I’ve just read Declan Burke’s The Big O. It’s rather like The Commitments, hardboiled. Having called in regularly to check out Declan’s blog crimealwayspays, which is very witty as well as informative, I was hoping his own fiction would be as funny. It is.
This is Declan’s second crime novel, and I must get my hands on the first one, very soon. The Big O is about an interesting group of people, who are all more or less into crime of some sort. It’s not so much black and white, as various shades of grey. But they are very likeable, even though they use the f-word most of the time. The bookwitch is just being oldfashioned here.
I’m not going to give away the plot, which centres on kidnapping, but I can tell you it all builds up to a hilarious ending. I wonder what goes on inside Declan’s head?
Until now my only experience of Irish crime has been Artemis Fowl and Skulduggery Pleasant. I get the impression from Declan’s blog that there is a great deal more, and I think it would be a mistake to treat Irish crime writing as not much different from English crime. It’s worth looking west.
And if you’re thinking of buying The Big O, get it via Declan’s blog, to support small business. I even managed to beg an individually (very individually!) signed copy this way.