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.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Review: HOFFER by Tim Glencross

Aesthete, fraud, mooch and fixer, William Hoffer is the latest in a long line of charming sociopaths cast in the mould of Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley. Tim Glencross’s Hoffer (John Murray) opens in contemporary London, with William Hoffer moving in the rarefied circles of international finance, friend to aristocrats and confidante of Russian oligarchs. Ex-West Point, ex-CIA, Hoffer’s shady past as a go-between facilitating the money-laundering of Mexican drug cartels catches up with him when Diana Dominguez Saavedra, the daughter of one of Hoffman’s old sparring partners in Mexico, is discovered dead in his Onslow Square flat. Languidly paced, deliciously arch in tone, Hoffer delivers an anti-hero who is indeed a 21st century Tom Ripley, a genteel killer who makes the rounds of London’s galleries and clubs, all the while frantically plotting his escape from the web spun by his lies. What elevates Glencross above his fellow Highsmith disciples, however, is the novel’s bone-dry humour. “The last time I experienced something similar had been a cantina in Oaxaca,” says Hoffer of a dizzy spell, “the sort of place where the urinal by the bar was not a Duchampian whimsy.” ~ Declan Burke

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