Thursday, January 17, 2008

Eight Ball Boogie (Harry Rigby) by Declan Burke

Harry Rigby is a research consultant (of course another name for PI really) doing jobs for newspapers as well as regular clients. He’s got a girlfriend and a kid, a psycho brother and a knack for wisecracks. As often is the case in PI stories he’s involved in two cases that finally converge; one in which he tries to find out if a housewife is cheating on her husband and one in which he tries to get the dirt on the death of a politician’s wife. When they try to take him out with an Uzi and his friends and family are endangered Harry show his balls and turns out to be pretty hardboiled when he has to, taking on a femme fatale, dealers and bent cops.
It could take you some time to get used to the Irish slang and setting but if you do you’ll enjoy this, edged with humor as black as the plot itself. Harry is a Guinness-soaked Philip Marlowe who gets in so many great wisecracks and oneliners this novel would’ve been the one to win the Best Wisecracks 2007 if it hadn’t come out years earlier. A lot of the charm from this book comes from the fact Harry feels like such a ‘regular’ kind of guy. He shows enough grit and smarts to be a satisfying protagonist, making sure you won’t mistake him for a cozy amateur sleuth but the entire reading you’re not quite sure if he’s really going to make it out alive. A great book if you dig Ken Bruen’s stuff!


Kelli Stanley said...

I loved this book! One of my favorite reads of the year ... and the Harry and the rest stayed with me, long after I had finished.

Declan's writing is as smooth as silk and as edgy as a razor blade. I only hope Hollywood does it justice at some point, because it would make one terrific film!


Kelli Stanley
Five Star July, 2008

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