“Declan Burke is his own genre. The Lammisters dazzles, beguiles and transcends. Virtuoso from start to finish.” – Eoin McNamee “This bourbon-smooth riot of jazz-age excess, high satire and Wodehouse flamboyance is a pitch-perfect bullseye of comic brilliance.” – Irish Independent Books of the Year 2019 “This rapid-fire novel deserves a place on any bookshelf that grants asylum to PG Wodehouse, Flann O’Brien or Kyril Bonfiglioli.” – Eoin Colfer, Guardian Best Books of the Year 2019 “The funniest book of the year.” – Sunday Independent “Declan Burke is one funny bastard. The Lammisters ... conducts a forensic analysis on the anatomy of a story.” – Liz Nugent “Burke’s exuberant prose takes centre stage … He plays with language like a jazz soloist stretching the boundaries of musical theory.” – Totally Dublin “A mega-meta smorgasbord of inventive language ... linguistic verve not just on every page but every line.Irish Times “Above all, The Lammisters gives the impression of a writer enjoying himself. And so, dear reader, should you.” – Sunday Times “A triumph of absurdity, which burlesques the literary canon from Shakespeare, Pope and Austen to Flann O’Brien … The Lammisters is very clever indeed.” – The Guardian

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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