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, October 8, 2018

Review: UNDER THE NIGHT by Alan Glynn

Alan Glynn’s UNDER THE NIGHT (Faber) opens in Manhattan in 1953, with ad man Ned Sweeney experiencing supernatural clarity and intelligence after being slipped a good old-fashioned Mickey Finn. In a parallel narrative set sixty years later, Ned’s grandson and political researcher Ray Sweeney begins to hear rumours about the fabled MDT-48, a drug employed by the CIA in its MK-Ultra experiments in mind control. Both a prequel to and sequel of Glynn’s debut The Dark Fields (2001), Under the Night is a wild ride through history’s back channels, as Ned encounters Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe and Dylan Thomas, and winds up in the remote heart of the Pacific watching the detonation of the first hydrogen bomb. Meanwhile, Ray discovers himself the unlikely confidante of ex-CIA man Clay Proctor, a former adviser to President Nixon and a man who knows where a good many bodies are buried. Shot through with Glynn’s leitmotif of justifiable paranoia, it’s a tantalising tale of what-ifs and could-have-beens as Ned and Ray separately piece together an appalling account of a ‘deep state’ manipulation of the American public on a staggering scale. ~ Declan Burke

  This review first appeared in the Irish Times’ crime fiction review column for October. Also reviewed were the latest titles from Michael Connelly, Ann Cleeves, SJ Morden and Robert Galbraith. For more, clickety-click here

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