Hugo Hamilton's Headbanger
But those moments are few, and the novel does what crime novels rarely do: It confronts the reality that most crime writers and readers are not killers or victims. Headbanger's Pat Coyne, a Dublin cop, wages small fights and dreams of glory for an imaginary audience, but does what he has to do when the situation demands, "driven by a new mood of optimism and complete fearlessness."
Throughout, Hamilton maintains a nice balance between gravity and comedy, or, to put it another way, he sees the humor in Coyne's fight without, however, belittling it. After hoods kidnap and threaten Hamilton's wife, we get:
"Coyne hesitated. They just abducted her and took her to the Phoenix Park. Subjected her to inhuman and degrading treatment.It might not surprise readers to learn that Headbanger pays explicit tribute to Flann O'Brien and that, like O'Brien, Coyne had a father who waged a brave, futile fight to educate him solely in Irish. I suspect that, having visited Ireland just twice and Dublin once, and being no expert in the country's literature, I may have missed much in this book. But what I got is touching and funny, and you should get it, too.
"Like what? Molly demanded ...
"They made her perform Riverdance. She needs protection, Frank."
"Krzyzewski is already urging ACC officials to start contemplating what they need to do to avoid other leagues from poaching ACC schools."
© Peter Rozovsky 2013