Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pg. 99: Declan Burke's "The Big O"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Declan Burke's The Big O.

About the book, from the publisher's website:
Karen can’t go on pulling stick-ups forever, but Rossi is getting out of prison any day now and she needs the money to keep Anna out of his hands. This new guy she’s met, Ray, just might be able to help her out, but he wants out of the kidnap game now the Slavs are bunkering in.

This is the story of a tiger kidnapping seen through the eyes of a wide cast of characters. It jumps from Karen and Ray to Detective Doyle, Frank—the discredited plastic surgeon who wants his ex-wife snatched — and Doug, the lawyer who convinces him to do it. Then there’s the ex-wife herself, who just happens to be Karen’s best friend. Can Karen and Ray trust each other enough to carry off one last caper? Or will love, as always, ruin everything?
Among the praise for The Big O:

The Big O is a big ol’ success, a tale fuelled by the mischievous spirits of Donald E. Westlake, Elmore Leonard and even Carl Hiassen … The Big O kept me reading at speed – and laughing the whole damn time.”
–J. Kingston Pierce, January Magazine,
Best Books 2007 - Crime Fiction

“Elmore Leonard with a harder Irish edge.”
-The Irish Mail on Sunday

“Carries on the tradition of Irish noir with its Elmore Leonard-like style ... the dialogue is as slick as an ice run, the plot is nicely intricate, and the character drawing is spot on … a high-octane novel that fairly coruscates with tension.”
The Irish Times

“This book is a blunt, rude, crude, politically incorrect, raucous, rumbustious, rollicking, romp of a crime caper novel.”
–Crime Scraps

“Declan Burke’s The Big O is one of the sharpest, wittiest and most unusual Irish crime novels of recent years … in a similar tradition to, say, Carl Hiaasen, in that there’s a satirical edge to his work that gives it a real bite.”
–John Connolly, author of The Unquiet

“Burke has [George V.] Higgins’ gift for dialogue, [Barry] Gifford’s concision and the effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak. In short, The Big O is an essential crime novel of 2007, and one of the best of any year.”
–Ray Banks, author of Donkey Pinch

“With a deft touch, Burke pulls together a cross-genre plot that’s part hard-boiled caper, part thriller, part classic noir, and flat out fun. From first page to last, The Big O grabs hold and won’t let go.”
–Reed Farrel Coleman, Shamus, Barry, and Anthony Award-winning Author of The James Deans

… a plot that takes off at a blistering pace and never lets up. The writing is a joy, so seamless you nearly miss the sheer artistry of the style and the terrific, wry humour.
–Ken Bruen
Read an excerpt from The Big O and learn more about the book and author at the publisher's website and Declan Burke's Crime Always Pays blog.

Burke is a freelance writer with The Sunday Times, Village Magazine and The Dubliner. His first novel, Eight Ball Boogie, was hailed as that rare commodity, a first novel that reads as if it were penned by a writer in mid-career ... [it] marks the arrival of a new master of suspense on the literary scene (Hank Wagner, Mystery Scene).

The Page 99 Test: The Big O.

--Marshal Zeringue