“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.

Friday, June 30, 2017

‘Not Everyone Murders People in Their Sleep’: Liz Nugent

Liz Nugent (right) had a piece in the Irish Times this week, titled ‘Not Everyone Murders People in Their Sleep’, during which she touched on ‘the rise of Irish female crime writers’:
“I am often asked about the rise of Irish female crime writers in recent years. Maybe Tana French and Alex Barclay opened the doors for the rest of us, and as writer Jane Casey says, women are more attuned to threat. We are the ones looking over our shoulders, making sure that we have our keys in our hands, texting each other to make sure we got home safely.”
  I’d add Arlene Hunt and the doyenne of Irish crime fiction, Julie Parsons, to that list of trailblazers, and further suggest that Maeve Binchy probably had a lot to do with normalising the idea that being an Irish writer didn’t necessarily involve wanting to emulate the Joyces and Becketts of the canon.
  As to why women writers have come to the fore in recent years – we can add Sinead Crowley, Louise Phillips, Annemarie Neary and Andrea Carter to the names above – it may have something to do with the way crime fiction has moved on from the classical fantasy of the lone hero(ine) – Holmes, Poirot, Marple, Marlowe – taking on and defeating bad guys, and instead adopting a more realistic approach to the age-old human fear of the social and personal threat that crime represents.
  Whatever the reason, Liz Nugent is certainly in the vanguard, domestically and internationally, and her next novel, SKIN DEEP (Penguin Ireland), is already hotly anticipated. Quoth the blurb elves:
'Once I had cleared the bottles away and washed the blood off the floor, I needed to get out of the flat.'
 Delphine Hamilton is a fake. She has been living on the Côte d'Azur for ten years, posing as an English heiress. However, her alimony is running out, her looks are fading, and her wealthy lovers are fewer and further between.
 Down to her last euros, and desperate to get out of her apartment, Delphine decides to spend the day at the Negresco where she is caught stealing another guest's meal. He takes pity on her and invites her to a party.
 The guests are young and beautiful and Delphine feels her age, and is achingly conscious of her worn out dress. But after a few lines of cocaine and multiple cocktails, she is oblivious to everything.
 Hours later, as dawn is breaking, she wakes up on the floor of a deserted hotel penthouse. She makes her way home through the back streets.
Even before she opens the door she can hear the flies buzzing and she realizes that the corpse in her bedroom has already begun to decompose ...
  SKIN DEEP will be published in March 2018.