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, October 19, 2007

“Cop That!” Cop Tops Copper In Plod-Popping Plot!

Pay attention, folks, this could get confusing. Okay, so Brian McGilloway’s BORDERLANDS, featuring Inspector Devlin of the Gardai, is set in north Donegal, around the town of Lifford. And Paul Charles’ THE DUST OF DEATH, the first of a new series starring Inspector Starrett, is set in Ramelton, not much more than a good kick in the arse – as they say in Donegal – from Lifford. With us so far? Good. Now, THE DUST OF DEATH opens with a crucifixion, an unusual enough happening in Donegal, or so you might think – except GALLOW’S LANE, the second in McGilloway’s Inspector Devlin series, also kicks off with a crucifixion. Things get a bit complicated from here on in, though: GALLOW’S LANE finishes up with a metaphorical and literal bang when a car-bomb explodes outside the Garda station in Ramelton, the conflagration taking out the, erm, new Garda Inspector. Hey, you think McGilloway is trying to tell Paul Charles something? Quoth Brian:
“It was actually one of my colleagues suggested I put Inspector Starrett in the next Devlin book and kill him off at the end. Tempting ... so long as Paul Charles doesn’t think of it first.”
Lawks! Coppers in tit-for-tat car bombs? Whatever happened to Darby O’Gill and the Little People, eh? Aye, we were hungry but happy back then …

Why I Write # 194: Sam Millar

“‘From a very early age, perhaps the age of five or six, I knew that when I grew up I should be a writer,’ said George Orwell in his essay, Why I Write. And there you have it in a nutshell: why I write. I write because it’s the only good thing I’m good at. Of course, people who’ve read my books might say I’m not even good at that … I can’t paint landscapes or do heart transplants, and jigsaw puzzles are beyond me. Writing is the only bare-knuckle craft I’ve ever shown any particular ability in. Creating characters from a naked canvas is almost god-like, and depending on my mood swings, I can, just like god, inflict terrible retribution on them, sometimes even horrible deaths. And get away with it. Sweet. Where else would you get this dark satisfaction? I write because I want to prove the rejection letters wrong. I write that one day a stranger might stop me in the street and tell me he/she read my latest novel – and loved it. Even if the critics despised it. But most of all I write because I love to …”

Sam Millar’s Bloodstorm will be published in spring 2008.

Reasons To Be Cheerful-ish # 221: Michael Collins

Never blummin’ happy, those writers. A couple of weeks back we had Claire Kilroy pouting about TENDERWIRE being marketed as a (heaven forfend) thriller, a sulk only slightly ameliorated by the fact that the delectable Ms Kilroy has the most potent pout since Scarlett realised Rhett didn’t give a damn. Now the devastating mean ‘n’ moody Michael Collins (right) is moaning, via the New Zealand Herald, that his most recent release is being touted as a murder mystery, to wit:
Which is why it rankles with the US-based author that his eighth and most challenging novel, THE SECRET LIFE OF ROBERT E. PENDLETON, was marketed in the US as a crime novel titled DEATH OF A WRITER. “To position it that way, you run into readers who are expecting a standard murder mystery,” says Collins. Even among critics, he laments, “there was a measuring of it against how a regular crime novel would play itself out. There were numerous levels of different issues in the novel, but they were the ones least addressed.”
Fair enough, sir. But really, if you’re going to devote a significant chunk of your story to a murder mystery, and reap the narrative benefits such a plot-strand offers, then it’s a little disingenuous to protest when readers tend to focus on it. Plus, in the pouting stakes, you’re more Rhett than Scarlett. We humbly suggest the stoical mean ‘n’ moody approach might be more beneficial in the long run …

Thursday, October 18, 2007

“Cheque, Mate?”

