Thursday, 20 August 2015

Keep Away from Those Ferraris by Pat Fitzpatrick


published 2013

Ferraris 2
Ferraris 4Ferraris
Ferraris 3
 
[Clothes descriptions from various points in the book]

She’s sitting opposite me now wearing a black trouser suit and white blouse combo with black pumps. Her hair is naturally blonde and she’s got great skin for a fifty-year-old woman. She could do with losing a couple of pounds, but she’d still get a stare or two in the supermarket aisle...

I give her a weary look. Shit, she’s gorgeous. I think Irish men have an extra thing for women with a tan. It just seems cleaner or something, I don’t know. Anyway, looking at her sitting there in a tight white vest and skinny black jeans and cherry Converse, there’s no other way to put it. She’s gorgeous….

His black Hugo Boss suit looks well though, and as always he’s wearing a shirt that couldn’t have cost less than one hundred euro.


observations: Col of Col’s Criminal Library is a good blogfriend, and there is a definite point where our tastes in crime books coincide. And Col bravely continues to visit Clothes in Books even when the subject is at the other end of the spectrum – some serious novel about relationships and feelings. He usually comments that he would not read the book in any circumstances, but at least he made an effort. There’s been slim pickings for him over here for a while, but luckily while on a recent holiday to Ireland I picked up a book that I think will appeal to him, so I am presenting it to him here with my compliments, and the news that it is only £1.99 on Kindle right now, and blow the embargo.

I came across Pat Fitzpatrick while reading an Irish newspaper: he made a joke in a column saying that David and Victoria Beckham had a friend who was now a player at Shamrock Rovers in Dublin, but:
It's fair to say the Beckhams won't be paying him a visit in that part of Dublin. They wouldn't want some future child asking, "Tell me again why you called me The Red Cow?"
Now you need at least 3 pieces of trivial information and pointless celebrity gossip to understand this joke, but when you do it is hilarious, and I laughed so much I had to see what else he had written, and I read some more pieces, then bought this book.

It’s a highly entertaining thriller about the bold bad days of the Irish economy – the Celtic Tiger – and how it all went wrong. The hero, Noel Byrne, is a financial journalist in Dublin who gets caught up in various scams and is being blackmailed by several people at once. The opening of the book has him standing ready to make a TV broadcast:
This is the night I get to deliver a live news report in the firing line of two snipers. Both have orders to shoot if I don’t say exactly what they want me to say. That’s bad enough. What’s worse is they both want me to say different things.
-- then the book rewinds to tell us how he got there. BTW the Ferraris of the title are a shady family of Italian origin, not the cars.

The book is full of violence, drink, drugs, cold-hearted sex, swearing and completely immoral behaviour, so I’m guessing Col will like it. It feels as though Fitzpatrick knows his stuff about finance, and he certainly does a good job on his characters. Some of it probably went right past me - I’m sure an Irish resident would get extra jokes and observations. But I found it very entertaining and clever in an outrageous way – not for the easily shocked…

The clothes described in the book certainly sum up a certain style of the time.










13 comments:

  1. It does sound right up Col's street, Moira. As for me, I do appreciate an author who weaves witty observations in with the story. And the Celtic Tiger years offer quite a bit of fodder for a good read...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, there was plenty going on in Ireland at that time. And I really enjoyed it, it was the epitome of a good read.

      Delete
  2. Moira cheers for the shout-out and the recommendation. Our paths collide at last! The author was kind enough to ping me a copy a while ago. Shame-faced enough to admit - I haven't got to it yet..... next couple of weeks then....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll be expecting your review imminently then! I think it's right up your street...

      Delete
  3. Sounds interesting and I have no problem with swearing, but the "full of violence, drink, drugs, cold-hearted sex" might bother me. But who knows, I never say never when it comes to reading. Glad you found something that Col can't reject though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was entertaining and there was a moral framework - there was a lot of bad behaviour, amusingly written, but you didn't get the impression the author really thought it was OK....

      Delete
  4. Moira: No guy I know in Saskatchewan has ever worn those shoes. I have my doubts about them being worn in Ireland as well. They look London or maybe New York to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Bill, I was picturing you going into court wearing them! Tap tap tapping firmly in to defend right and justice. Actually - that's where they belong, on a Hollywood lawyer, do you think?

      Delete
    2. Moira: Hollywood maybe. Probably not Mickey Haller. However, the TV series Suits set in New York those shoes are absolutely perfect.

      Delete
  5. Well, must admit, I like the humour but not sure about all that sex and violence though - but hey, I can try and put up with it in a manly way ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not always up for that, but in this particular case it did work, Sergio....

      Delete
  6. I'm gonna channel Col here and say that the snippets make me think this is NOT a book for me. There's something vapid and blandly obvious about the clothing quotes, like I must have read them a dozen times before with barely varied wording, so they aren't selling me on the author.

    I don't understand the celebrity gag, though I think I'm sort of groping towards it (the Beckses name their kids after places they were conceived and that part of Dublin translates as red cow?)

    So. yeah. Definitely not a book that appeals to me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fair imitation of Col, Daniel. To be fair, I'm sure Mr Fitz would say clothes weren't the point of the book. But it's definitely a work for a certain mood, and perhaps not for everyone...

      Delete