“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, September 11, 2012

The Man Who Smiled Too Much

Yet another interesting Irish crime fiction debut comes our way, this one courtesy of Michael Russell, whose novel THE CITY OF SHADOWS (Avon) opens in Dublin in 1934. Quoth the blurb elves:
“She looked up at the terraced house, with the closed shutters and the big room at the end of the long unlit corridor where the man who smiled too much did his work. She climbed the steps and knocked on the door …”
  Dublin 1934: Detective Stefan Gillespie arrests a German doctor and encounters Hannah Rosen, desperate to find her friend Susan, a Jewish woman who disappeared after a love affair with a Catholic priest. When the bodies of a man and woman are found buried in the Dublin mountains, Stefan becomes involved in a complex case that takes him, and Hannah, across Europe to Danzig. Stefan and Hannah are drawn together in an unfamiliar city where the Nazi Party are gaining power. But in their quest to uncover the truth of what happened to Susan, they find themselves in grave danger …
  It is a crime novel? A spy novel? A literary offering that offers crime and / or spy novel tropes? Have we uncovered the Irish equivalent of Alan Furst and John Lawton? Hard to tell without so much as a jacket cover to guide our pointless guesswork, but it does sound like a fascinating prospect. As always, we’ll keep you posted …

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