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.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Breaking News: Edel Coffey In 'Sultry Fox DJ' Shocker!

Sultry fox, quality disc-spinner and all-round wunnerful gal Edel Coffey doesn't just play tunes on Phantom 105.2's Access All Areas - no indeedy, she also hosts writerly-types ...
"Next week I've got some fabulous guests for you. Tune in early on Monday as the author John Connolly will be in studio to talk about his new book, The Unquiet, which comes with a CD featuring bands like Low and Midlake amongst others."

Yep, we're loving John's multi-media attack ... jump here for his masterplan for world domination.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Funky Friday's Free-For-All: Peter Dragon Speaks!

Yep, it's Friday, which is funky, and thus it's a posting free-for-all ... Seems the general consensus among the literati seems to be that crime fiction is one rung up the ladder from your actual porn. Next time you hear it, point them in the direction of Action's Peter Dragon, seen here defending violent movies before a Senate Committee as only Peter can, to wit: "If I’m a malignancy and my movies are cancer, I hope the whole damn country gets cancer!" Roll it there, Collette ... See you on Monday, folks. Y'all come back now, y'hear?

The Big O: More Extracts Than A Dentist On Crystal Meth

We've been absolutely inundated* with requests for extracts from The Big O ever since our NBF Karen Delaney posted this to Amazon readers' reviews, and so, reluctantly, and with all due modesty, we offer our humble yadda-yadda blah courtesy of those wunnerful folks over at Hag's Head Press. Tread softly, dear reader, for you tread upon something that might get stuck to the sole of your shoe.

* Not one feckin' request. Not a sausage. Crikey, would it have hurt you just to ask? Piss-ant, rhubarb, etc.

Cheer Up, Weepy Gene

Crumbs, but he's a miserable looking sod and no mistake. In what's probably a vain bid to lighten Gene Kerrigan's gloom, we herewith offer a sample of reviews for The Midnight Choir from the interweb thingygummy ... Trumpet-parp, maestro ... annnnnd there's The Independent for starters, and the lovely Sharon Wheeler at Reviewing the Evidence ... and Clive James in the New Yorker, who's a snobby bollocks while still offering a backhanded thumbs up ("It would be nice to think that Kerrigan had got himself lost in a genuine search for complexity, but I fear that he just became impatient with the form") ... and a rather tasty big-up from International Noir. Gene? Try a smile. You won't be stuck with it if the wind changes. Seriously ...

Critical Mick: Evil Genius or Intellectual Dilettante? Discuss

We're still not sure about Critical Mick - mad, bad and probably dangerous to know, we can't decide if he belongs on an election poster or a 'Wanted' handbill. Here's Mick on the title of Gene Kerrigan's, The Midnight Choir: "Quoting a master like Leonard Cohen is well and good, but choosing old ground like Bird on a Wire for a title puts Gene Kerrigan among the throng groping Goldie Hawn's sloppy seconds." Erm, chardonnay moi? Jump here to see who gets Mick's 'barking mad seal' of approval in Irish True Crime ...

Frank Pig Says Howdy-Doody, Again

Julia O'Faolain may liken Pat McCabe's The Butcher Boy to Crime and Punishment, but we're thinking more along the lines of Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me. All of which is neither here nor there when it comes to Colin MacCabe's The Butcher Boy, published next month by the Cork University Press, in which MacCabe follows up tomes on Joyce and Godard with an in-depth look at Neil Jordan's movie. Sample quote: "The Butcher Boy is perhaps the finest film to have come out of Ireland. Although it marks a clear break with the more banal canons of realism, it is nonetheless the most realistic of Irish films." Erm, no and no again. Still, Pat McCabe and Neil Jordan will be turning out for the launch at the IFI on May 3 ... which is nice.

This Week We're Reading ... The Deadly Percheron & The Wrong Kind of Blood

John Franklin Bardin's hilariously convoluted The Deadly Percheron (1946) gets mixed reviews when it comes to plausibility, but if amnesiac shrinks investigating their own murders float your hovercraft, this is for you. A psychologically dense take on the unreliable narrator ... So many kinds of blood, so little time - erstwhile playwright Declan Hughes' debut, The Wrong Kind of Blood, has a Chandleresque first line to make a bishop kick a hole in his stained-glass window: "The night of my mother's funeral, Linda Dawson cried on my shoulder, put her tongue in my mouth and asked me to find her husband." Jump here for some reader reviews ...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Less Haste, Less Speed Dating, Please ...

