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Archive for the ‘Dark Humour’ Category

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** My thanks to Alison Brodie for my copy of this book **

 

Description:

Devious, ruthless, and loyal.

Zenka is a capricious Hungarian with a dark past.

When cranky London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not. Happily, she now has easy access to pistols, knives and shotguns.

Jack discovers he has a son, Nicholas, a male nurse with a heart of gold. Problem is, Nicholas is a wimp.

Zenka takes charge. Using her feminine wiles and gangland contacts, she will make Nicholas into the sort of son any self-respecting crime boss would be proud of. And she succeeds!

Nicholas is learning fast that sometimes you have to kill, or be killed. As his life becomes more terrifying, questions have to be asked:

How do you tell a mob boss you don’t want to be his son?

And is Zenka really who she says she is?

 

My Thoughts & Review:

Zenka was a book that I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first heard about it, I’d seen it reviewed by other bloggers and was curious about it as they’d raved about it.

What can I say about Zenka?  It’s an adrenaline packed, madcap, vortex of crime fiction, black humour with a smattering of romance thrown in for good measure.  Now to try and break that down into something that resembles a review without regurgitating the blurb….hmm this could be tricky!
There are so many strands to the plot of Zenka, for a start, Zenka is the name of our protagonist.  She’s Hungarian, a pole dancer in one of the clubs owned by Jack Murray (a gangster) and when Jack saved her life she decided to become his “guardian angel”.  Simple enough so far….
Zenka’s attempts to help Jack and his son connect are disastrous, but they make for entertaining reading.

The clever use of the letters written by Zenka to her friend explain so much about this character, and I found that the more I read, the greater my understanding of her became.  I was initially a little hesitant with the accent that Zenka had, but it grew on me through the book and I ended up hearing her speaking in that accent as she spoke.

Characterisation in this is superb, you really get a feel for the personalities and the quirks of the main characters and it’s hard not to become invested in them.
The humour woven throughout the book is excellent, I found I was chuckling out loud at certain scenes, Jack and Trevor at Christmas, Jack and Zenka trying to “toughen” Nicholas up are just some of the ones that immediately spring to mind.

It’s a well written crime thriller with a difference.

 

You can buy a copy of Zenka via:

Amazon UK

 

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Published: 23 January 2017
Reviewed: 17 January 2017

5 out of 5 stars

Copy provided by publisher

 

Description:

Remember those people that destroyed the economy and then cruised off on their yachts? Well guess what – someone is killing them.

Dublin is in the middle of a heat wave and tempers are running high. The Celtic Tiger is well and truly dead, activists have taken over the headquarters of a failed bank, the trial of three unscrupulous property developers teeters on the brink of collapse, and in the midst of all this, along comes a mysterious organisation hell-bent on exacting bloody vengeance in the name of the little guy.

Paul Mulchrone doesn’t care about any of this; he has problems of his own. His newly established detective agency is about to be DOA. One of his partners won’t talk to him for very good reasons and the other has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth for no reason at all. Can he hold it together long enough to figure out what Bunny McGarry’s colourful past has to do with his present absence?

When the law and justice no longer mean the same thing, on which side will you stand?

The Day That Never Comes is the second book in Caimh McDonnell’s Dublin trilogy, which melds fast-paced action with a distinctly Irish acerbic wit.

My Thoughts & Review:

I have to admit, when the second novel comes out in a series that I’ve fallen in love with I am a little hesitant.  What if the second book is rubbish?  What if the characters have lost their sparkle and interest?  What if….what if….what if?

But my worries were unfounded, Caimh McDonnell has written another cracker of a book, encompassing some of my absolute favourite characters ever to grace our pages and I have to say, I would love to see them cast in real life just to see the hilarity of the situations.
For those not familiar with Caimh’s writing (catch yourselves on and check out the review of “A Man With One Of Those Faces”  and then buy a copy as it’s on special offer right now), it’s a whirlwind of hilarity, catastrophe and sheer madness with characters that are various shades of interesting.

“The Day That Never Comes” continues much in the same tone as book one, Paul Mulchrone has a problem, well quite a few problems, but the four legged, desk defecating Maggie is his main one.  Paul is still as feckless, cynical and a victim to poor judgement.  Brigit Conroy is still a fierce woman, one you’d take on at your peril and Bunny McGarry…..where do I begin with the hurley brandishing, grumpy ex Gardaí?  He’s missing, and no one’s seen him for days.

I’ll not bore you by rehashing the plot, but I will say it’s clever.  There’s a darker feel to this book, the characters have developed from the previous book but retained the key aspects of their respective personalities.  Brigit has definitely fared well, she has become stronger and fierier in the interim.  The way in which she handles herself publicly is confident and takes no nonsense, but she wears her heart on her sleeve when it comes to more personal matters which is endearing really.
Paul is one half of the wonderful comedic duo that features in this book, his friend Phil Nellis is the other.  Poor Phil is ‘that’ friend most of us have had at one point, a bit naive and a wee bit gullible but has a heart of absolute solid gold.  The dynamic between these two characters is sheer brilliance, I could almost imagine them in the pub (with a pint for Maggie), chatting away.  There’s a fantastic quote about Phil that I can’t find now I’m looking for it, but I shall paraphrase (sorry Caimh) “That was the unnerving thing about Phil; he could go from being completely stupid to moments of  brilliance, often in the same breath.”

