Here we are again, one year on from my first little review of The Big O by Declan Burke. This very funny crime novel, with less killings than you’d expect, is now out in the US. Lucky Americans! Declan has found a publisher for this second novel through all the sheer hard work he put in with the Irish version of The Big O, sharing publishing costs with Hagshead Press, and starting up the witch’s favourite blog in order to sell himself and his book.
For someone who writes so well, and so intelligently, Declan is very modest, and often seems to believe he is no good at all. But you wouldn’t have crime writing colleagues and bloggers all over the place praising rubbish, would you? No. This is good stuff, and I really like the American cover design, as well.
As I mentioned last year, Declan does use bad language an awful lot, but it fits in well with the hardboiled Irish Noir style. The rest of the time you couldn’t wish for a more well behaved, and funny, Irishman. He’s the only one I know who calls me ma’am, and that has a nice, old-fashioned cowboy/wild west feel to it. One of these days I’ll adopt him as the younger brother I never had.
Should I tell you more about The Big O? No. I think you should read it instead. And afterwards you will only have another year to wait for the sequel, which is better still. I won’t mention its title, as the dear boy seems undecided between two equally good ones.
Personally I just want to read another Declan Burke novel, and soon. I do realise that new fatherhood takes time, and if Princess Lily is only half as adorable as my Offspring, I can see Declan’s dilemma. But there’s no lack of talent, and us fans are not deluded, or even bribed. (Apart from my cardboard diamond necklace, that is.)
(Declan with friendly bloggers in Bristol. Photo taken by Norman Price, and stolen by me.)