The hup-yas are popping up like shrooms in an autumn evening’s dusk for Ronan Bennett’s chess-inspired ZUGZWANG, to the extent that The Guardian – which originally published the novel as a series – has run a quick compilation for those of you who don’t have time to trawl the review pages. To wit:
“This classy, literate thriller is about chess, psychoanalysis, Russian skulduggery, history, mystery, romance - and more,” wrote Kate Saunders in the Times, reviewing ZUGZWANG by Ronan Bennett, which features a long game of chess between the psychiatrist narrator, Dr Otto Spethmann, and RM Kopelzon, a Polish violinist. “The book includes diagrams of the Spethmann-Kopelzon game which gives it an extra dimension for chess buffs,” said Matthew J Reisz in the Independent on Sunday. “Yet one needs to know nothing of ‘mysterious rook moves’ or the Maróczy Bind to enjoy this atmospheric, ingenious and perfectly paced novel.” “Action of a more dramatic kind flows as the story reaches a crescendo of dizzying complexity,” wrote Carola Groom in the Financial Times.
Hark! Is that the merry sound of tills we hear a-ching-chinging? From checkmate to cheque’s mate in six easy moves, it’s no mean feat …

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?” # 746: Tom Galvin

Yep, it’s rubber-hose time, folks: a rapid-fire Q&A for those shifty-looking usual suspects ...
What crime novel would you most like to have written?
THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE – brief, violent but very credible and I just love the sense of divine justice in that tale. You can empathise with the characters deeply despite their actions and you realise that when it comes to human emotions, searching for textbook ‘motives’ in crime is redundant.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
With time in such short supply I tend to choose books carefully and either decide to see them through or drop them quickly if I’m not interested. I used to read a lot of Stephen King for guilty pleasures, does he count? Apart from that I’d whiz through a copy of whatever celeb gossip magazine is on the shelf while waiting at the till, then scoff at the whole notion of celebrity.
Most satisfying writing moment?
Just getting published is enough … I think. Then you realise it’s only the start. That you then have to go out and hound everyone and everything to ensure it gets attention, on the shelf, in the papers, etc. So actually, I’m still waiting for that real moment of satisfaction.
The best Irish crime novel is …?
Here’s where my ignorance of crime writing shows. I am not the most avid of crime fiction readers and have skimmed the classics. But I do intend picking up Declan Hughes’ THE WRONG KIND OF BLOOD. I saw he won a prize for crime writing at a convention in Anchorage Alaska. I stayed there for one very weird night a few years ago on my way to Skagway and I just think I should read it. It’s got rave reviews.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
See above for that answer. I’m not familiar enough. Although I do recall reading Joseph O’Connor’s THE SALESMAN many years back and it read like a movie script – bang, bang, bang. Often wonder why that was never taken up. Revenge is motive that writers see through to the end in books because it’s such a strong one. O’Connor had the courage to pull back, which is what struck me at the time.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The self-pity, the selfishness. You expect people in your circle to be as besotted with your work as you are. They fail to understand that your writing is an obsession and that when you put your foot on the floor in the morning it’s the first thought that enters your head. How can they and why should they care? There is no switching off for a writer. It’s a life sentence and you’re on your own with it.
The pitch for your next novel is …?
I haven’t come to it yet as I’m still reworking two old ones. But I had been toying with a modern take on the Book of Job: a good man has it all taken from him by a God with a dark sense of humour. As he winds up on the shit-heap, he still maintains that life is good and God is great. The Fisher King had a stab at that notion but went a bid wobbly. I still think it modern society there is room for such a tale. I’d be tempted to be more of a Karamazov than a Job though.
Who are you reading right now?
Just finished A MIGHTY HEART by Marianne Pearl. It was repackaged for the European movie release and is a heart-wrenching read and something of a guilty one also. You know the outcome but are still gripped by the drama in the story. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’m not sure whether I want to witness Angelina Jolie look exasperated for 90-odd minutes. Why they couldn’t find an actress more suited to Marianne Pearl’s complexion is mind-boggling, rather than getting Jolie to don a wig and gallons of fake tan. I’m in the middle of Andrew Meir’s BLACK EARTH, about modern Russia – a brilliant read. And by the locker is Martin Amis’ HOUSE OF MEETINGS, which I’m looking forward to.
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Almost getting there.

Tom Galvin’s THERE’S AN EGG IN MY SOUP is available in all good bookshops.

Sething The World Alight

If you’ve never wondered what the dulcet tones of Crime Always Pays’ Grand Vizier Declan Burke sound like, we really can’t blame you (we’re reliably informed that he sounds not unlike a cement mixer learning German). Check it out for yourself over at Seth Harwood’s funky podcasting site, where the Grand Vizier entirely spoils the penultimate episode of Seth’s JACK PALMS II: THIS IS LIFE by croaking out the intro in a dull brogue monotone. If you’re not up to speed on ye olde podcasting, never fear – the novel is due to be published on Sunday March 16, 2008 (i.e., Palm Sunday). Check out the full details here, and get involved in the great ‘Shake ’em Down’ scam …

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

“Roll Up, Roll Up, ’Tis The Crime Carnival!”