New Irish crime flick Speed Dating, starring Hugh O'Conor, doesn't go on general release until tomorrow, but already it's won Best Feature at the Malibu International Film Festival. Huzzah! Mind you, the reviewer at probably won't be having his eye taken out by any celebratory champagne corks ... "It's back to business for Irish movies - unfocused, nonsensical plots, Harp ad dialogue, Fair City lighting and one-liners that might have been slightly amusing a couple of years ago when inebriated in the pub." Yikes. Jump on this for the trailer.

Cormac Millar - Grazie, Il Mio Amico

The deal with this blogging blummery is, if someone links you, then you link them. Forthwith we commend Cormac Millar into your tender hands, author of An Irish Solution and The Grounds, a rather funky website plugging every Irish crime writer since Jonathan Swift (yep, we have a Swifty-as-crime-hack theory) and holder of the rather dubious title of Penguin's Most Wanted. Oh, and if he seems a bit serious, then he is - he's a professor-type in Italian at Trinity College. But Trinners isn't the setting for groves-of-academe thriller, The Grounds. Heaven forfend, etc.

New-ish Release: Loot, Thomas McShane

Maverick House is churning out some pretty weird 'n' wonderful non-fiction crime, Thomas McShane's March release Loot being a case in point. "A fascinating read ... a great book to take along on your holiday! says RTE's Ryan Tubridy, and Tubbers should know. Jump here to read Chapter One ... or here for the Telegraph's review (warning: occasional 'guilty liberal' hand-wringing may occur).

Russell Crowe to play Brant? Mmmm, scoopalicious!

Word around the campfire is that Russell Crowe is donning his dirty cop bib yet again, this time as Ken Bruen's Inspector Brant in a Nathan 'Son of Alan' Parker adaptation of Blitz (aka Brant Hits the Blues). Crowe as an ornery, hard-drinkin', tough-talkin', all-fightin' force of nature? Hmmmm, it's so damn crazy, it might just work ... and perish yon art-imitating-reality thoughts, ye begrudgers.

"A Bruges Too Farrell?" Nope, that won't work either ...

The last best Irish crime movie? I Went Down, naturally. The next best? In Bruges, if the Hollywood Reporter knows its onions - Martin McDonagh directs his tolchock-a-go-go script, with Colin Farrell (left, on set, in ultra-rare Paddington Bear pose), Brendan Gleeson and Ralph ("That's Rafe, actually") Fiennes doing the standing around pouting bit. "I've never written anything trying to be violent," Martin McDonagh tells Variety, "they just come out that way." Yep, and if you pull our other one it plays Greensleeves. Oh, and can someone please tell the geezer in the background his syrup has slipped? Cheers.

Adrian White: A hard Rain's gonna fall

Katie Maguire ... looks 'n' brains 'n' media job ... blah-blah ... 'Nice Guy Mike' ... blah-blah - but hold! What's this? A Vegas heist gone wrongish in her murky past? Can Galway-based erstwhile Eason's buyer Adrian White's latest, Where the Rain Gets In, be the fabled hardboiled chick-lit genre-bender we've all been waiting for? "Yes!" say the punters at Bibliofemme ... which is nice. "Mmmkay," say the Mr Garrisonalicious folks at Emigrant Ireland ... which less nice than it should be. Boo.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

New Release: The Unquiet, John Connolly

"This world is full of broken things. Broken hearts, broken promises, broken men, broken people ..." Stop the clocks, people - John Connolly's The Unquiet has hit Irish shelves. Jump here for an author interview ... here for the first chapter ... or here for a couple of tasters from the 'other' Charlie Parker. Eclectic? We wouldn't know how to spell it ...

