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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hardboiled and noirish, yet fresh and hip, 15 Aug. 2003
By 
J. Jordan "Editor of Crimespree Magazine" (milwaukee, wi United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Eight-ball Boogie (Paperback)
Declan Burke has written a wonderful book. I love the main character, Harry Rigby. He is such an everyman. He has troubles, and he has bad habits. And there is a part of me in there that I hate to admit to.
The story itself is great. It's fast paced and filled with wonderful characters through out. A PI story that moves forward like freight train. I felt every punch thrown, I shivered when the setting got cold.
I hope to see many more from this author.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eightball Masterclass, 28 Feb. 2011
By 
Mr. Michael Malone (Ayr, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
You want a book with heart, humour and brains then look no further than Eightball Boogie.

The main character, Harry Rigby, is a private eye and a reporter. As a reporter, he loiters around the edges of a crime scene: a woman has been stabbed to death in her home, and the killing has been poorly disguised as a suicide. The woman's husband was a corrupt politician, and police will say little about the death, even about how the body was discovered. A client then hires Rigby the P.I. to prove that his wife is having an affair. Rigby the detective finds the wife. Rigby the reporter finds another reporter who was working on a profile of the murder victim at the time she was killed. Drugs are involved as are shady property deals.

And then there's Harry's girlfriend - who he hasn't slept with for 14 months and their son, Ben that Harry loves to distraction. And THEN there's Gonzo, his psycho brother. Give all of that a good stir, add writing that's so sharp you could shave by it and the scene is set for a fantastic read.

I am quite frankly in awe of Declan Burke's ability with a sentence. His writing is at turns lyrical and succinct; his dialogue snaps in your ear and his characters are so real they stay in your head long after you've turned the last page.

Simply can't praise this writer enough. Get yourself a copy now!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boogie on Down, 28 Feb. 2011
By 
G. Brennan "CSNI" (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Harry Rigby. Great protagonist. Wish I had his knack for one-liners. They're a defining feature of the novel. I didn't do a formal count, but there has to be at least a couple of wisecracks on every page. Wise mouth, cocky attitude, low self-esteem...

I loved the book.

It wasn't just the cool dialogue that got me. The twisty-turny plot kept me guessing right up to the final pages. Okay, so that's supposed to happen in crime fiction, and should be a given rather than a point of praise, but I think Burke is especially adept at this. It was equally apparent in The Big O and his forthcoming, The Baby Killers.

I'm a regular reader of Declan Burke's blog, Crime Always Pays (which is also the title of another Declan Burke kindle and ebook release), so I know there is more to come from Harry Rigby. I hope with a bit of much-deserved interest in this new Kindle release Burke will launch a whole series of Rigby novels.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Irish Noir, 7 May 2011
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This review is from: Eightball Boogie (Harry Rigby Mystery) (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this book: it's dark, it's gritty, and it's funny. The main character is a detective (by any other name) hired to spy on a man's wife. He is also trying to dig the dirt on a murder to get a scoop in the press. He gets more than his fair share of beatings and more than his fair share of one liners.

As you settle into the book it's the humour which first gets you. It feels like reading a novel by Raymond Chandler - had he stayed in Ireland rather than going back to The States (and lived for another 60 years or so). This is an Irish book set in modern-day Ireland (of a few years ago) The country is riding the end of a boom, the politicians are feathering their own nests - whilst s****ing in everybody else's - the cops are more likely to dish out a beating than write out a ticket. In that way Burke's Ireland is much like Chandler's L.A. The plot of this book hangs together through the twists and turns (there is a nice ending - a nice Noir ending that is). The main character is well-developed; behind the cocky wise cracks he knows he's gone in too far and is genuinely scared that he won't be getting out again.

I don't want to say anything else about the book in case I spoil it for you, because you will be buying it. If you can be arsed to sit there and read this post then you can click on the link below and buy yourself a copy - you won't regret it. `If I fell into a barrel of tits I'd come out sucking my thumb' - that line alone is worth the entrance fee
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5.0 out of 5 stars Eigh Ball Boogie, 27 Feb. 2013
This review is from: Eightball Boogie (Harry Rigby Mystery) (Paperback)
What this book doesn't have is disappointment. So many novels promise the earth, and spectacularly fail to deliver. Not so Eight Ball Boogie.

In Harry Rigby, Declan Burke has created a wholly credible lead character, You may not like him or what he does all the time, but you certainly feel for him when he gets into.....difficult situations.

The novel has drama, suspense, some juicy crime, sometimes painful character dissection, and above all laugh-out-loud humour.

Utterly un-put-down-able, brilliantly written.

