Sunday, July 1, 2007
The Monday Review: Being A Series Of Hup-Ya Snippets Culled From The Interweb Yokeybus
Detectives Beyond Borders seems rather taken with Declan Hughes’ The Wrong Kind of Blood – it’s four posts and counting by now, the gist of which runneth thusly: “One can read the technique as the product of Hughes’ efforts to liven up what in less skilled hands might seem shop-worn … Loy begins to look like an honourable addition to the roster of troubled fictional private investigators,” and “Hughes has a knack like none other I’ve ever seen of blowing away the heaviness with a laugh-out-loud funny line.” Which is nice … “I Predict A Riot careers along at a break-neck pace, keeping us rooting for the dysfunctional cast of characters, and enjoying the cameo roles that hurtle by. The book’s too long by at least 150 pages, but (sorry, sorry), it’s a riot!” reckons Sharon Wheeler of Reviewing the Evidence after perusing The Artist Formerly Known As Colin Bateman’s latest … What of Michael Collins’ The Secret Life of E. Robert Pendleton? “For the well-read there is a lot of literary and philosophical discussion (Nietzsche figures prominently); for the cynics lots of world-weariness; and for the crime lovers a cracking mystery with a completely unexpected denouement,” says Lizzy over at Lizzy’s Literary Life … “Frankly, it would be hard to over-praise [Gene] Kerrigan’s second crime outing. It’s stylish enough to merit comparison with Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane, yet somehow recognisably us. If you’re looking for a terrific holiday read, look no further,” says the Irish Times’ Arminta Wallace of The Midnight Choir … Tom Widger at the Sunday Trib agrees: “Seldom have there been so many good Irish crime writers. Top of the stack, among a handful of others, is Kerrigan.” ... “Awash with hard men and lonely women, 12:23 is impeccably researched and tautly written,” reckons The Independent’s Rebecca Armstrong, while Jeff Pierce at The Rap Sheet is equally taken with Eoin McNamee’s fictionalised take on Princess Di’s death: “I reckon I could have read the entire book in under two hours, since it’s a rather slim volume in terms of page count; but bloody hell, 12:23 is a big book when it comes to ideas, literary style, and the atmosphere it can conjure in one’s head.” … Fra Jones at Verbal magazine likes Mary Rose Callaghan’s latest: “Billy, Come Home is an often upsetting story, but one not without tenderness and humour. And its heavy subject matter is handled with a sense of surety and the deftness of touch for which Callaghan is renowned.” … What’s a Monday Review without a John Connolly big-up? Bereft, that’s what … “Set in the state of Maine, with impressively accurate atmosphere and topography, [The Unquiet] is not for the faint-hearted. It grips like a hospital blood-pressure pad and might even offer bad dreams,” says Sean McMahon at Verbal … “Little Constructions is about everything that’s nasty in life, but it’s mostly about violence. So it has guns. And retribution. Madness. Paedophilia. Rape. Bruising infidelity. Desperately unhappy marriages. Damaged women and oblivious men. And somehow it all manages to be convincingly comic,” gushes the Sunday Business Post’s Catherine O’Mahony on Anna Burns’ Little Constructions … Finally, and under the rather impressive heading of ‘Best Summer Reads: Crime’ in The Times, comes Marcel Berlins' hup-ya for Brian McGilloway: “The most impressive recent debut was Brian McGilloway’s Borderlands, a tight, exquisitely written, atmospheric account of claustrophobic life around the border of Northern Ireland and the Republic … Inspector Benedict Devlin, of the Garda, a man not without his own secrets, is a compelling investigator.” We couldn’t agree more: Devlin puts us in mind of the late, lamented Michael Dibdin’s Aurelio Zen, which isn’t a comparison to be bandied about lightly.