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.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Maverick Genius Of The Week # 349: David M. Kiely

Just when we finally think we’re getting some kind of handle on the many-backed beast that is Irish crime fiction, up pops a true maverick. Take a bow, David Kiely, author of THE ANGEL TAPES (1997) and much more besides. But first, Mr & Mrs Kirkus on THE ANGEL TAPES, to wit:
The Dublin police are shocked and mystified when a bomb explodes under a busy city street, killing six and injuring many others, this just days before the state visit of the US President. Detective Superintendent Blade Macken, head of the investigation, takes the first call from the bomber, who, in an electronically disguised voice, names himself Angel and threatens more explosions if his demand for $25 million isn’t met. A frantic police search follows, with dogs below the streets hunting for devices planted years ago, along with harried consultations with American Ambassador Seaborg, his CIA man Lawrence Redfern, and police psychologist Dr. Earley. Meanwhile, the calls to Blade keep coming, revealing Angel’s familiarity with officers on the force and an eerie awareness of Blade’s every move. The detective has personal crises to deal with, too, mostly concerning his long-estranged wife Joan, their teenaged son and daughter, and Joan’s live-in lover, Jim Roche, owner of Centurion Security and an electronics gizmo expert. But Blade’s own heavy drinking and wenching habits don’t prevent him from making connections that eventually uncover Angel’s true identity and, in time, also reveal the past events that underlie the carnage. A first novel marked by breakneck pacing, slowed later by too many bloody encounters, too many subplots, and too much electronics babble. Unrelentingly raw language and graphic sex scenes may be off-putting to some, but, still, most readers will stick with this hard-bitten, tumultuous story to the finish. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
“Drinking and wenching habits”, eh? Sounds like our kind of man. But David Kiely doesn’t just restrict himself to crime fiction. According to his interweb thingy, he’s currently ‘living in Mexico and working on a novel set in the early part of the 20th century’, AND ‘working on a literary-historical novel – MESOPOTAMIA – set largely in Paris in the 1920s’. Oh, and did we mention the sequel to HUCKLEBERRY FINN? Someone, somewhere, please put us in touch with David Kiely. At the very least we want to pick up a few tips on wenching … Meanwhile, anyone wanting to download the entire novel of THE ANGEL TAPES can go here, where Mr Kiely has kindly provided free downloads. Top bloke, eh?

1 comment:

David M. Kiely said...

Declan, my man! So you discovered my The Angel Tapes, albeit
more than 10 years from pub date, but hey who's picky? :0)

It still astonishes me how that book comes back to haunt me. I was
commissioned to write it by St. Martin's Press in New York. Why I
don't know; I'd never written crime fiction. But I was willing to
give it a go.

I have to confess something right here and right now. Prior to that,
I'd had a poor opinion of crime writers. In my innocence (and
arrogance) I'd imagined it was all too easy to plot a crime novel:
you simply decided whodunnit and how, and you worked your way back
from there.

Was I in for a rude awakening! The Angel Tapes cost me blood
and tears. When it was done I'd developed a genuine respect for the
greats of the genre, and the lesser lights of course. I doubt if I'll
attempt another one, but who knows.

To finish, no sooner had the The Angel Tapes found its way
onto the remaindered shelves but another publisher commissioned me to
do a true-crime book, and Bloody Women was born (a
sequel would follow in 2005). And what do you know? It turns out to
be my bestest-selling book, going to prove what you've been saying
all along:

Crime Always Pays.