“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.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Through An Hourglass, Darkly

Of that small but perfectly formed generation of Irish crime writers who began publishing in the mid- to late-1990s – which included Colin Bateman, Ken Bruen, John Connolly and Eoin McNamee – one has slipped out of sight in recent times. Here’s hoping the reissue of Julie Parsons’ THE HOURGLASS (Macmillan) goes some way towards redirecting the spotlight in her direction. To wit:
Beyond high iron gates fastened shut with a length of chain, lies the stark, beautiful Trawbawn. Here, haunted by a dark, mysterious past and largely ignored by the people of nearby Skibbereen, lives the frail Lydia Beauchamp. But old Ma Beauchamp’s private existence is interrupted when a stranger arrives - a young man called Adam who wanders into the vast grounds of Trawbawn and becomes one of Lydia's most welcome contacts with the outside world. When Lydia sets her new confidante a challenge, he eagerly accepts - Adam must travel to Dublin to find her estranged daughter. But it is a task tainted by an air of menace. For what terrible past has driven a daughter from her mother? And what true motive lies behind Adam's generous act? Soon the unlikely friends are entwined in a deadly game, and a pursuit born of an old lady’s desire for peace mutates into a terrible, relentless need for revenge . . .
  THE HOURGLASS will be reissued on February 13th. For more on Julie Parsons, clickety-click here

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