“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.

Monday, January 28, 2013

An Exceedingly Bleak Ride

For some reason I was under the impression that SLAUGHTER’S HOUND was released in North America last November, but apparently not. For lo! Publishers Weekly reckons it’s not available until March, and I’m not about to argue with the mighty PW. That august journal reviewed SLAUGHTER’S HOUND a couple of weeks ago, with the gist looking a lot like this:
Fans of Ken Bruen in particular, and noir fans in general, should get on board for this exceedingly bleak ride through Sligo from Irish author Burke (ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL). Taxi driver and occasional drug-transporter Harry Rigby, who did time for killing his brother in cold blood, has the misfortune to witness his friend and former cellmate, Finn Hamilton, dive off a nine-story building and pierce the roof of Harry’s cab with explosive results. Finn’s fatal plunge leaves Harry on the hook to powerful gangster Ross McConnell for missing weed. On the plus side, Finn’s mother, Saoirse Hamilton, is willing to pay Harry big bucks to find Finn’s suicide note (if there is one). Harry’s strained personal relationships deteriorate as he gets sucked further into the tangled affairs of the Hamiltons. Relentlessly brutal actions, rampant corruption, and scamming are all described in prose both scabrous and poetic. Agent: Allan Guthrie, Jenny Brown Associates (U.K.). (Mar.)
  So there you have it. SLAUGHTER’S HOUND: Bruenesque, scabrous and poetic, and an exceedingly bleak ride. Leaving aside the fact that a ‘ride’ means two totally different things in the US and Sligo, I’ve been called a lot worse in my time …

4 comments:

Erin Hart said...

Welcome to the March ghetto for books set in Ireland, Declan. ;)

Declan Burke said...

A ghetto? And there was me thinking they were being extra kind because it's my birthday in March ...

lil Gluckstern said...

I think they needed to read Eightball Boogie before they reviewed Slaughter's Hound. I think you guys have a far deeper sense of history than do our folks here, and my response to the review is annoyance. I like the poetic part, but the bleakness is certainly offset by the humanity shown by Harry. I don't really think Americans understand history so well-we have so little of it-, and we certainly don't get the zeitgeist, if you will, of the Irish. Having read yours and Adrian McKinty's books, I feel as though I am getting an immersion into what what it was like to be in Ireland, then and now, and I still can't really understand it. Hopefully, some brave souls will give your book the honor it deserves. That's my response to the review.

Declan Burke said...

Many thanks for the good word, Lil, but to be honest I was rather pleased with that review. And it's fair to say, I think, and most people who will read Slaughter's Hound won't have read Eightball Boogie - and shouldn't have to. I do appreciate your thoughts, though.