The brainchild of author and academic librarian Barbara Fister (right), the Crime Carnival – currently blaring its calliope over at The Rap Sheet – is a fairly simple piece of genius. Hark while Karen Chisholm of AustCrimeFiction explains:
“The idea for this rolling blog carnival came from author and academic librarian Barbara Fister, who in mid-September suggested that a gaggle of bloggers interested in crime and mystery fiction get together and regularly post links to Web-based stories about the genre that they’ve read and enjoyed recently. At least initially, the carnival’s hosts will alternate on a fortnightly basis ... The Rap Sheet will follow up with a similar round-up posting in mid-October, and things are expected to go on from there … This seems to me like a fun opportunity to cooperate with, and get to know other bloggers who boast similar reading interests. Since Barbara Fister is trying to rope people in from around the globe, we might even learn something about just how broad and interesting the genre is these days.”
The schedule for Crime Carnival can be found hereabouts, and Crime Always Pays’ bid for world domination kicks off on December 1st, which – rather frustratingly – was the day we’d pencilled in to invade Poland. Jeez - something always crops up, doesn’t it?

Booker, Danno

It’s far from crime fiction Anne Enright (right) was reared, but it’d be entirely remiss of us not to mention the fact that her fourth novel, THE GATHERING, scooped the Man Booker prize last night. Quoth the Irish Times:
In what the judges said was a tight decision, Enright’s “powerful, uncomfortable and even at times angry book” saw off the competition from highly fancied works by Ian McEwan and New Zealander Lloyd Jones … Chairman of the panel of judges Howard Davies said it had been a very close decision but at the end the judges came to have enormous respect for her “emotionally-charged novel of family life” and came to “appreciate its careful structure and character development”. McEwan’s ON CHESIL BEACH and Jones’s MISTER PIP had been joint favourites to secure the €72,000 (£50,000) prize.
Fabulous stuff. The last Irish Booker prize winner, John Banville in 2005, immediately turned to crime fiction, penning CHRISTINE FALLS (the follow-up, THE SILVER SWAN, is due early next month). Can we expect Enright to follow suit? Only time, that notoriously doity rat, will tell …

Nobody Move, This Is A Review: JULIUS WINSOME, by Gerard Donovan

How far would you go to avenge the killing of a dog? In Gerard Donovan’s JULIUS WINSOME, the qualification of justice quickly becomes a moot point. Julius, who lives with his dog Hobbes in a book-lined cabin in the remote Maine forests, makes no effort to justify his actions when he picks up a rifle and sets out to hunt down the hunters who shot his dog to death. This is not an eye-for-an-eye revenge tale, in which one life equates with another and the death of a man, or men, theoretically cancels out the death of a dog. In masterfully restrained prose that is both muscular and delicate, Donovan weaves a compelling tale in which a grief-maddened man obeys the dictates of his instincts, in the process unleashing a lethal brand of natural justice that bears no resemblance to its human equivalent. “I was the rifle. I was the bullet, the aim, what a word means when it stands on its own. That is what revenge means even if you write it down.” As bleak and life-affirming as Beckett, JULIUS WINSOME exerts a hypnotic pull that renders Julius, despite his apparently sordid, Quixotic motivation, one of the most sympathetic protagonists in recent memory. That it reads like Cormac McCarthy redrafting Kafka is one of its many joys, the writing clear as a bell despite the effect of the emotional muffling, like the sharp crack of a frost-heavy branch during a heavy fall of snow. Even as the pace accelerates and tension mounts and events spiral out of control towards their inevitable denouement, you will find yourself deliberately applying the brakes, turning the pages slower and slower, the better to wallow in the sheer joy of finding yourself at the mercy of a master storyteller. – Declan Burke

This review was first published on Euro Crime

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?” # 894: Ingrid Black

Yep, it’s rubber-hose time again, folks: a rapid-fire Q&A for those shifty-looking usual suspects ...
What crime novel would you most like to have written?
THE NAME OF THE ROSE by Umberto Eco.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
Joanna Farrell, author of the classic SIMPLY CHOCOLATE – 100 TEMPTING RECIPES. Who needs literature anyway?
Most satisfying writing moment?
The last page!
The best Irish crime novel is …?
THE STATEMENT by Brian Moore.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Mine and only mine. Don’t want anybody else getting the deal!
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
The two best things are starting and finishing. The worst thing is that long bit in the middle.
The pitch for your next novel is …?
Well, somebody dies ... and I think by the end you’ll know who did it. Who are you reading right now?
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Atmospheric. Wry. Pacy.

