Sunday, April 01, 2007

Discovering a Great New Author is Like Discovering a Fine Wine (I Guess)

I don't know anything about fine wines, but I do know when I've discovered a fantastic new (to me) author. I just finished The Bloomsday Dead by Adrian McKinty. Naturally I discovered him a bit late, so I've got to back up and read his previous novels, but it'll be fun. He's got an Irish wit that had me laughing out loud (lol) throughout the book. It was wonderfully plotted and his characters were richly painted. His dialogue is perfect and his scenic descriptions poetic. In short, he's up there with the very best I've ever read. An excerpt from the first chapter:
Shotgun threw an airline ticket at me. I examined it. British Airways first class direct from Lima to New York, Aer Lingus first class from New York to Dublin.

Commercial jets, not private ones. Dear, oh, dear. Bridget's little cock-up. You can't railroad someone from Peru to Ireland using commercial flights. Who did she think she was dealing with? She should have coughed up the money for a Learjet.

"The plan is if I don't cooperate you'll kill me?" I asked Shotgun.

"That's right," he replied.

"The two of you and the one of me."

"Yeah. Hurry and get packed."

"You'll kill me?"

"If necessary. Yes."

"Like to see you attempt that on a plane that's going to JFK," I said.

I was just trying to test his limits, make him a bit eggy, but I saw immediately that I had blundered. This was a mistake. His brow furrowed. I'd really made him think about this whole rotten assignment. About the obvious flaw in the arrangements. Goddammit, I had to get him back on track.

"Not that I'll be a problem. I won't cause you any trouble, I want to leave this bloody town anyway. Yeah, we'll go to New York and then Ireland," I said hastily.

But the atmosphere in the room had changed. The seismic shift had happened and Shotgun was thinking along different lines now.

"No, no, you are right, Forsythe. We will have too much trouble with you. The pay is the same either way," he said. "Step back, Rique."

Rique saw that Shotgun was going to kill me.

"What are you going to tell her?" Rique asked.

"We had to kill him. He tried to escape. It was him or us," Shotgun said.

Rique nodded.

"Now wait a minute. This isn't what Bridget wants, this isn't what she's paying you for. She wants you to take me to Ireland," I said desperately.

Rique lifted the 9mm.

It was typical of me to let my big mouth get me into trouble. Bloody typical. And where was that eejit Hector? Halfway home? God save us, there was only one way out now.

Click here to see the book at Amazon. You will absolutely LOVE it!