More of Harry Rigby please!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Eightball Boogie, 28 Jun. 2012
Imagine an Elmore Leonard book written by an Irishman, and you'll have a good idea of what to expect from Eightball Boogie. Harry Rigby is a hanging-by-his-fingertips private eye who bills himself as a "research consultant." His relationships are complicated and not always what they seem (to us or to him), and in this case he's in over his head from the start.

Although I loved the story, what I found impressed me the most was Burke's way with words. For example, this line:

"Down in the Old Quarter, two times out of three you flip a double-headed coin, it comes down on its edge. Last time, it doesn't come down at all."

Or Burke's description of his favorite pub:

"The benches were upholstered in worn red velvet. The carpet was pocked with tiny scorch marks. The low ceiling was tuberculosis brown."

Or when Harry said he'd "have spotted Helen Conway with one eye tied behind my back." I'd be reading on cruise control, taking the story in, and then hit a line that had me do a double take because it was different, but also evocative, in a way you don't often see. Eightball Boogie gets all the stars and thumbs pointing at the ceiling that I have to give.

**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Addition to the World of Irish Noir, 22 Nov. 2011
By 
John Gaynard "JJGaynard" (Paris, France) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This was the first Declan Burke novel I have read, although I have enjoyed his blog CRIME ALWAYS PAYS for quite a while. There is a hell of a lot of information packed into the first few pages, to set the context, and then the story takes off and becomes a real, if brutal page turner that lifts the lid on a toxic concoction of Irish parochial politics and the psychopaths who make a living on its edges.

The writing brings to mind other hardboiled Irish writers of the past few years, such as Ken Bruen or Sam Millar, or even the Scottish writer Allan Guthrie, but what makes Burke his own man is the mouth-jockey resilience of his hero, Harry Rigby and the great characterization of some of the essential bit players. Groucho Marx would have been proud to put his name to quite a few pages of the dialog. The plotting and the way the clues all click into place in the final chapters show Burke's mastery of the genre.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Marlowe meets Rigby, 25 Aug. 2011
By 
John O Connor (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
1940s West Coast LA Chandler meets 21st Century West Coast Sligo Burke. The result is an explosive noir thriller with all the usual suspects: tarnished private eye, platinum blond, soft hearted dame, crooked cops, and more wisecracks than you could shake a stick at. Burke's terse and pithy sentences conjure up the atmosphere with authenticity, style and wit. A convincingly brilliant read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good blokey writing - but I'm female!, 10 Oct. 2013
This review is from: Eightball Boogie (Harry Rigby Mystery) (Paperback)
Of its kind, it was good. Just wasn't quite my kind - probably too long on quick-fire repartee blokey. That said, the repartee was excellent, plus the tale was intricate and well-plotted.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Irish Crime Classic, 21 Mar. 2011
Much has been written about the new wave of quality crime fiction coming out of Ireland at the moment and arguably, Eightball Boogie is the novel that kicked it all off. Eightball is a blistering amalgam of hardboiled, Irish noir reminiscent of Chandler, Hammett, Willeford or Elmore Leonard but wholly unique and wholly Irish at the same time. In Eightball Boogie, Burke is one of the first writers to recognise just how 'noir' life can be in Irish towns--Ken Bruen is another.

Sligo is the setting for Eightball Boogie and the characters that populate the pages and mean streets--and boreens--are recognisable to anyone who has ever lived--or even spent a weekend--in any town outside of Dublin. Harry Rigby is every inch the wisecracking genre private dick, but is always more than the caricature of the private eye one might expect. He exudes the poignant, smart-arse fatalism that runs deep under the outward bluster of the Irish male. Reading Eightball you laugh with Harry and laugh at him; you want to buy him a drink or give him some skins for his rollies; you want to buy him a proper meal. You come to care for the guy and this is what makes the novel so compelling. His mad brother Gonzo is the hale fellow well met best avoided near closing time in any small town in the country, yet his character never tips over into stereotype.

What elevates Eightball Boogie to its status as a small classic of Irish Crime writing, however, is its prescience. In its portrait of an Ireland at the height of its slow, self-satisfied orgy of consumption--of cocaine, dodgy property deals, dodgier sex, Mercs and facelifts (Eightball does them all well and more)--it is as if the novel was written with the coming crash in mind. Eightball Boogie is witty, hilarious at times, violent, biting social commentary which also manages to be a little bit sad and brilliant at the same time.

An outrider for the sub-genre of Irish crime fiction and a small classic of the genre. Buy it.
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Eightball Boogie (Harry Rigby Mystery)
Eightball Boogie (Harry Rigby Mystery) by Declan Burke (Paperback - 1 Aug. 2012)
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