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.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

X Hits The Spot

That’ll be the X chromosome, folks, rather than the happy tabs that makes you want to dance your small but perfectly formed ass off, not that I’d know anything about the latter, mainly because I like my small but perfectly formed ass exactly where it is. Anyhoo, here’s a couple of pieces I had published recently, the first being a Sunday Indo piece covering some Irish crime fiction novels coming your way from Arlene Hunt, Tana French, Niamh O’Connor, Ellen McCarthy, Alex Barclay, Cora Harrison and Ava McCarthy. To wit:
Last year was something of an annus mirabilis for Irish crime writing, with superb novels on offer from John Connolly, Declan Hughes, Gene Kerrigan, Stuart Neville, Adrian McKinty and Brian McGilloway, among others. It was also a year, as that list suggests, that was rather light on X chromosomes. This year, however, sees a whole slew of Irish women crime writers hit the shelves, a fact to be celebrated not so much for its quantity as for the sheer diversity of crime novel on offer.
  Sunday World crime correspondent Niamh O’Connor has published non-fiction titles in the past, but IF I NEVER SEE YOU AGAIN is her debut fiction. A police procedural featuring DI Jo Bermingham, its edgy tone taps into O’Connor’s personal experience of her day job.
  “I needed an outlet for this perverse reaction I was having when various gangland bosses got knocked off,” she says, ‘which was a feeling of ‘good riddance’. I’d heard and seen first hand the devastating injuries suffered by Dr James Donovan, who founded the forensic science laboratory, and who was blown up in a car bomb by the ‘General’, Martin Cahill, because of his incredible work making society safer for the rest of us.”
  For the rest, clickety-click here …
  Elsewhere, I reviewed THE LOSS ADJUSTOR by Aifric Campbell, which kicks off thusly:
Aifric Campbell’s debut, THE SEMANTICS OF MURDER (2008), offered a sophisticated, literary take on the murder mystery novel. While there is a violent death at the heart of THE LOSS ADJUSTOR, however, the mystery being investigated here is the nature of the loss that has left the narrator, Caroline – Caro to her very few friends – perilously close to emotional stasis, unable or unwilling to engage with life in all its glorious messiness.
  Ironically, Caro works as a loss adjustor for a London insurance company, putting a price on the losses people incur every day through theft, fire, or random act of God. So why has this intelligent, attractive and professionally successful woman so few friends? Why so very few lovers? Why, at the age of 27, did she go seeking sterilisation?
  For the rest, clickety-click here …

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