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.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Year Of Ms French

I mentioned last week that Tana French’s BROKEN HARBOUR had picked up a couple of very nice reviews in the Irish Times and The Observer, with Bernice Harrison in the Irish Times, in particular, offering some astute observations.
  The Sunday Times also chipped in with its two cents last weekend, with the gist running thusly:
“It is the surprising subtlety of plot, language and tone that makes this one of the must-read page-turners of the summer.” - Sunday Times
  The enthusiasm for BROKEN HARBOUR didn’t noticeably flag during the week, when our American cousins stepped up to the plate. To wit:
“It’s not the fashion in literary fiction these days to address such things as the psychological devastation that a fallout of the middle class can wreak on those who have never known anything else, and Ms. French does it with aplomb — and a headless sparrow and dozens of infrared baby monitors.” - Washington Times

“Edgar-winner French’s eloquently slow-burning fourth Dublin murder squad novel shows her at the top of her game.” - Publishers Weekly (Pick of the Week)

“This may sound like a routine police procedural. But like Gillian Flynn’s GONE GIRL, this summer’s other dagger-sharp display of mind games, BROKEN HARBOUR is something more. It’s true that Ms. French takes readers to all the familiar way stations of a murder investigation: the forensics, the autopsies, the serial interrogations and so on. But she has urgent points to make about the social and economic underpinnings of the Spain family murders. And she has irresistibly sly ways of toying with readers’ expectations.” - New York Times

“She’s drawn not just to the who but also to the why — those bigger mysteries about the human weaknesses that drive somebody to such inhuman brutality. What really gives BROKEN HARBOUR its nerve-rattling force is her exploration of events leading up to the murders, rendered just as vividly as the detectives’ scramble to solve them.” - Entertainment Weekly

“Perfectly paced, with nuanced characters set against a backdrop of heart-rending conflict and dialogue that reads as though you’re a fly on the wall, BROKEN HARBOUR shows once again that Tana French is not only one of the most assured crime writers of our times, but one of the best emerging writers in any genre.” - January Magazine
  So there you have it. It can only be a matter of time before someone jumps the shark in suggesting that BROKEN HARBOUR ‘transcends the genre’, but in the meantime, and in my humble opinion, the hype is fully justified. Enjoy.

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