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.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Review: THE ELOQUENCE OF THE DEAD by Conor Brady

Conor Brady made his debut as a historical crime novelist with A June of Ordinary Murders (2011), and that novel’s hero, Detective Sergeant Joe Swallow of the Dublin Metropolitan Police ‘G-Men’ Division, makes a welcome return in THE ELOQUENCE OF THE DEAD (New Island). The novel opens in Galway in 1887, with Lady Gessel bidding a none-too-fond farewell to her estate as she prepares to sell her family’s ancestral home, as so many of her peers are doing, and move to England. Meanwhile, back in Dublin, Swallow is called in to investigate the murder of a pawnbroker in the Liberties area, a man who appears to have paid a very harsh price for handling stolen goods. How these events are connected gradually emerges in a propulsive but stylish tale of conspiracy and corruption on a grand scale. Swallow, a keen amateur painter, brings a sharp eye to bear on his surroundings, which in turn allows Brady to give us a vivid account of late Victorian Dublin in all its squalid glory. The result is a very satisfying police procedural / mystery and an equally fine historical novel. ~ Declan Burke

  This review was first published in the Irish Times, in a column that also included reviews of the latest titles from Jo Nesbo, Sophie Loubiere, Conor Fitzgerald and John Lawton.

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