Books, books, books: Liam O'Flaherty and Gene Kerrigan
O'Flaherty, who may be best known in North America as the author of the novel on which the movie The Informer is based, caught my eye with this staccato, non-nonsense opening to his novel The Assassin:
"At three o'clock in the afternoon, Michael McDara alighted from a tram-car at the corner of Findlater's Church. He crossed the road and moved northwards until he came to the corner of Hardwicke Street. He halted there and looked around him cautiously."I'd say those sentences do a good job of creating suspense through their rhythm even more than through their content, perhaps surprising for a thriller published in 1928.
Gene Kerrigan's Hard Cases is a collection of true-crime stories from the novelist and journalist who also has written Little Criminals and The Midnight Choir. I'm not normally a fan of true crime, but Kerrigan brings a storyteller's delight to these tales:
"There was a knock on the door. Conlon had a story ready when he answered the knock. He didn't live there, he would say. No, it wasn't that he lived there, because the flat was derelict now, what he was doing here, you see, he was collecting his grandmother's furniture from the flat. Which is why he was here, sorting through the furniture, OK?The last sentence of the first paragraph in particular attracts me the way a good piece of comic crime fiction would. I hope to provide a fuller report once I can mount a more ambitious attack on the imposing pile of books that is occupying ever more space in my luggage.
"It might have worked, had the guy who knocked on the door not been the one who owned the flat. And it wasn't Conlon's granny who lived there, it was this guy's aunt."
© Peter Rozovsky 2008