“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, January 29, 2015

Republished: ODD MAN OUT by F.L. Green

Originally published in 1945, F.L. Green’s superb Belfast-set thriller ODD MAN OUT will soon be republished by Valancourt Books, with an introduction from Adrian McKinty. To wit:
An Irish Republican Army plot goes horribly wrong when its leader, Johnny Murtah, kills an innocent man and is himself gravely wounded. As the police close in on Johnny, his compatriots must make a daring bid to rescue him. But they are not the only ones in pursuit: an impoverished artist, a saintly priest, a sleazy informer, and a beautiful young woman all have their own reasons to be desperate to find him. Meanwhile Johnny wanders the streets injured and alone, trapped in a delirious nightmare, surrounded on all sides by betrayal and faced with the realization that he may die that night with the stain of murder on his soul. The action unfolds over eight hours of a cold Belfast night, with the suspense building towards an explosive conclusion.
  Both a critical success and a bestseller, F. L. Green’s masterful thriller Odd Man Out (1945) is best known today as the basis for the classic 1947 film adaptation directed by Carol Reed and starring James Mason. This edition, the first in over 30 years, features a new introduction by Adrian McKinty.
  As it happens, Adrian McKinty’s contribution to DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS (2011), which focused on Northern Ireland’s early contribution to Irish crime writing, was titled ‘Odd Men Out’, in which he touches briefly on ODD MAN OUT, describing it as a Dante-esque descent into a surrealist hell. Poor old Belfast, eh? Always the bitter word, etc. ...

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