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, February 20, 2012

A Veritable Gale Of Gaels

How many crime novelists can one small country throw up? The flood of debutant Irish crime novels continues to swell, the latest coming courtesy of Mick Donnellan, whose EL NIÑO (Original Writing) hits the Atlantic seaboard at the end of February, when the novel gets its official launch in Galway. Quoth the blurb elves:
Charlie is a pick-pocket with a complicated past. He steals El Niño’s wallet, then falls in love with her. She’s wild, beautiful; intoxicating. He’s a recovering alcoholic and needs to stay away from the pubs. Their relationship takes flight and is full of passion and possibility. But soon Charlie’s demons come back to haunt him. P.J., a member of an old crime gang he used to work with, offers Charlie some work – a once-off robbery that seems well planned and very profitable. But it doesn’t turn out that way and one of the crew is arrested. P.J.’s boss is Kramer – a vicious thug that Charlie grew up with in his hometown of Ballinrobe. They’d gone their separate ways when Kramer began dealing cocaine and started a gang war that nearly cost Charlie his life. Now he’s back and he’s sure Charlie is talking to the police – an unforgivable crime in gangland. It seems there are no ‘outs’ and all the couple can do is try and escape, but fate seems to have other plans …
  EL NIÑO is set on the mean streets of Galway and Ballinrobe, and it remains to be seen how the Godfather, aka Ken Bruen, reacts to someone cutting in on his turf. As for the novel itself, well, you can clickety-click here for a sample if the spirit so moves you …

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