“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “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, March 28, 2014

Crime Always Pays: Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before …

As all three regular readers of this blog will be aware, I published my latest opus, CRIME ALWAYS PAYS this week – or rather, had it published on my behalf by the lovely folk at Severn House (I’m talking about the UK edition here; it will be published in the US and Canada in July). The story features most of the same characters (aka reprobates) who previously showed up in THE BIG O, and even though it can be read as a sequel, CAP is basically your common-or-garden comedy crime caper trans-Europe road trip with a homicidal Siberian wolf-husky along for the ride. Stop me, as they say, if you’ve heard this one before …
Karen and Ray are on their way to the Greek islands to rendezvous with Madge and split the fat bag of cash they conned from Karen’s ex, Rossi, when they kidnapped, well, Madge. But they’ve reckoned without Doyle, the cop who can’t decide if she wants to arrest Madge, shoot Rossi, or ride off into the sunset with Ray …
  CRIME ALWAYS PAYS is my fifth novel, and it’s by some distance the book I had most fun writing. I sincerely hope people have as much fun reading it. If you’d like a very short taster, Chapter 1 can be found here
  Finally, and as you might imagine, I’m very keen to spread the word about CRIME ALWAYS PAYS, and I’d be very grateful indeed if you could find the time to click on one of the buttons below. Much obliged, folks …

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Come Ye Back, Danny Boy

I don’t know if there’s room in the world – or need, for that matter – for more than one Irish crime writer who hails from Sligo, but I’ll go ahead anyway and let you know that Dan Kavanagh re-releases the Duffy novels early next month. Here’s the blurb elves on the first, aka DUFFY (Orion):
Things aren’t going so well for Brian McKechnie. His wife was attacked in their home, his cat was brutally killed and now a man with a suspiciously erratic accent is blackmailing him. When the police fail spectacularly at finding out who’s after him, McKechnie engages the services of London’s most unusual private eye. Duffy is a detective like no other. A bisexual ex-policeman with a phobia of ticking watches and a penchant for Tupperware. But what he lacks in orthodoxy he makes up for in street-smart savvy and no-nonsense dealings. Intrigued by McKechnie’s dilemma and the apparent incompetency of his ex-colleagues, Duffy heads to his old patch, the seedy underbelly of Soho, to begin inquiries of his own. Helped by some shady characters from his past, Duffy discover that while things have changed in the years since he was working the area, the streets are still mean and the crooks walk arm in arm with the blues. Full to bursting with sex, violence and dodgy dealings, DUFFY is a gripping and entertaining crime novel with a distinctly different and entirely lovable anti-hero.
  So who is Dan Kavanagh, I don’t quite hear you breathlessly ask?
Dan Kavanagh was born in County Sligo in 1946. Having devoted his adolescence to truancy, venery and petty theft, he left home at 17 and signed on as a deckhand on a Liberian tanker. After jumping ship at Montevideo, he roamed across the Americas taking a variety of jobs: he was a steer-wrestler, a waiter-on-roller-skates at a drive-in eatery in Tucson, and a bouncer in a gay bar in San Francisco. He is currently working in London at jobs he declines to specify, and lives in north Islington.
  There you have it. There’s an excerpt from DUFFY to be had over at Dan Kavanagh’s web-lair here, where – curiously – it is suggested that if you like the work of Dan Kavanagh, you might want to try that of Booker Prize-winning author Julian Barnes. Well, why not?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

In The Merry Merrick Month Of May

Disappointingly, at least in terms of the veracity of this post’s headline, Ken Bruen’s latest novel, MERRICK, arrives on April 15th rather than any time in May. Otherwise, it’s all good – it is, after all, a new novel from Ken Bruen. Quoth the blurb elves:
A new character and a new novel from one of the most prominent Irish crime writers of the last two decades. For fans of Ken Bruen’s Jack Taylor and Inspector Brant series, LA CONFIDENTIAL by James Ellroy and MYSTIC RIVER by Dennis Lehane, comes a noir crime story set in New York City about a rogue ex-cop from the Irish Gardai. A rouge Irish cop manipulates a transfer to work for the NYPD in an exchange program. However, it turns out that the Irish cop is really a serial killer wanted for murder in Ireland and now NYC.
  For all the details, clickety-click here

Monday, March 24, 2014

Interview: Glenn Patterson

I had an interview with Glenn Patterson published in the Irish Examiner last week. It began a lot like this:
Born in Belfast in 1961, Glenn Patterson grew up through the Troubles, when virtually everything anyone ever heard about Northern Ireland was violence, bombs and sectarian strife. His latest novel, THE REST JUST FOLLOWS (Faber), begins in the early 1970s and spans almost four decades, but for an author who says he writes ‘in the spaces in-between’, it is by no means a ‘Troubles novel’.
  “What I really wanted to do with this book was to take a group of people and follow them from their pre-teens through to their early middle-age,” says Glenn when we sit down in Dublin’s Brooks Hotel. “They were going to have to live through a whole load of other stuff that I’d lived through, but also that the whole city of Belfast went through as well. Some of that has to do with the economy, some of it has to do with the politics and the Troubles – but it’s all just the stuff of the world that they all have to live through and deal with.”
  While the Troubles serves as a muted backdrop to the story, it’s much more a celebratory tale of how three teenagers – Maxine, Craig and St. John – grow up making the same kinds of mistakes and experiencing the same kinds of joy as kids in cities all over the world. Glenn mentions David Holmes, the Belfast-born DJ, whom he interviewed for a TV documentary a couple of years ago.
  “We were talking about growing up in Belfast – for him it would have been the 1980s and into the ’90s, when he was starting to DJ in Belfast. And he said that he was really happy that his children didn’t have to grow up in what he grew up in. But then he paused and he said, ‘But I’m really glad that I did.’ I think it’s very hard to regret your own teenage years. So much of who we are has to do with what happened to us at that age that it doesn’t really matter what was going on in the public domain. That’s your only chance to be that age.”
  For the rest, clickety-click here

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Boy, Interrupted

Karen Perry’s THE BOY THAT NEVER WAS (Penguin / Michael Joseph) is an intriguing prospect, being the debut crime thriller from a writing team composed of Karen Gillece and Paul Perry. Karen is the author of several literary novels, including SEVEN NIGHTS IN ZARAGOZA and LONGSHORE DRIFT, while Paul is not only a critically acclaimed author, but a lecturer in Creative Writing for Kingston University, London, Writer Fellow for University College Dublin, and Course Director in Poetry for the Faber Academy in Dublin. Quoth the blurb elves:
You were loved and lost – then you came back …
  Five years ago, three-year-old Dillon disappeared. For his father Harry – who left him alone for ten crucial minutes – it was an unforgivable lapse. Yet Dillon’s mother Robyn has never blamed her husband: her own secret guilt is burden enough.
  Now they’re trying to move on, returning home to Dublin to make a fresh start.
  But their lives are turned upside down the day Harry sees an eight-year-old boy in the crowd. A boy Harry is convinced is Dillon. But the boy vanishes before he can do anything about it.
  What Harry thought he saw quickly plunges their marriage into a spiral of crazed obsession and broken trust, uncovering deceits and shameful secrets. Everything Robyn and Harry ever believed in one another is cast into doubt.
  And at the centre of it all is the boy that never was …
  THE BOY THAT NEVER WAS arrives with impressive advance praise from Tana French, Jeffrey Deaver, John Boyne and Nelson DeMille. For all the details, clickety-click here