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.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Make Mine A Shandy

An intriguing proposition hoves over the horizon, being Michael Sheridan’s true crime offering MURDER AT SHANDY HALL: THE COACHFORD POISONING CASE. To wit:
Cork, May, 1887. Murder stalks the countryside. Against a tranquil rural backdrop the sleepy County Cork village of Dripsey, near Coachford, a sensational Victorian murder is played out with a potent mix of love, lust, betrayal, and ultimately naked hatred. The entry of a young and beautiful governess into Shandy Hall, the home of a retired British Army surgeon Dr Philip Cross, acts as a catalyst for an act of horror that prompts suspicion, an exhumation, an inquest, and a charged courtroom drama that grabs newspaper headlines all over the world. The nation is transfixed by details of a murder which shatters the Victorian ideal of the home as a safe haven of privacy and comfort, and besmirches the blue-blooded reputation of an aristocratic line. The cast of real characters includes a cruel killer, cloaked in respectability; a beautiful and naïve governess; a blameless wife; a brilliant young pathologist; a canny and clever murder detective; two accomplished courtroom adversaries; a caring and emotional judge; and a notorious hangman. The unravelling of this true-life murder mystery will send a chill through your bones.
  Sheridan’s previous books include DEATH IN DECEMBER: THE STORY OF SOPHIE TOSCAN DU PLANTIER and A LETTER TO VERONICA: THE LAST DAYS OF VERONICA GUERIN, both true crime accounts. He’s not shy about raising the bar on himself, either. In his introduction, he has this to say:
“There is nothing ever new under the sun and the fact of murder echoes in our ears, in hour hearts and in our minds. And yet [murder] is an enduring mystery - one that drove the greatest writers over the generations, like Dickens, Dostoevsky, Wilkie Collins, Conan Doyle, Camus, Capote and Mailer to even greater heights of expression to get to its essence.”
  So - can Michael Sheridan’s SHANDY HALL cut the mustard alongside the greats? Only time, that notoriously doity rat, will tell …

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