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Fire and Brimstone by Colin Bateman
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Fire and Brimstone

by Colin Bateman

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I have never read a book by this author, but after reading Fire and Brimstone I will certainly seek the rest in this series out.
Not much Irish slang so it was an easy read, and the story moved along at a good clip. The main character reminded me of the smart ass behavior of hJoe R Lansdale's characters Hap & Leonard, just without the access to multiple firearms. ( )
  zmagic69 | Jul 7, 2017 |
Can't say this a great return to the series. Much too like the bookshop series which I gave up on after book two. ( )
  libgirl69 | Oct 1, 2014 |
I was on a real Colin Bateman kick when I was younger… in the late nineties and early two-thousands. I blazed through _Divorcing Jack_, which was a revelation: I loved the narrative voice and the wild plot. Every time I entered a book store I would check first the 'A' section of the fiction shelves, and then proceed to the 'B' section for a new book by Mr. Bateman.
And Colin's recent resurgence on Kickstarter and Facebook got me back into his work, which I'd left, for whatever reason (maybe he simply stopped churning out books at a pace that kept up with my book store visits). I enjoyed his re-launched collection of short stories, _Dublin Express_, and, on the back of it, bought the audiobook of _Fire and Brimstone_, his latest book not financed by Kickstarter.
And there it was, suddenly, Dan Starkey, like some old buddy, back in the saddle. The voice was the same, after all he'd been through (near divorce, infidelity, by both himself and Trish, the death of their son, numerous beatings) and off he dove into a fresh adventure.
Almost immediately I was glad I'd given Dan a break for a number of years before tackling this book, I don't know that I could read them all back-to-back, because Dan is, intentionally, I believe, a pretty unsympathetic character. By the time I'd gotten halfway through I thought the plot was interesting enough, but an unease with the whole book began to settle over me. By the time he runs into his third (or so) bad guy I clocked it: the book feels like one long, drawn-out bad guy monologue. From Harry Frank, the drug dealer, from a high figure in a new cult on the streets of Belfast, from Trish, from Dan, himself, from the leader of the Botanic Boat Crew. They all take the stage, proclaim to the audience how they're going to do what they're going to do or why they're going to do it, and then exeunt, stage left. Except for Dan, who sticks around to chuck witty little quips in everyone's direction. More than anything else in the book, the tendency of the characters to wibble on a bit grated the most.
The action gets a little predictable, and if you've read any other Dan Starkey books you can probably guess the outcome and resolution to a few of the mysteries. But it's familiar turf to Bateman's readers, with Belfast getting a little drug and gang makeover, in lieu of sectarian violence, which is entertaining enough. ( )
  mhanlon | Mar 20, 2014 |
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Peace time Belfast seems like the perfect spot for media billionaire's daughter Alison Wolff to study anonymously, but when she disappears following a massacre at a student party nobody knows if she has been kidnapped for ransom or caught in the crossfire. Hired to find Alison, Dan Starkey discovers that Belfast's underworld has shifted rapidly since he was in his journalistic prime. Religion and politics have taken a back seat to drugs and greed, defended with a ruthlessness undreamt of even in the worst days of The Troubles. This is the street violence of Mexico with an Irish twist. In response to the drug wars a new fire and brimstone church movement springs up, but when the controversial new abortion clinic is firebombed, they get the blame and Dan is hired to prove their guilt. In a Belfast rapidly descending back into a city of violence, Dan suddenly finds himself struggling to cope with two very different investigations... or could they possibly be connected?… (more)

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