“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.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Crying Game

The column of crime fiction reviews published last week in the Irish Times included new titles from Lindsey Davis, Donna Leon and Owen Fitzstephen. This being an Irish crime fiction blog, however, I’ll give you the review of Mark O’Sullivan’s CROCODILE TEARS, which ran a lot like this:
An award-winning Irish author of children’s books, Mark O’Sullivan turns his hand to adult crime fiction with CROCODILE TEARS (Transworld Ireland, €16.99).
  The story opens with Det Insp Leo Woods being called to the scene of a violent death in the plush Dublin suburb of Howth, where he discovers that Dermot Brennan, a builder-developer, has been bludgeoned to death. A revenge attack for a development that has become a ghost estate? A crime of passion perpetrated by a jealous husband?
  The possible motives are many, and the subplots come thick and fast, but O’Sullivan can spin plates with the best of them, and the story, which feasts on headline-friendly drama, fairly races by.
  Leo Woods is a memorable character, physically disfigured by Bell’s palsy and no less distinctive in terms of personality, a commanding presence in the professional sphere but dangerously prone to gaffes and misjudgements in his private life. A sympathetically flawed rogue – he has his local drug dealer on speed dial – Woods is elevated above the run-of-the- mill police detective by O’Sullivan’s sublime prose, which flashes with shards of poetry when least expected.
  Studded with dark humour, elegant in style and clever in its execution, CROCODILE TEARS is a remarkably assured first outing. – Declan Burke
  For the rest, clickety-click here

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