“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

Friday, November 2, 2018

Review: TOO CLOSE TO BREATHE by Olivia Kiernan

First published back in April, and issued in paperback on January 10, Olivia Kiernan’s TOO CLOSE TO BREATHE (riverrun) was one of the finest crime debuts of 2018. To wit:
Olivia Kiernan’s debut TOO CLOSE TO BREATHE introduces Det Chief Supt Frankie Sheehan, who investigates the death of Eleanor Costello, a woman discovered hanged in her home and initially believed to have killed herself before Sheehan’s sharp eye detects anomalies that result in a murder investigation. Delivered in propulsive, minimalist prose, Sheehan is precisely the kind of gruff, no-nonsense cynic you’d want investigating your own murder. TOO CLOSE TO BREATHE is an exhilarating police procedural, not least because Sheehan is a complex, layered character who, suffering from PTSD after a frenzied knife attack that left her physically and psychologically scarred, declares herself “a living token of the murder. Proustian memory. I’m a direct path of access to the thrill of the kill.” Noir in tone (“We’re all the murdering kind, given the right motivation,” Sheehan’s superior tells her), and sharply observed – “hard-looking rusted metal furniture stands like a lonely family in the corner” – TOO CLOSE TO BREATHE reads like a hard-boiled take on Tana French and immediately establishes Olivia Kiernan as a talent to watch. ~ Declan Burke
  This review was first published in the Irish Times.

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