“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, June 24, 2014

The Weekly Update

Given that I’m up to my oxters in rewrites / edits, and time at CAP Towers is at a premium, I hope you’ll forgive me if I offer a couple of days worth of posts in one ‘Weekly Update’-style bundle. To wit:

  My latest Irish Times column has a review of Adrian McKinty’s latest offering, THE SUN IS GOD (Serpent’s Tail), which runs a lot like this:
The Troubles and 1980s Northern Ireland formed the backdrop to Adrian McKinty’s recent trilogy of novels, but The Sun is God (Serpent’s Tail, €17.90) is set on the tiny Duke of York islands in the South Pacific island in 1906. Boer War veteran and former military policeman Will Prior is supervising a failing rubber plantation when he is commissioned to investigate a suspicious death on nearby Kabakon Island, home to a cult that worships the sun and eats only coconuts. Based on an improbable but true story, the novel offers a fascinating twist on the traditional ‘locked room’ mystery, as only the island’s miserable few inhabitants can be considered suspects in the alleged murder. Prior, as reluctant a sleuth as has ever shuffled into the genre, makes for a blackly humorous guide to a palm-fringed, sun-drenched idyll that is both heaven and hell. McKinty’s 15th novel (including YA titles) is an ambitious offering that incorporates a sub-plot exploring pre-WWI colonial tensions between Britain and Germany, but it’s the investigation of the central mystery, with its undertones of Paradise Lost, that proves most entertaining. ~ Declan Burke
  For the rest of the column, which includes very good books from Alafair Burke, Marc Dugain, Alan Furst and Karin Fossum, clickety-click here:

  Meanwhile, Desmond Doherty launches his latest Valberg novel, SINS OF THE FATHERS (Guildhall Press), on Thursday, June 26th, at the Tower Hotel in Derry, with Brian McGilloway doing the honours as guest speaker. For more, clickety-click here
After inflicting brutal revenge on the jury that wrongly sent him down for child murder, a deadly assassin is back on the streets of Derry. And this time he’s working his way up the legal ladder. Police, lawyers, judges – no one is safe. Detective Jon Valberg leads the hunt to nail the killer and expose his shadowy accomplices. And soon finds out how personal it’s all about to become ...

  Elsewhere, I thoroughly enjoyed myself last Saturday afternoon at the Dalkey Books Festival, where I took part in a conversation on ‘Emerald Noir’ with the always entertaining Declan Hughes (right) at Dalkey’s Masonic Hall. We got to sit on a pair of thrones for the proceedings (not pictured), with Declan Hughes, obviously, perched on the gold throne, while I had to do with the less gilded one. A very nice hour or so it was too, not least because a lovely lady described me as ‘the Quentin Tarantino of Irish crime fiction’, and it was lovely to meet the fabulously talented Aifric Campbell again, and Ross Golden Bannon, who is a name to watch. You heard it here first …

  Finally, my current tome CRIME ALWAYS PAYS nabbed itself a rather nice review in the forthcoming Booklist. The reviewer thought the characters erred on the side of unsympathetic, but the gist was positive:
“This is screwball comedy at its screwiest, with super-short chapters told from the viewpoints of myriad characters … The dialogue flows fast, though, which moves the story along at a frantic pace. Give this one to fans of comic crime capers.” ~ Booklist
  Speaking of which, the lovely Bob Johnstone of the Gutter Bookshop asked me sign a load of copies of CRIME ALWAYS PAYS at the Dalkey Festival; so if anyone is craving a signed copy, Bob is your man

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