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.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

God Bless You, Tim Maleeny

One of the nicest memories I took away from the Baltimore Bouchercon was of the panel I participated in on the Thursday, along with Dave White, Michael Dymmoch and Tim Maleeny (right). The title and purpose of it all escapes me now, partly because Jen Jordan was (nominally) in charge, but mainly because I lost all perspective when Jen asked her final question – ‘Who should we be reading?’ – and Tim Maleeny stepped up to the plate and knocked me into the bleachers by bigging up THE BIG O.
  Now, I hadn’t met Tim Maleeny until about ten minutes before the panel started; in fact, I’d had no contact with him whatsoever. So it was a double whammy – one, that he’d heard of THE BIG O, and two, that he liked it enough to give it ye olde hup-ya in such august company.
  I did what little I could to thank Tim by hosting him on Crime Always Pays last week, and I thought that that would be the end of that. But no! For now Tim has tonked the pill out of the ballpark, and very probably knocked the leather off of it in the process, by posting this on his interweb yokeybus:
“Declan Burke writes like Raymond Chandler on crystal meth. This character-driven mystery has the velocity of Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels or Snatch combined with the stylish prose and effortless dialogue of Elmore Leonard at his best.”
  There are many wonderful aspects to being a writer, not least of which is the validation you get when complete strangers tell you that they like what you do, especially when what you do is you at your most you, if that makes any sense. But there’s something special about getting the nod from a peer, a fellow scribe, an intangible extra that gives you a frisson that can make your day, week and month, particularly when he or she name-checks your two favourite writers in the process.
  Tim? Much obliged, squire. Your reward will come in heaven. Or when GREASING THE PINATA hits # 1 on the NY Times best-seller list. Either way, it’s only a matter of time.

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