Ingrid Black’s THE JUDAS HEART is published on October 25

Into Every Life A Little Shadow Must Fall

The Irish Indo continues its big-up of contemporary Irish women writers, Rose Doyle’s SHADOWS WILL FALL being the fifth offering in the series. Quoth the Indo’s blurb elves:
SHADOWS WILL FALL by Rose Doyle [is] a contemporary story of murder, betrayal and love. Set in Dun Laoghaire, it opens with the discovery of a young woman’s body in the doorway of the morgue. Evil casts long shadows; in this case those of two earlier murders -- one in Dun Laoghaire in 1953, the other in Coney Island, New York, in 1963. Love and sex also cast their own particular shadows in this novel, hailed as Rose Doyle’s best to date. It works on many levels -- as crime story, social commentary, historical archive and love story -- and it has been lauded as a novel “that men should read and women will love”.
Nice to see the Indo embracing the spirit of journalistic ecumenicism so wholeheartedly, given that Rose is a working scribe with the Irish Times. Meanwhile, Crime Always Pays continues its rather lack-lustre campaign to have the Indo feature Irish crime writers in its next series, our list of contenders (excluding novels in their first flush of publication) running thusly:
1. Quinn by Seamus Smyth
2. The Guards by Ken Bruen
3. Dead I Well May Be by Adrian McKinty
4. The Dead by Ingrid Black
5. Every Dead Thing by John Connolly
6. The Polling of the Dead by John Kelly
7. Little Criminals by Gene Kerrigan
8. Divorcing Jack by Colin Bateman
9. The Guilty Heart by Julie Parsons
10. Bogmail by Patrick McGinley
11. Death the Pale Rider by Vincent Banville
12. The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe
13. The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien
14. In the Forest by Edna O’Brien
15. The Colour of Blood by Brian Moore
16. Revenge by KT McCaffrey
17. The Assassin by Liam O’Flaherty
18. Resurrection Man by Eoin McNamee
19. Death Call by TS O’Rourke
20. A Carra King by John Brady
If we’ve left out anyone you think should be included, feel free to lambaste us in your own good time. Don’t worry about hurting our feelings; we’ll just vent our frustrations on the elves later on …

Nobody Move, This Is A Review: SECOND BURIAL by Andrew Nugent

SECOND BURIAL, Andrew Nugent’s second novel, follows the murder investigation of Shadrack Okafor, a young Nigerian restaurant owner in Dublin. Shad is found, alive, in the Dublin Mountains – his leg has been crudely amputated and his body dumped in a ditch. Somehow managing to crawl to a nearby house, Shad dies in hospital, with Molly Power from the Murder Squad by his bedside. She and her partner Jim Quilligan try to make sense of the death – was it an intra-African murder, a racially motivated attack, or even a gangland killing? While Molly and Jim interview Dublin’s immigrant community around ‘Little Africa’ on Parnell Street, they even briefly travel to Nigeria in search of answers, a move which offers an insightful juxtaposition of both countries and cultures. Meanwhile, Shad’s brother Jude is five steps ahead of them, ready to avenge his brother’s death. The plot is tautly strung from end to end - it begins with a death and ends with a death; but Nugent also unravels a fascinating story along the way, whilst also providing a meticulously researched snapshot of the African experience in Dublin. The narrative is rich in cultural details and anecdotes, right down to the speech rhythms and patterns of Nigerian English, which are superbly rendered. Although the ‘whodunit’ element of the novel doesn’t offer many options, the finely wrought tension and engaging cast of characters more than makes up for the ending’s slight predictability. – Claire Coughlan

