“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.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?” DA Mishani

Yep, it’s rubber-hose time, folks: a rapid-fire Q&A for those shifty-looking usual suspects ...

What crime novel would you most like to have written?
Probably ROSEANNA, by Swedish authors Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo (1965), the first Martin Beck novel. It taught crime writers that pacey can also be slow and its bitter melancholy is intertwined with the funniest scenes ever written in a crime novel (especially those with American detective Kafka).

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Any character living permanently in Paris. And since I wouldn’t mind being a real detective, at least for a while, why not Jules Maigret? He’s eating very well, drinking very well, smoking good tobacco, involved in the most interesting cases and still seems so relaxed.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
The Classics. Mainly Flaubert or Balzac. Now, for example, I’m reading a beautiful novel by Stefan Zweig and feeling very guilty I’m not reading crime.

Most satisfying writing moment?
Honestly? Writing the words ‘The End’. But also when a character surprises and sometimes even saves you. It happened to me while writing THE MISSING FILE: I thought the novel would end in a very sad way but then a female character I like a lot, Marianka, saved me and offered a new solution that I added to the novel.

If you could recommend one Irish crime novel, what would it be?
Since not many crime novels are translated to Hebrew I'm afraid I don’t know enough Irish crime novels – but I enjoyed immensely Benjamin Black’s CHRISTINE FALLS and THE SILVER SWAN. Obviously Black\Banville is an exceptional writer and I can’t wait to read his THE BLACK-EYED BLONDE.

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The best thing about being a writer is the fact that everything you do counts as ‘work’. I can watch a crime series on television or read or even just walk for hours and listen to music and still tell myself and others I’m working, and even hard, and that might even be true because who knows, maybe at these exact moments writing is happening inside. The worst thing is that sometimes, no matter what you do and how much you try, writing stays inside and just doesn’t happen elsewhere and then you really feel like you’re doing nothing, staring at your computer screen for hours, while you could (and should) have done something else, real work for instance.

The pitch for your next book is …?
An explosive device is found in a suitcase near a daycare centre in a quiet suburb of Tel Aviv. A few hours later, a threat is received: the suitcase was only the beginning. Tormented by the trauma and failure of his past case, Inspector Avraham Avraham is determined not to make the same mistakes—especially with innocent lives at stake. He may have a break when one of the suspects, a father of two, appears to have gone on the run. Is he the terrorist behind the threat? Or perhaps he’s fleeing a far more terrible crime that no one knows has been committed? (The novel’s name is A POSSIBILITY OF VIOLENCE and it’ll be published in English in July 2014).

Who are you reading right now?
I just finished Ian McEwan’s SWEET TOOTH (what an ending!) after discovering Juan Gabriel Vasquez’ excellent THE SOUND OF THINGS FALLING.

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
I can see my Ego jumping ahead and screaming ‘Write’! But that would have been a very miserable choice. Reading is much more important to my mental health.

THE MISSING FILE by DA Mishani is published by Quercus.

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