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The New Yorker: "With respect to crime books that show a genuine literary gift, my pick of the current batch would have to be Gene Kerrigan’s 'The Midnight Choir.'"

Date: Apr 18 2007

With respect to crime books that show a genuine literary gift, my pick of the current batch would have to be Gene Kerrigan’s “The Midnight Choir,” starring Inspector Synnott. The books is set in today’s Dublin, but Synnott manages to find a few mysterious bodies among the parked BMWs. Synnott is divorced, drinks whiskey, and eats particularly badly: three scrambled eggs and a couple of slightly off tomatoes when cooking for himself, a cardboard box of kung-pao-beef takeout when he’s in a hurry. But Kerrigan’s prose (presuming that there really is a Kerrigan, and that this isn’t Seamus Heaney hustling for a buck) is luxury stuff: brief, funny descriptions, phrases that give you the speaker’s age (“Every move totally ace”), and a complete financial analysis of a city whose property prices are going up like a flock of flamingoes off a lake of money…

by Clive James