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blame It On The Boogie

Crime Always Pays regulars will be familiar with Detectives Beyond Borders, given that Philly’s finest (a Phillystine?) Peter Rozovsky has been as unflagging in his support of THE BIG O as he is for international crime fiction in general. Still, it was a very nice surprise to wake up this morning to DBB’s appraisal of our first humble offering, EIGHTBALL BOOGIE, the gist of which runneth thusly:
“Chandler is famously said to have had no idea what was going on in THE BIG SLEEP. EIGHTBALL BOOGIE, while of a complexity confusing to its protagonist, is never so to the reader or, I suspect, to the author. Minor characters who lend colour early play pivotal roles late. Events here make suspense-inducing sense there and, though there are surprises, all are believable. Everything, shocking as it may be, makes sense in light of ground that had been laid earlier. Burke, I suspect, mapped out his plot more carefully than Chandler did, and if I’m right, he had quite a bit of mapping to do.”
Crumbs! Mentioned in the same breath as Chandler, and with nary a sign of ‘fourth-rate rip-off’ in the vicinity? Truly, our cup runneth over …

The Embiggened O # 389: Yep, It's The Inevitable ‘Dear John’ Missive

Yup, it’s the latest update in our ongoing saga of pestering real writers for a hup-ya on behalf of our humble offering, THE BIG O. This time out we sent our begging / threatening letter to John Connolly (right), whose current release THE UNQUIET is being fork-lifted in through the back doors of a bookstore near you even as you read. Quoth John:
“Declan Burke’s THE BIG O is one of the sharpest, wittiest and most unusual Irish crime novels of recent years. In a genre that sometimes takes itself a little seriously - particularly in Ireland, where crime fiction is still at a relatively young stage – it’s refreshing to read a novelist who allows some of the humour that is such a distinctive part of the Irish tradition to infuse his work. That said, THE BIG O is a contemporary Irish crime novel that should have a broad international appeal. Burke seems to me to be working in a similar tradition to, say, Carl Hiaasen, in that there’s a satirical edge to his work that gives it a real bite. The foibles that he points out are universal, and are as applicable to New York and Los Angeles as they are to Dublin and London. Burke doesn’t stint on the thriller aspect of the book either, which is a difficult trick to pull off successfully. The kidnapping-gone-wrong scenario at the heart of the novel gives it a real momentum, but Burke manages to leaven it with his humour. Again, the crime genre occasionally sacrifices too much of itself at the altar of gore, but there is a real appetite among readers for crime novels that can hold their attention, entertain and thrill them, yet can do so without resorting to an excess of blood on the page. Among all of the recent crop of Irish crime novelists, it seems to me that Declan Burke is ideally poised to make the transition to a larger international stage, and it can only be a matter of time before a wise US publisher sees his potential and exploits it to the fullest.” – John Connolly, author of THE UNQUIET
Mr Connolly, sir? Bless your cotton socks. And if you don’t own a pair, just let us know – not only will we spring for the socks, we’ll get an archbishop to bless ’em.

