (all of them, actually) to take a chance on someone spoiling anything for me--hell, i'm not even going to read the back cover--and I don't need a good review to talk me into it.

I'm reading a book by each of my Bouchercon panel mates before the conference, then I'll be able to give it the attention it deserves.

See you in a few weeks, sir.

bookwitch said...

You're a married man, Mr Burke. What were you expecting?
If I knew how to play poker, I'd be very good at it.

Declan Burke said...

I'll bring my wife and child the next time, Ms Witch. We can all have a big Scandinavian-style group hug.

Cheers, Dec