“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.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Always Judge A Book By Its Covers

Someone was asking on the interwebs yesterday about book covers, and which are the most impressive, those from the US or the UK. I think the folks behind Stuart Neville’s forthcoming opus, RATLINES (Harvill Secker in the UK, Soho in the US) have done a very nice job in both cases, but generally speaking, I’m in favour of US covers. Herewith be the blurb for RATLINES:
Ireland 1963. As the Irish people prepare to welcome President John F. Kennedy to the land of his ancestors, a German national is murdered in a seaside guesthouse. Lieutenant Albert Ryan, Directorate of Intelligence, is ordered to investigate. The German is the third foreigner to die within a few days, and Minister for Justice Charles Haughey wants the killing to end lest a shameful secret be exposed: the dead men were all Nazis granted asylum by the Irish government in the years following World War II.

A note from the killers is found on the dead German’s corpse, addressed to Colonel Otto Skorzeny, Hitler’s favourite commando, once called the most dangerous man in Europe. The note simply says: “We are coming for you.”

As Albert Ryan digs deeper into the case he discovers a network of former Nazis and collaborators, all presided over by Skorzeny from his country estate outside Dublin. When Ryan closes in on the killers, his loyalty is torn between country and conscience. Why must he protect the very people he fought against twenty years before? Ryan learns that Skorzeny might be a dangerous ally, but he is a deadly enemy.
  I’ve read RATLINES, by the way, and it’s very, very good - a terrific thriller-cum-spy novel that appears to have set up Albert Ryan for what could become a very interesting series.
  Back to the US / UK ‘debate’, and there’s one advantage that US books have over their counterparts on this side of the pond that leaves me weak at the knees. I’m not usually a geek for book production, I’m not a collector or any kind of serious bibliophile, but lawks awmighty, the very sight (better still, the finger-riffling touch) of a deckled-edge cut on the paper sends serious shivers through my system. Sad, I know, but there it is. We can choose what we like but not what we love.
  Anyway, RATLINES is published in early January, 2013. If I were you, I’d be pre-ordering my copy now …

2 comments:

bookwitch said...

WHAT are deckled-edge cuts???

Alan Glynn said...

They're things of beauty: http://bit.ly/ROf7I9