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 2, 2012

Hey Jo, Where You Goin’ With That Gun In Your Hand?

It’s turning into Ladies’ Week here at Crime Always Pays, and not before time, say I. Mick Halpin over at the Irish crime fiction Facebook page brings my attention to the fact that there’s a new Jo Birmingham novel on the way from Niamh O’Connor (right), her third, called TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT (Transworld Ireland). Quoth the blurb elves:
Behind the façade of Nun’s Cross, an exclusive gated development in South Dublin, lurks a dark secret. The body of one of its residents, Amanda Wells, is found in a shallow grave in the Dublin mountains, a plastic bag stuffed in her mouth. When her neighbour, Derek Carpenter, disappears, he becomes the prime suspect: he was questioned about the disappearance of his sister-in-law, Sarah, many years earlier. It seems like an open and shut case, but DI Jo Birmingham is not so sure, and she has her own personal reasons to prove Derek innocent: it was her husband Dan who had cleared Derek of Sarah’s disappearance. But when Jo starts digging, she unearths more than she bargained for, and her own fragile domestic peace comes under threat. And the one person who could help Jo crack the case, Derek’s wife Liz, is so desperate to protect her family that she is going out of her way to thwart all efforts to establish the truth. Can both women emerge unscathed?
  There’s a depressing familiarity to the phrase ‘body found in a shallow grave in the Dublin (or Wicklow) mountains’ these days, and it’ll be interesting to see what O’Connor - true crime editor with the Sunday World - carves from the stark facts and newspaper headlines. TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT isn’t due until June, but it’s certainly one for your calendar …

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