The Big O and Crime Always Pays are screwball noir, a term I first heard from the man himself. Eightball Boogie is as nice a piece of hardboiled writing as you are likely to encounter. All of his books are characterized by sharp writing, clever plots, characters you are interested in, and dark humour. Reviewers have compared him to Elmore Leonard, Carl Hiaasen, and Donald Westlake to which I say amen brothers and sisters.
Declan blogs about crime fiction at Crime Always Pays, one of the best crime fiction sites in the blogosphere. I've been introduced to many good authors in his posts not to mention the insights I've gained on the genre.
Which brings us to Absolute Zero Cool, his latest, published by Liberties Press. It will be launched in The Gutter Bookshop, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 on Wednesday 10 August by John Connolly. So get over there if you are within train, bus, driving, walking, bicycling, or dogcart distance.
Declan says Absolute Zero Cool will be out as an e-pub which I hope means it makes it to my side of the pond soon.
Here is a description of the story:
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 Adrift in the half-life limbo of an unpublished novel, hospital porter Billy needs to up the stakes.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.And take a look at what is being said about it already and who is saying it.:
“ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL is unlike anything else you’ll read this year … Laugh-out-loud funny … This is writing at its dazzling, cleverest zenith. Think John Fowles, via Paul Auster and Rolling Stone … a feat of extraordinary alchemy.” – Ken Bruen, author of AMERICAN SKIN
“Stop waiting for Godot – he’s here. Declan Burke takes the existential dilemma of characters writing themselves and turns it on its ear, and then some. He gives it body and soul … an Irish soul.” - Reed Farrel Coleman, author of EMPTY EVER AFTER
“Declan Burke has broken the mould with ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL, which is actually very cool indeed. Funny, inventive and hugely entertaining crime fiction - I guarantee you’ll love it.” - Melissa Hill, author of SOMETHING FROM TIFFANY’S
“If you want to find something new and challenging, comic crime fiction is now the place to go … Declan Burke [is] at the vanguard of a new wave of young writers kicking against the clichés and producing ambitious, challenging, genre-bending works.” - Colin Bateman, author of NINE INCHES
“ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL is a surreal rollercoaster of a read, full of the blackest humour, and yet poignant. An outrageously funny novel ... The joy is in the writing itself, all sparky dialogue and wry observation, so smooth that when it cuts, it’s like finding razor blades in honey.” - Deborah Lawrenson, author of THE LANTERN
“Burke has written a deep, lyrical and moving crime novel … an intoxicating and exciting novel of which the master himself, Flann O’Brien, would be proud.” - Adrian McKinty, author of FIFTY GRAND