“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.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Publication: THE LOST AND THE BLIND arrives in paperback

The very fine folk at Severn House have published THE LOST AND THE BLIND in paperback, which now comes – for the diehard completists – with added cover quotes. My favourite – and I hope you’ll forgive the shill, but it’s an unavoidable part of the publicity game – comes from those very nice people over at Booklist: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” I thank you kindly, Mr and Mrs Booklist.
  Meanwhile, the Severn House blurb elves have this to say about THE LOST AND THE BLIND:
“A dying man, if he is any kind of man, will live beyond the law.” The elderly German, Karl Uxkull, was senile or desperate for attention. Why else would he concoct a tale of Nazi atrocity on the remote island of Delphi, off the coast of Donegal? And why now, 60 years after the event, just when Irish-American billionaire Shay Govern has tendered for a prospecting licence for gold in Lough Swilly? Journalist Tom Noone doesn’t want to know. With his young daughter Emily to provide for, and a ghost-writing commission on Shay Govern’s autobiography to deliver, the timing is all wrong. Besides, can it be mere coincidence that Karl Uxkull’s tale bears a strong resemblance to the first thriller published by legendary spy novelist Sebastian Devereaux, the reclusive English author who has spent the past 50 years holed up on Delphi? But when a body is discovered drowned, Tom and Emily find themselves running for their lives, in pursuit of the truth that is their only hope of survival. This gripping Irish thriller is an intriguing new departure for comic noir writer Declan Burke.
  The paperback is currently retailing at £11.99 at Amazon UK, with the US paperback edition available (at $17.95) from November 1st. I hope you enjoy, folks …

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Event: The Hodges Figgis Book Festival

I’ve always been very fond of the Hodges Figgis bookstore on Dublin’s Dawson Street, which is currently hosting its own book festival (it runs from September 10th to 19th). The event that caught my eye, and which I’m hoping to get to, is the crime fiction night on Thursday 17th, when John Connolly will host a conversation between some of the most impressive talents of the new wave of Irish crime fiction, said talents being Karen Perry, Jane Casey, Alex Barclay, Liz Nugent and Sinead Crowley.
  It won’t have escaped your notice that, with the exception of the Paul Perry half of the ‘Karen Perry’ writing partnership, all those writers are women. Whether by accident or design, the Hodges Figgis event is certainly a timely one in that it celebrates the fact that female writers are very much to the fore in Irish crime writing these days. There have always been terrific women writers in terms of Irish crime fiction, among them Julie Parsons, Ruth Dudley Edwards, Ingrid Black, Cora Harrison, Erin Hart, Tana French, Niamh O’Connor and Arlene Hunt, but in the last couple of years women have come to dominate the scene, not least in terms of winning the crime fiction prize at the Irish Book Awards (Louise Phillips and Liz Nugent have won the last two awards); and this year alone we’ve seen debuts from Andrea Carter, Jax Miller, Sheena Lambert, Anna Sweeney and Kelly Creighton.
  I don’t have any theory as to why this might be the case (“Wot!?” I hear you gasp – “No theory?”), but if there is any underlying reason(s) for the trend, there’s no better man than John Connolly to winkle it/them out. The event takes place at Hodges Figgis, Dawson Street, Dublin 2, on Thursday 17th September, at 6.30pm. The event is free, and no booking is required.