The Big O

By Declan Burke
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780151014088, 288pp.)

Publication Date: September 2008

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Karen's easy life as a receptionist and armed robber is about to take a turn for the worse. Rossi, her ex, is getting out of prison any day now. He'll be looking for his motorcycle, his gun, the sixty grand he says is his, and revenge. But he won't be expecting Ray, the new guy Karen's just met, to be in his way. No stranger to the underworld himself, Ray wants out of the kidnapping game now that some dangerous new bosses are moving in. Meanwhile Frank, a disgraced plastic surgeon, hires Ray to kidnap his ex-wife for the insurance money. But the ex-wife also happens to be Karen's best friend. Can Karen and Ray trust each other enough to work together on one last job? Or will love, as always, ruin everything? From a writer hailed as "Elmore Leonard with a hard Irish edge" (Irish Mail on Sunday), Declan Burke's The Big O is crime fiction at its darkest and funniest.

About the Author

DECLAN BURKE is a freelance writer with the Sunday Times, Village magazine, and the Dubliner, and lives in Wicklow, Ireland. Visit his blog at

Praise For The Big O

ADVANCE PRAISE FOR THE BIG O "One of the sharpest, wittiest, and most unusual Irish crime novels of recent years . . . Declan Burke is ideally poised to make the transition to a larger international stage."—John Connolly, bestselling author of The Unquiet  "Part hard-boiled caper, part thriller, part classic noir, and flat out fun. From first page to last, The Big O grabs hold and won’t let go."—Reed Farrel Coleman, author of Soul Patch

"This latest from Burke ends in a hail of bullets and a gnashing of half-wolf teeth. Imagine Donald Westlake and his alter ego Richard Stark moving to Ireland and collaborating on a screwball noir, and you have some idea of Burke''s accomplishment."

"The Big O is everything fans of dark, fast, tightly woven crime fiction could want . . . Two thumbs up, Mr. Burke."

"Declan Burke’s The Big O has everything you want in a crime novel: machine-gun dialogue, unforgettable characters, and a wicked plot. Think George V. Higgins in Ireland on speed."

"The Big O is a contemporary Irish crime novel that should have a broad international appeal. Burke seems to me to be working in a similar tradition to, say, Carl Hiaasen, in that there’s a satirical edge to his work that gives it a real bite. The foibles that he points out are universal, and are as applicable to New York and Los Angeles as they are to Dublin and London . . . Among all of the recent crop of Irish crime novelists, it seems to me that Declan Burke is ideally poised to make the transition to a larger international stage."

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