The pace of the book is perfect, it’s a quick read with plenty satire and moments that will have a reader laughing out loud.  The plot is well crafted and there’s an authenticity that pours from the pages, the subtle nuances are spot on, you can almost hear the accents, experience the cultural aspects all through the innovative use of language.

You can buy your copy of “The Day That Never Comes” in the UK here, and USA here.

About the Author:

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Caimh McDonnell is an award-winning stand-up comedian, author and writer of televisual treats. Born in Limerick and raised in Dublin, he has taken the hop across the water and now calls Manchester his home.

His writing credits include The Sarah Millican Television Programme, A League of Their Own, Mock the Week and Have I Got News for You. He also works as a children’s TV writer and was BAFTA nominated for the animated series ‘Pet Squad’ which he created. He was also a winner in the BBC’s Northern Laffs sitcom writing competition.

During his time on the British stand-up circuit, Caimh has firmly established himself as the white-haired Irishman whose name nobody can pronounce. He has brought the funny worldwide, doing stand-up tours of the Far East, the Middle East and Near East (Norwich).

Follow Caimh’s witterings on @Caimh


Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the tour (and go back for the ones you’ve missed!) there’s some great reviews, guest posts and a cheeky giveaway! 

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 Dance With The Dead

Author: James Nally
Published: 28 July 2016
Reviewed: 2 August 2016
5 out of 5 stars
Copy supplied by HarperCollins UK, Avon in return for an honest review
Description: 
Aspiring actress Elizabeth Smart lands her centre stage role: her mutilated body is found dumped in North London’s red light district.  Clasped in her hand is a piece of human hair belonging to an unidentified body of a woman murdered two weeks ago.  

PC Donal lands himself a place on the murder squad just as his unconventional brother, journalist Finton, unearths the secret double life of Elizabeth. 

The bodies mount, each clinging to the strands of hair belonging to the previous victim.  The police are convinced it’s the act of a serial killer.  But how does Donal convince them it’s not?
The only people he can trust are the victims he dances with in his dreams.  

My Thoughts & Review:
Dance With The Dead sees the welcome return of PC Donal Lynch.  For anyone not familiar with this character, the first book Alone With The Dead is utterly brilliant and well worth a read.  This can be read as a standalone, but why deprive yourself of James Nally’s writing?  

We open in early 1990s London and Donal has been moved to the Cold Crime Unit, a punishment for his behaviour at the end of book one.  The discovery of a mutilated body in the Red Light District is the perfect opportunity for Donal to ingratiate himself back in to the embrace of the Murder Squad.  His work on cold cases involving prostitutes leads him to believe there is a connection between the historical cases and this new body.  

With “help” from his journalist brother Fintan, Donal really has to be careful walking this tightrope.  When the patriarch of the Lynch family unexpectedly arrives from Ireland, a spanner is thrown into the works.  Donal already having a seriously troubled relationship with his father because of the connections to the IRA and the Troubles finds juggling the presence of his father, attempting to solve the mystery of the murdered woman and the budding romance with Zoe from Forensic Science Service almost too much to handle. 

As the case escalates the cover ups, deception, political intrigue and corruption intensify.  London’s gangsters, police corruption, IRA, Irish Peace Talks, Special Branch and paedophilia are just some of the things involved in this multi layered wonder. 

Happily, the author has continued on Donal’s sleep paralysis, and this time it enriches the story so much more.  Plagued by hangovers, his ghostly visions seem to haunt him even when awake.  Nally cleverly writes this aspect of the story to allow the reader to interpret it as though it’s in Donal’s head, a bad dream if you will, however I like to think of it as it’s his “old fashioned gut instinct” talking to him.  

Donal is a wonderful character, so thoroughly well written.  He’s a tortured soul, with an incredibly dry sense of humour and a loving for Shiraz.  His brother Fintan is another brilliant character, incredibly unscrupulous.  I was delighted to see him appearing more in this book, and found myself liking him and his antics more than I had previously.    

Once again, Nally has given the reader a book that transports them back in time.  Referencing events from the early 1990s, giving a history lesson about the Irish-British Troubles, he takes the reader right into the heart of dark atmospheric world he has scripted.  Setting and atmosphere are key in thrillers, and this book has it in abundance.

James Nally is a gifted writer, he constructs a a book that is dark, twisted, and mercilessly violent but at the same time it is rich with humour and wit (at times the inappropriateness of the humour is what makes it even funnier).  It is so cleverly plotted, layer upon layer of detail brings this story to life, the characters come alive and the atmosphere feels real.     

I cannot wait to see what James Nally comes up with next for Donal, just please don’t make me wait too long to find out!

You can buy a copy of Dance With The Dead here. 

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Dead is Better

Author: Jo Perry
Published: 10 February 2016
Reviewed: 25 February 2016
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24


Copy purchased through Fahrenheit Press Book Club

5 out of 5 Stars

 



Description: 

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