“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, August 4, 2013

The Courage Of His Convictions

Another day, another debutant Irish crime writer. THE CONVICTIONS OF JOHN DELAHUNT (Doubleday) isn’t the first book that historian Andrew Hughes has published, but it is his first novel, and a fascinating tale it sounds too. Quoth the blurb elves:
On a cold December morning in 1841, a small boy is enticed away from his mother and his throat savagely cut. But when the people of Dublin learn why John Delahunt committed this vile crime, the outcry leaves no room for compassion. His fate is sealed, but this feckless Trinity College student and secret informer for the authorities in Dublin Castle seems neither to regret what he did nor fear his punishment. Sitting in Kilmainham Gaol in the days leading up to his execution, Delahunt tells his story in a final, deeply unsettling statement . . .
  Set in Dublin in the middle of the turbulent nineteenth century, with hints of rebellion against the Crown in the air, THE CONVICTIONS OF JOHN DELAHUNT presents a colourful assortment of characters: carousing Trinity students, unscrupulous lowlifes, dissectionists, phrenologists, blackmailers, and sinister agents of Dublin Castle who are operating according to their own twisted rules.
  Shot through with dark humour, THE CONVICTIONS OF JOHN DELAHUNT is a gripping portrait of one man’s duplicity, and is based on true events that convulsed Victorian Dublin and still seem shocking to us today.

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