The definitive Irish Examiner review of Greetings, Hero.
It’s the only review I’ve gone back to read several times.
An earlier version of this review appeared on Dec 8th 2014. For reasons unknown, The Examiner decided to run it again, and the reviewer apparently revised it.
I like this new sentence in it:
The characters here are linked by their incredulity towards official narratives; belief in any “central source of validation” is forever beyond their reach.
Big stack of signed copies are on the tables in Hodges Figgis.
A huge thank you to everybody who came to the launch of Greetings Hero on Wed 12th November 2014 in Hodges Figgis. Special thanks to Kevin Barry for coming all the way from Sligo to be guest speaker. Thanks also to Dylan Mc Donough for reading out an extract, putting life into the voices.
Big appreciation to Honest Publishing co-director Dan Marsh for making the trip from London to be there.
A special thanks to Stephen and the staff at Hodges Figgis for supporting the event and keeping the shop open late.
It was a fantastic night, both at Hodges Figgis and in The Duke afterwards for drinks – and I’m not the only one to say so.
This book is well and truly launched now.
The artist for my cover introduces himself:
Slava Nesterov, young artist and illustrator from Perm, Russia. He has participated in many exhibitions. He considers himself an heir of the school of socialist realism, but has moved away from the canon, and creates graphic works imbued with symbolism and meaning. His work is alert to social issues and portrays the internal contradictions of the human person in a surrealistic manner.
Slava also did the artwork for the previous book from my publisher – Mark SaFranko’s The Suicide.
The story of the cover for my book is long and convoluted – Slava was the third artist to attempt a design. When his name was first touted I looked him up and was delighted to see the fantastic work here.
Initially the publisher sent him some of my stories and he returned sketches. These seemed a bit too literal to me. His artwork online had vision, it was an unsettling blend of the human and inhuman / animate and mechanical. There were already two or three images online which I felt matched my fiction, in ways which I lack the ability to express. The boy with the black crows over his head was one. I asked my publisher if there was any reason we couldn’t use some of his existing images …. and things went from there.
Hoboken: an amorphous, violent city, transformed into a chic high-rent neighbourhood full of disposable incomes and high aspiration. Police detective Brian Vincenti is charged with investigating the case of a young woman’s self-destruction – or murder – after she falls from an eleventh floor window in one of the town’s up-and-coming districts. Equally as haunted by his past as he is tortured by his present, Vincenti’s journey takes us beyond the damp, stained streets of Hoboken’s nightlife, and into his own chaotic world: that of transsexual former colleague Ellen Smith, his turbulent family life, and unshakeable demons.
Subverting the conventional notion of the detective novel, and at all times original and unique, The Suicide invites comparisons to the psychological fiction of such classic crime writers as Georges Simenon, Patricia Highsmith and Ross MacDonald.
First reviews are coming in. Here’s one by Sam Millar in the New York Journal of Books.
The Suicide is a first-rate intelligent thriller, teeming with complex characters finely honed right down to the depths of their souls.
The cover art is by talented Russian artist Slava Nesterov, who also did the cover for my own book (should be in post below this).
Looking forward to reading SaFranko’s book. A piece of his was in the New York issue of The Stinging Fly in 2011/12.
Best of luck to Mark and the team at Honest Publishing.
The guys at Honest Publishing have chosen an artist for the cover. He’s a Russian artist called Slava Nesterov and some of his work can be seen here:
I really love his stuff. It’s so precise and unsettling.
The above is not the cover image. No final decision has been made yet.