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.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Now That’s What I Call A Review: Ruth Dudley Edwards on THE TWELVE

Gosh, but that Ruth Dudley Edwards (right) keeps busy promoting Irish crime writing. One minute she’s schmoozing Gene Kerrigan in the Sunday Independent, the next she’s bigging-up Stuart Neville’s THE TWELVE over at Shots Mag. To wit:
“While THE TWELVE is taut and beautifully-written, it is not its success as a thriller that so impressed me. It is that it that after decades of painfully seeking to achieve an understanding of what went on during the Troubles, I am stunned to find a novel that reflects the extraordinary complexity of that period, that treats the various players without sentimentality but with deep understanding, and has empathy for the unfortunates caught up in something beyond their ability to control. The blurb provided by my friend Sean O’Callaghan, whose THE INFORMER described how he became caught up in the IRA as a teenager and later atoned for his crimes by becoming an unpaid agent of the Irish police, says simply: ‘Stuart Neville goes to the heart of the perversity of paramilitarism’. And so he does, in his unflinching depiction of how idealists and ideologues who see themselves as community defenders can turn into brutal, hypocritic persecutors of their own people as well as their traditional enemies. But he also goes to the heart of the murkiness of elements of counter-intelligence, the cynicism and narrow self-interest of some of our rulers, the rotten apples that can be found in an honourable police force, the supine nature of fellow-travellers, the moral ambivalence to be found among some clergy and much else … The themes Stuart Neville is addressing are among the greatest in literature: in his treatment of crime, cruelty, guilt, punishment, suffering and justice it is impossible not to be reminded of Dostoevsky.”
  Crumbs! The Big D-ski, no less. You heard the lady, folks. THE TWELVE is where it’s at, and if ‘Cuddly’ Dudley doesn’t convince you, let Adrian McKinty take a whirl. Those Christmas stockings ain’t gonna fill themselves, y’know …

1 comment:

Ali Karim said...

I enjoyed seeing Ruth and Stuart at B'con Indy - she smiled when I mentioned Mr J BanVille at the punchline of a gag....having been also at Harrogate.

Neville's debut is exceptional