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.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Other Marian Mysteries

So there I was last week scribbling about how this is a strange but fascinating time for Irish crime fiction, and I didn’t know the half of it. For lo! Word filters through that Marian Keyes, the runaway bestseller of women’s fiction and most recently the author of the wonderfully titled how-to book SAVED BY CAKE, will publish a private eye novel next month, THE MYSTERY OF MERCY CLOSE. Quoth the blurb elves:
Helen Walsh doesn’t believe in fear - it’s just a thing invented by men to get all the money and good jobs - and yet she’s sinking. Her work as a Private Investigator has dried up, her flat has been repossessed and now some old demons have resurfaced. Not least in the form of her charming but dodgy ex-boyfriend Jay Parker, who shows up with a missing persons case. Money is tight and Jay is awash with cash, so Helen is forced to take on the task of finding Wayne Diffney, the ‘Wacky One’ from boyband Laddz. Things ended messily with Jay. And she’s never going back there. Besides, she has a new boyfriend now, the very sexy detective Artie Devlin and it’s all going well. But the reappearance of Jay is stirring up all kinds of stuff she thought she’d left behind. Playing by her own rules, Helen is drawn into a dark and glamorous world, where her worst enemy is her own head and where increasingly the only person she feels connected to is Wayne, a man she’s never even met. Utterly compelling, moving and very very funny, THE MYSTERY OF MERCY CLOSE is unlike any novel you’ve ever read and Helen Walsh - courageous, vulnerable and wasp-tongued - is the perfect heroine for our times.
  So there you have it, folks. Is Marian Keyes about to become the Irish equivalent of Stieg Larsson and drag the rest of the Irish crime writers kicking, screaming and spitting cake-crumbs into the publishing stratosphere? Only time, that canary-type stool-pigeon, will tell …

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