Little Criminals

Kerrigan's prose is luxury stuff, said The New Yorker when The Midnight Choir came out last year. His new novel, published in the U.S. by Europa, the champion of new crime fiction from across the pond, is certainly all that. It's also a scathing look at the moral values of the New Ireland, the so-called "Celtic Tiger" whose economy is widening the gap between rich and poor in ways that the country's shameless former British landowners couldn't imagine. Frankie Crowe heads a largely inept gang of "little criminals" who try to steal, shoot, and bludgeon their way into the good life. Crowe has ambition in plenty, but he's also a bit of a nut case, and not even his sensible older cohort Martin Paxton can keep him from screwing up. Case in point: a kidnap scheme goes wildly wrong when Crowe and his boys grab the wrong man -- a lawyer who isn't doing badly but who has no way of raising the two million quid Frankie is asking for. Everything goes downhill from there, except for Kerrigan's beautiful writing, as clear and pure as spring water. "The shooting came at the end of a period -- more than a year -- in which a lot of things didn't quite work out," he tells us after a pub holdup fails because of faulty intelligence. "By now, Frankie Crowe and Martin Paxton were supposed to be on their way somewhere. Instead, they were here in a small town in County Meath, still scrounging for the rent."

April 16: ""Blue pottery vases and bowls for flowers are most attractive, and certain blue books...will repeat and emphasize color."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

advertisement
Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.

Dispute Over a Very Italian Piglet

Amara Lakhous delivers a mystery novel with its finger on the hot-button issues of today's Europe.  Immigration and multicultural conflicts erupt in the Italian city of Turin, as journalist Enzo Laganà looks to restore peace to his native burg.

Papers in the Wind

In this insightful novel by Eduardo Sacheri, a young girl left destitute by the death of her soccer-playing father is uplifted by the bold schemes of her uncle, his pals, and one newbie player to the professional leagues.