In the freezing winter of 2010, with the Irish recession in full flow, property tycoon Dermot Brennan is found dead at his Dublin home. Leading the murder investigation is fifty-six-year-old Detective Inspector Leo Woods – ‘the Ugly Detective’ - an embittered former UN soldier with a cocaine habit, a penchant for collecting masks and a face disfigured by Bell’s Palsy. DI Woods meets his match in Detective Sergeant Helen Troy, a bright and ambitious but impetuous young policewoman with a troubled family. A host of suspects quickly emerge - Brennan’s estranged son; two of the dead man’s former business associates with grudges against him; a young man whose life was ruined after his house, built by Brennan, was flooded; an arrogant sculptor who may or may not have been having an affair with Anna Brennan (and with their neighbour); and an ex-pat American gardener. Together, Woods and Troy weave their way through this tangled web to get to the shocking truth. Mark O’Sullivan is an exciting new voice in literary crime fiction. Already an acclaimed children’s fiction writer, he has produced in CROCODILE TEARS an excellent murder mystery, which has the depth of character of Kate Atkinson combined with the plotting and ambiguous moral codes of Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse.I like the sound of Leo Woods, I have to say. An embittered ex-soldier with a coke habit and disfigured face would be the villain in most conventional crime / mystery novels, so perhaps Mark O’Sullivan has something subversive and a little out of kilter with the police procedural tropes lined up for us. Here’s hoping …
“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.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
A Leo In Winter
an award-winning author of books for children and young adults, but for his next offering he’s turning to the world of crime fiction. CROCODILE TEARS (Transworld Ireland) is due in April, with the blurb elves wibbling thusly: