Monday, July 18, 2011

Absolutely cool

I finished reading Declan Burke's absolutely cool Crime Always Pays last night. I'm hoping that his forthcoming new novel Absolutely Zero Cool, published by Liberties Press in early August, will demonstrate that crime does pay. Declan's blog Crime Always Pays is the must read site for news on Irish crime writing and reviews, and his edited anthology Down These Green Streets provides a fascinating set of essays on Irish crime fiction. The guy knows his crime fiction and it shows in his own stories. Expect my review of Crime Always Pays later this week. In the meantime, here's two blurbs for Absolute Zero Cool.

Blurb 1:

Who in their right mind would want to blow up a hospital?

“Close it down, blow it up – what’s the difference?”

Billy Karlsson needs to get real. Literally. A hospital porter with a sideline in euthanasia, Billy is a character trapped in the purgatory of an abandoned novel. Deranged by logic, driven beyond sanity, Billy makes his final stand: if killing old people won’t cut the mustard, the whole hospital will have to go up in flames.

Only his creator can stop him now, the author who abandoned Billy to his half-life limbo, in which Billy schemes to do whatever it takes to get himself published, or be damned . . .

Blurb 2:

Absolute Zero Cool is a post-modern take on the crime thriller genre. Adrift in the half-life limbo of an unpublished novel, hospital porter Billy needs to up the stakes. Euthanasia simply isn’t shocking anymore; would blowing up his hospital be enough to see Billy published, or be damned? What follows is a gripping tale that subverts the crime genre’s grand tradition of liberal sadism, a novel that both excites and disturbs in equal measure. Absolute Zero Cool is not only an example of Irish crime writing at its best; it is an innovative, self-reflexive piece that turns every convention of crime fiction on its head. Declan Burke’s latest book is an imaginative story that explores the human mind’s ability to both create and destroy, with equally devastating effects.

Between them those have got me whetting my lips. Postmodern literary noir. Sounds like Duane Swierczynski territory a la Secret Dead Men. Which is the kind of territory I love.

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