Synopses & Reviews
Now Connolly is back with a sequel that sees him on the same stunning form, with his trademark razor-sharp dialogue and quick-fire violence, but also finding dark humor and pathos in the lives of violent men. From the London underworld, Viva la Madness moves to international crime with trans-Atlantic drug deals, money laundering, and high-tech electronic fraud, portrayed with the same uncanny believability. The anonymous hero of Layer Cake is pulled back into the drug game before he can escape to a sunny retirement. In a dazzling combination of London low-life, Caribbean high-life, and Venezuelan drug cartels toting machine-guns in Mayfair, our hero's voice and mission are authentic, thrilling, and whiplash-inducing in equal shares.
"Set in 2001, Connolly's follow-up to his well-received debut, Layer Cake (2001), offers plenty of violence, graphic sex, and coarse, colorful language, but little else. The unnamed narrator, who lives in Jamaica, agrees to meet his old sidekick, Mister Mortimer, in Barbados. Mortimer, who brings along psychotic Sonny King and paranoid Twitchy Roy Burns, pitches a return to England as a salesman on commission for a drug dealer's 'product,' which King distributes through his channels. In England, King and Burns rob, torture, and kill a Venezuelan courier connected to a powerful drug family who was carrying a hidden flash drive loaded with important data. This brutal act brings two opposing groups of South Americans bent on finding and retrieving the drive and spurs King and company to do the same. That the narrator tries to act as the voice of reason amid shifting alliances and betrayals will strike some readers as odd since he knew from early on that these people were unreliable, untrustworthy, and unstable." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"A storming piece of work . . . the novel has a grasp of street argot unparalleled since Kinky Friedman first sashayed out of his front door and nailed a checker straight out of the bat." --D. J. Taylor
"An immensely entertaining read." --The Spectator
"Stunningly original . . . utterly mesmerizing." --Booklist
"Fast and funny and just frightening enough to make you sit up all night finishing the book." --Independent on Sunday
"Readers who reveled in Connolly's first twisted crime confection, Layer Cake (2001), will rejoice in this sequel, another tale of decadence and derring-do . . . Mystery fans will enjoy the rapid-fire dialogue, wry British wit, and breathless plot, crammed with double crosses." --Booklist
"The action in Mr. Connolly's novels gallops by at a frantic pace . . . abundantly worth the wait . . . Mr. Connolly's novels, for all their ever-present reek of cordite, their Darwinian struggles for mastery, their gallows humor and their passionate engagement with every bent caper you care to name, are a great deal closer to 'serious fiction' than pulp. Their real theme, it turns out, is deracination." --Wall Street Journal
J. J. Connolly the favorite voice of London gangster fiction returns with a tour de force: the Get Carter of the noughties, Layer Cake has also been made into a highly-praised film by Matthew Vaughn, starring Daniel Craig and Sienna Miller (it's also the most shoplifted book in England).
About the Author
J. J. Connolly was born and brought up in north-east London. His first published story was in the Brit Pulp! anthology. He is the author of acclaimed bestseller Layer Cake, which he adapted into a film script for Sony Pictures and director Matthew Vaughn, starring Daniel Craig. Viva la Madness is his second novel.