“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.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Come Ye Back, Danny Boy

I don’t know if there’s room in the world – or need, for that matter – for more than one Irish crime writer who hails from Sligo, but I’ll go ahead anyway and let you know that Dan Kavanagh re-releases the Duffy novels early next month. Here’s the blurb elves on the first, aka DUFFY (Orion):
Things aren’t going so well for Brian McKechnie. His wife was attacked in their home, his cat was brutally killed and now a man with a suspiciously erratic accent is blackmailing him. When the police fail spectacularly at finding out who’s after him, McKechnie engages the services of London’s most unusual private eye. Duffy is a detective like no other. A bisexual ex-policeman with a phobia of ticking watches and a penchant for Tupperware. But what he lacks in orthodoxy he makes up for in street-smart savvy and no-nonsense dealings. Intrigued by McKechnie’s dilemma and the apparent incompetency of his ex-colleagues, Duffy heads to his old patch, the seedy underbelly of Soho, to begin inquiries of his own. Helped by some shady characters from his past, Duffy discover that while things have changed in the years since he was working the area, the streets are still mean and the crooks walk arm in arm with the blues. Full to bursting with sex, violence and dodgy dealings, DUFFY is a gripping and entertaining crime novel with a distinctly different and entirely lovable anti-hero.
  So who is Dan Kavanagh, I don’t quite hear you breathlessly ask?
Dan Kavanagh was born in County Sligo in 1946. Having devoted his adolescence to truancy, venery and petty theft, he left home at 17 and signed on as a deckhand on a Liberian tanker. After jumping ship at Montevideo, he roamed across the Americas taking a variety of jobs: he was a steer-wrestler, a waiter-on-roller-skates at a drive-in eatery in Tucson, and a bouncer in a gay bar in San Francisco. He is currently working in London at jobs he declines to specify, and lives in north Islington.
  There you have it. There’s an excerpt from DUFFY to be had over at Dan Kavanagh’s web-lair here, where – curiously – it is suggested that if you like the work of Dan Kavanagh, you might want to try that of Booker Prize-winning author Julian Barnes. Well, why not?

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