“Declan Burke is his own genre. The Lammisters dazzles, beguiles and transcends. Virtuoso from start to finish.” – Eoin McNamee “This bourbon-smooth riot of jazz-age excess, high satire and Wodehouse flamboyance is a pitch-perfect bullseye of comic brilliance.” – Irish Independent Books of the Year 2019 “This rapid-fire novel deserves a place on any bookshelf that grants asylum to PG Wodehouse, Flann O’Brien or Kyril Bonfiglioli.” – Eoin Colfer, Guardian Best Books of the Year 2019 “The funniest book of the year.” – Sunday Independent “Declan Burke is one funny bastard. The Lammisters ... conducts a forensic analysis on the anatomy of a story.” – Liz Nugent “Burke’s exuberant prose takes centre stage … He plays with language like a jazz soloist stretching the boundaries of musical theory.” – Totally Dublin “A mega-meta smorgasbord of inventive language ... linguistic verve not just on every page but every line.Irish Times “Above all, The Lammisters gives the impression of a writer enjoying himself. And so, dear reader, should you.” – Sunday Times “A triumph of absurdity, which burlesques the literary canon from Shakespeare, Pope and Austen to Flann O’Brien … The Lammisters is very clever indeed.” – The Guardian

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Bryce Is Right

I’ve no idea what the hold-up was, but Alex Barclay’s eagerly awaited fourth novel, TIME OF DEATH, finally arrives this month, with FBI agent Ren Bryce suffering the consequences of an ostensibly successful undercover operation that left one or two loose ends without a frilly bow. To wit:
FBI agent Ren Bryce’s hunt for some of the country’s most dangerous killers is about to turn into a nightmare. There is unfinished business between Ren and those she is pursuing, and soon she is forced to confront both personal and professional traumas. Then someone close to Ren is murdered and secrets from her past look set to be revealed, throwing her into a world of fear, paranoia and danger. Dark forces are at work and someone is determined to destroy Ren’s life. But time is running out and Ren must catch a killer before he catches her …
  TIME OF DEATH hits a shelf near you on July 22nd.
  Meanwhile, I’ve been mulling over for quite some time now (the entire three minutes since the idea occurred to me, to be precise) about how masculine are the current crop of Irish female crime writers. Not the writers themselves, of course - a more radiantly fragrant bunch of roses you’d be hard pressed to find the length and breadth of Christendom. As authors, though, they do tend to have a masculine edge. Alex Barclay’s hard-nosed Ren Bryce could by no stretch of the imagination be described as girly; Arlene Hunt not only writes of a partnership that is half male, but she did away entirely with the female half for her current offering, BLOOD MONEY; Tana French’s latest novel, FAITHFUL PLACE, features an entirely convincing male detective as its protagonist, as did IN THE WOODS; Cora Harrison’s series protagonist Mara is a judge in mediaeval times, an era not renowned for its enlightened attitude towards gender equality; Ava McCarthy’s female lead goes by the name Harry; and to say that Ingrid Black’s protagonists have balls would be anatomically incorrect, but metaphorically on the nail.
  Is it the case - Niamh O’Connor’s female detective being a hard-pressed domestic goddess at home, for example, but a ballsy woman at work - that the ladies are reflecting the fact that, in Ireland today, women have to work twice as hard as men in order to get paid half as much? Or are they simply having fun with gender politics? Or is it that, being the backward soul that I am, any woman not sporting kitten heels and a cleavage in which you could park a moped is immediately classed as unfeminine?
  The comment box is open for business, people …

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