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, April 29, 2010

THE DEVIL; and Mrs Jones

Maybe it’s the recession, but Irish PIs have been struck with a bad case of wanderlust. First Arlene Hunt’s Sarah Quigley goes walkabout in her latest novel, BLOOD MONEY, then Declan Hughes’s Ed Loy jumps a plane for LA in CITY OF LOST GIRLS. Now even Ken Bruen’s Jack Taylor, a man as Galway as soft rain, wants out. To wit:
America - the land of opportunity, a place where economic prosperity beckons: but not for PI Jack Taylor, who’s just been refused entry. Disappointed and bitter, he thinks that an encounter with an over-friendly stranger in an airport bar is the least of his problems. Except that this stranger seems to know rather more than he should about Jack. Jack thinks no more of their meeting and resumes his old life in Galway. But when he’s called to investigate a student murder - connected to an elusive Mr K - he remembers the man from the airport. Is the stranger really is who he says he is? With the help of the Jameson, Jack struggles to make sense of it all. After several more murders and too many coincidental encounters, Jack believes he may have met his nemesis. But why has he been chosen? And could he really have taken on the devil himself?
  THE DEVIL isn’t published until May 13, but my copy came dropping slow through the letterbox yesterday, so that’s the Bank Holiday reading taken care of.
  Ironically, or serendipitously, Gerard O’Donovan’s debut THE PRIEST arrived on the same day. Now, Ireland has had its fair share of scandals relating to clerical abuse of children in recent times, so THE PRIEST may well be a timely offering when it hits the shelves on June 3rd. To wit:
HIS NAME IS THE PRIEST. HIS WEAPON IS A CRUCIFIX. HIS VICTIMS DON’T HAVE A PRAYER. A killer is stalking the dark streets of Dublin. Before each attack, he makes the sign of the cross; then he sends his victims to God. After a diplomat’s daughter is brutally assaulted and left for dead, her body branded with burns from a scalding-hot cross, the case falls to Detective Inspector Mike Mulcahy. Mulcahy is one tough cop, but this crime is beyond imagination -- and the Priest is a nemesis more evil and elusive than any Mulcahy has ever faced: an angel of death with a soul dark as hell. As a media frenzy erupts and the city reels in terror, Mulcahy and his new partner, Claire Brogan, must stop the Priest in his tracks before he can complete his divine mission of murder. Light your candles. Say your prayers. Confess your sins. The Priest is coming.
  Another serial killer stalking Irish streets? To the best of my knowledge, there’s only one serial killer at work in Ireland today, and yet recent / current / forthcoming novels from Stuart Neville, Declan Hughes, Niamh O’Connor, Kevin McCarthy, Rob Kitchin and now Gerard O’Donovan all feature serial killers. Do the authors know something we don’t? Is the sudden appearance of so many fictional serial killers some kind of implicit commentary on Ireland’s scary economic position and the fear that we’re being stalked by the evil, ruthless, shadowy bogeymen who gamble on the international markets? Only time, that notoriously doity rat, will tell …
  Meanwhile, I’ve come up with an idea for a new book. It’s about this serial killer, right, the cops dub her Mrs Jones, because she has a serious jones for offing male serial killers …

1 comment:

Peter Rozovsky said...

I just finished Gerard O'Donovan's book. His guy isn't exactly a serial killer, is he? I think just one of his victims dies. But he's certainly a first cousin at least to serial killers, and your point about the influx of these these types into Irish crime writing is well taken.
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