“Declan Burke is his own genre. The Lammisters dazzles, beguiles and transcends. Virtuoso from start to finish.” – Eoin McNamee “This bourbon-smooth riot of jazz-age excess, high satire and Wodehouse flamboyance is a pitch-perfect bullseye of comic brilliance.” – Irish Independent Books of the Year 2019 “This rapid-fire novel deserves a place on any bookshelf that grants asylum to PG Wodehouse, Flann O’Brien or Kyril Bonfiglioli.” – Eoin Colfer, Guardian Best Books of the Year 2019 “The funniest book of the year.” – Sunday Independent “Declan Burke is one funny bastard. The Lammisters ... conducts a forensic analysis on the anatomy of a story.” – Liz Nugent “Burke’s exuberant prose takes centre stage … He plays with language like a jazz soloist stretching the boundaries of musical theory.” – Totally Dublin “A mega-meta smorgasbord of inventive language ... linguistic verve not just on every page but every line.Irish Times “Above all, The Lammisters gives the impression of a writer enjoying himself. And so, dear reader, should you.” – Sunday Times “A triumph of absurdity, which burlesques the literary canon from Shakespeare, Pope and Austen to Flann O’Brien … The Lammisters is very clever indeed.” – The Guardian

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Nobody Move, This Is A Review: The Caller, Alex Barclay (HarperCollins) ***

Detective Joe Luchessi is back in New York after his not so restorative sojourn in Ireland, with his son severely traumatised and his marriage floundering. Now there’s also the Caller to contend with – an apparently random visitor to city apartments, who enters them with mysterious ease and proceeds to torture and kill its inhabitants … which is where some confusion sets in. The Caller, although still a fairly enjoyable read, with some taut, gripping moments, feels somewhat unfinished. It also raises more questions than it answers, and not in a thought-provoking way: Duke Rawlins still features as a shadowy figure tracking Luchessi, but this doesn’t tie in satisfactorily with the main thread of the story (the Caller’s identity), which loses momentum halfway through and chugs its way into a surprisingly dull denouement. Alex Barclay deservedly established herself as a crime writer of exceptional ability with her 2005 debut Darkhouse, but this feels like a stopgap until all is revealed next time, or else the pressure to deliver a sequel resulted in what reads at times like a lack-lustre filler. Hopefully, either way, Duke Rawlins will be back with a bang next time.–Claire Coughlan


Anonymous said...

Glad I found this review because I was a bit confused by the ending also. Duke rawlings suddenly coming into the picture? Didn't understand his conversation with Lucchesi, hope someone could clear that up for me.
The book is nicely written in parts but the I agree, the end was a bit of a dull outcome.

Anonymous said...

I am currently in the middle of reading this book, and am struggling to keep interest. Alex Barclay should stick to her day job (whatever that was before she took up writing full time). The style of writing is really quite abysmal, and seems more like something a high school student would write - graded a lousy D. Conversations just do not flow, and having to endure "said Joe, said Danny, said Rencher, said Joe etc.." continuously is extremely amateur and is so irritating that it makes me just want to give up on it. I am
disappointed because I would like to see something good come from a female Irish writer that is not in the chick lit genre. It is also disappointing as the concept could be promising, but its the style of writing that is a big letdown!