Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “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, November 16, 2007

How The Key West Was Won

Irish crime fiction’s empire has established a tenuous beachhead on Florida’s coast, from where Crime Always Pays’ Key West correspondent Michael Haskins (right, aka ‘Irelands32’ on Crime Space) gets in touch with some early word on his forthcoming CHASIN’ THE WIND, due for publication next March but already getting the big-ups. Quoth Mark Howell in Solares Hill:
“A genuine winner … Haskins knows that a razor’s width separates life and death at the end of the road. No one guards the gate to Key West. No island law exists that isn’t, quite simply, a target.”
Lovely stuff. What’s that you say? You want a taster from CHASIN’ THE WIND? Something that might put you in mind, say, of a more steely-eyed Carl Hiaasen? Okay, you asked for it …
“The air was cool and millions of stars were still blinking around the moon. In Boston it was snowing and in Los Angeles it was smoggy and the streets weren’t safe at closing time. Crime in Key West only became crime after a person lived here a few years; before that it was mostly laughable. There are no gang-related drive-by shootings, and the cops knew most of the small-time drug dealers. What would pass as pranks in Boston and L.A. made the local crime report in Key West. Then, of course, some animal would find his or her way to Key West and kill for no logical reason, and someone good would die. Most were caught and sent to prison, because the city cops and county sheriffs were professionals and murder wasn’t good for tourism.”
Stay tuned for a full review, folks - just as soon as we catch up with that damnably elusive wind …

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