The Monday Review

How long has it been since we mentioned Eoin Colfer on these pages? That’s right, too long. “Another entertaining adventure from Eoin Colfer that has time travel, demons, warlocks, pixies, centaurs, fairies, dwarves, hitmen, bodyguards, and not one, but two human genii. I’m looking forward to the next instalment,” says Grubsneerg at Book Crossing of THE LOST COLONY … Over at Reviewing the Evidence, Diana Sandberg likes Cora Harrison’s MY LADY JUDGE, to wit: “I enjoyed reading this book. Many readers of historical mystery will be immediately reminded of another female working within the Brehon laws, Peter Tremayne’s Sister Fidelma … The story would not suit a person looking for a thriller, it falls well into the realm of cozy, but many characters are well drawn and the historical and cultural information is nicely integrated into the story, not slathered on as some authors unfortunately do.” Which is lovely … “Despite being humourous, when it gets down to the nitty-gritty of magic and action, SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT delivers, and delivers in style … Incredibly witty, and immensely fun – put SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT to the top of your “To be read” pile!” raves Bookiemonster about Derek Landy’s debut … “There are … occasional examples of clumsy phrasing. But these are minor quibbles. They do not detract from the smoothly crafted unfolding of the mystery and its surprising denouement,” says Roy Greenslade of Paul Charles’ THE DUST OF DEATH in the latest issue of Verbal … “SLIDE is slick. With the follow up to last year’s BUST, Ken Bruen and Jason Starr have raised the bar. BUST … was a black comedy of errors; noir with a grin. The sequel is comic, but it’s not just slapstick. It’s satire,” asserts Nathan Cain over at Indie Crime The big-ups just won’t quit for Ronan Bennett’s ZUGZWANG, to wit: “It is tempting to place ZUGZWANG in the same company as CJ Sansom’s WINTER IN MADRID and Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s THE SHADOW OF THE WIND. What sets ZUGZWANG above those two works, however, is its complexity,” says Nick Greenslade in The Observer, although Julia Flynn, at The Telegraph, is rather less impressed: “I was bowled over by Bennett’s last novel, HAVOC IN ITS THIRD YEAR, but this one, despite excellent moments, does not scale the same heights. It is beautifully written, in lucid prose; but the story as a whole does not quite cohere.” Boo, etc. … They’re still coming in for Adrian McKinty’s latest: “Anyone in the mood for a few thrills need look no further than THE BLOOMSDAY DEAD … Literature buffs will enjoy McKinty’s numerous references to Joyce’s novel, which supplement the non-stop, and very bloody, excitement that Michael encounters on his own epic journey. Michael is an appealingly tough but tormented hero,” reckons Rebecca Oppenheimer at The Towerlight … And they just won’t stop coming for Tana French: “IN THE WOODS by Tana French is another solid debut novel … The ensuing psychological suspense tale has a teeny hint of the supernatural that provides a thrill of extra creepiness,” vouchsafes Ellen Datlow at her Live Journal … Benny Blanco’s latest, THE SILVER SWAN, isn’t due until next month, but Book Dwarf is already raving about it thusly: “Perhaps a stronger book than CHRISTINE FALLS (itself a strong debut in mystery), Black writes for an audience that doesn’t need all the answers handed to them … Black doesn’t rely on clichés and switchback plots to keep the book going. I hope he continues to write such gripping books.” … “A gripping follow-up to [Erin] Hart’s sensational debut, weaving together history, folklore, and forensics, and following in the evocative tradition of writers such as Elizabeth George and Daphne du Maurier, LAKE OF SORROWS is a passionate novel of suspense from a superbly gifted new crime-writing star,” raves Paperback Swap … Back to Verbal for Mia Gallagher’s HELLFIRE: “The book should be depressing since its rare moments of drug-free clarity portray a relentlessly harrowing world. Yet because of the author’s sheer ability with words and an abundance of characters that would have been the envy of Dickens, one reads on – perhaps white-knuckled,” says Sean McMahon. Finally, Sean Moncrieff’s THE HISTORY OF THINGS received some well-deserved oxygen this weekend, first from the Irish Times: “Moncrieff is a fluid, confident writer who expertly creates a sense of genuine menace, and this very readable book is genuinely unnerving at times … The story’s oppressive, threatening atmosphere lingers in the reader’s mind long after the final page,” says Anna Carey. The Sunday Tribune liked it too: “This ability to pique interest and hold it is ably assisted by his clipped, concise sentences which subtly switch between genuinely hilarious riffs and seemingly throwaway lines that only add depth. Moncrieff often leaves both jokes and key events to hang in the air and enhance the emotion.” Okay, but can the boy Moncrieff juggle chainsaws underwater? Huh? He can? Oh …

Sunday, October 14, 2007

If You Go Into The Woods Today …

A Euro Crime-shaped birdie brings us the glad tidings that Tana French’s IN THE WOODS has scooped the 2007 International Visual Communications Association ‘Book Award’. Quoth the IVCA blurb elves:
“Tana French’s brilliantly crafted first novel embodies, in its story of a murder on an archaeological site in Ireland, a fascinating critique of human emotions, social mores, environmental issues and complex personal motivation. IN THE WOODS is an immediate, sometimes moving but always compelling reinvention of our most popular genre – the murder mystery.”
It’s yet another feather in the rakishly angled French cap, which was once a suitably modish beret but is now starting to take on the proportions of Sitting Bull’s favourite ceremonial headdress. A fashion faux pas? Perhaps – but what the hell else is a gal supposed to do with those blummin’ feathers, eh?