City of Bohane: A review
The book, in outline about nostalgia, gang warfare, romance, a wandering native's return, and lots and lots of really bitchin' clothes, may remind you of James Ellroy or A Clockwork Orange or West Side Story or Irish myths or even, in its occasional repetition of a phrase or odd paragraph division, Ken Bruen. Its language is high-energy, dialect-filled, and it would not shock me if Barry sneaked a made-up word or two into the novel's litany of Irish slang.
Add Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest to a list of possible antecedents to this book, only a Red Harvest in which the Continental Op gave up and went home, instead of letting Poisonville's gangs wipe each other out.
But the novel's real appeal is to the senses, with its fetid streets, chill air, lashing wind, and flickering camp fires. This is not, in other words, like most novels or any novel you're likely to have read recently, whether your preferred reading is crime, fantasy, or literary. I wonder what Barry will do for a follow-up.
© Peter Rozovsky 2013