Lost Classics # 27: Quinn, Seamus Smyth

"Murder is such an emotive term. It implies malice ... But there's no malice in what I do." Teak-tough stuff from Seamus Smyth on his debut, with Gerd Quinn as his first-person borderline psycho Mr Fixit wreaking homicidal havoc in Dublin's crime world. You want a car-bomb wired up outside a kids' school? Yep, Quinn's yer only man ... and that's just for openers. An Irish Jim Thompson, and no mistake. It was too hardboiled for mass consumption when first released back in 1999, maybe, but Quinn's time has surely come around. Any chance of a re-release, folks?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sssshhh ... It's all so Unquiet

We're loving the whole multi-media approach: John Connolly's upcomer, the new Charlie Parker yarn The Unquiet, comes with a CD attached (a la Black Angel) of music referenced between the covers. We've emailed him at his blog hoping for a few tasters but don't stay tuned, we don't know the guy (although we did review his Nocturnes for the Irish Times, so we're kind of hoping for a favour). Meanwhile, here's some early reviews for your delectation ... "John Connolly at his chilling best" seems to be the general consensus. Which is nice ...

Galway: Tough on Crime, Tough on the Writers of Crime

Slim pickings for crime fiends at Galway's upcoming CĂșirt Festival, April 24-29 ... the best we can recommend is Erwin James (pictured left, in the infamous prison on Devil's Island), whose A Life Inside: The Prisoner’s Notebook is a stone-cold classic, and Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting, Filth), who chows down as part of the Bardic Brunch on Sunday 29 ... Hell, we know it's supposed to be a literary festival, but didn't anyone have Banville's number?

The Banville Conundrum: When Johnald Met Donville

John Banville / Benjamin Black (left/left) hangs out with Donald Westlake / Richard Stark to discuss the unbearable lightness of being yourself - "To find a new direction to go in was liberating," says John-Ben of his alter-ego's segue into crime fiction, Christine Falls. "I’m kind of playing with this, and I don’t quite trust it yet. It may be a terrible mistake." A profitable one, though: John-Ben has a sequel on the way ... and why not, when the first got the all-important 'nifty Chandler homage' thumbs-up from the Sydney Morning Herald ... which is nice.

The Embiggened O

No sense in having a blog if you can't plug yourself once in a while ... The Big O's first Amazon review went up today, and electronic bouquets to Karen Delaney - "A multi-layered novel that zips along at a rate of knots,with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments" ... which is nice. Still, why buy on Amazon when you can get a discount from those lovely people at Hag's Head Press? You know it makes sense ...

Ohmigod, they haven't killed off Kenny's

Kudos to Kenny's Online for making Ken Bruen's Cross their Book of the Week, given that it's, y'know, crime fiction. Eurocrime seems to be rather keen too ... "I cannot recommend this series highly enough", says Karen Chisholm, all the way from Oz. Which is nice. Read the full review here.

Declan Hughes: The good kind of Blood money

A bracing big-up for Declan Hughes in the Sunday Times ("A classic temptress ... and a complex plot enrich this hugely enjoyable homage") for the audio version of The Wrong Kind of Blood, which comes on like a Bogie voice-over, apparently. Lovely. Have a listen here ...

Gene Genie

Gene Kerrigan gets the hup-ya treatment from the New Yorker - sort of - for his latest, The Midnight Choir (Leonard Cohen in crime fiction title shocker? Mmmm, zenalicious). And proper order too - yon Midnight Choir's a sweet read with a triple-downer ending to boot. Which is nice ...

Talk about the Passion

Down those mean streets a man must go who is not himself stingy ... The latest Jack Taylor outing from Ken Bruen, Cross, gets the five-star treatment from Myles McWeeney in the Irish Independent: "Bruen's writing is as bleak and spare as Taylor's take on modern Ireland". Which is nice, although what's nicer is being nominated for a Gumshoe, the European Crime Novel Award ...

Monday, April 16, 2007

God bless you, Mr Rosewater

One day Kurt Vonnegut is alive, the next he isn't. So it goes. The welcome home party on Tralfamadore should be just about hitting its stride right about now ...

Early days and all that ...

Okay, so we're just road-testing this posting-to-blog malarkey ... Declan Burke has just had his second novel published by Hag's Head Press, it's called The Big O, and the Mail on Sunday says "Elmore Leonard with a harder Irish edge". Which is nice ...