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, May 1, 2014

Review: THE BOY THAT NEVER WAS by Karen Perry

The latest Irish Times crime fiction column appeared last week, and included the new titles from Martin Cruz Smith, Chris Pavone, Natalie Haynes, Tom Rob Smith and Karen Perry. The Karen Perry review ran a lot like this:
Karen Perry is a new writing partnership composed of Karen Gillece and Paul Perry, and their debut The Boy That Never Was (Penguin / Michael Joseph, €14.99) suggests that it will be the first of many. A prologue set in Tangier in 2005 tells the reader that Harry is guilty of negligence in the death, during an earthquake, of his young son Dillon. The story then moves on to Dublin in 2010, when Harry believes he sees his missing son on O’Connell Street during an anti-government demonstration. Unable to persuade the Gardai that Dillon is alive and well, Harry confesses all to his wife, Robin, which is when we start to realise that Harry has a history of obsession and instability, and that Robin also has secrets she needs to conceal. The unreliable narrator is a staple of the crime / mystery genre, but The Boy That Never Was folds another dimension into the convention by offering us a pair of devious narrators. It’s a neat trick, especially as each succeeding account casts doubt on the truth of the previous offering’s events and the mental state of its narrator, with the result that this assured debut is equal parts thriller, mystery and fascinating psychological study. ~ Declan Burke
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