“So many books are so much like so many other books that it’s always a delight to encounter a writer with an utterly distinctive voice. The prize-winning Irish novelist Ken Bruen is such a writer. The words that best describe him, besides original, are outrageous and hilarious.” (Washington Post)
Ken Bruen (www.kenbruen.com) was born in Galway in 1951 and is the author of over twenty novels. After completing a MA in English he spent twenty-five years as an English teacher in Africa, Japan, S.E. Asia and South America.
Ken Bruen has been a finalist for the Edgar, Anthony and Barry awards and he has won the Shamus Award and the Macavity Award.
“Bruen, who lives in Galway, Ireland, is a brilliant, creative, original voice. He is a writer clearly seeped in the American hard-boiled and noir tradition; he had been called a “Celtic Dashiell Hammett.”
And indeed, if you are Irish, you instinctively know about the dark side of life even before you learn to read.
History resonates. But part of being Irish is to leaven the bad stuff with a caustic, fatalistic, often-hilarious sense of humor. And that is evident in Bruen’s work.” (Bookreporter)
THE WHITE TRILOGY: A WHITE ARREST. TAMING THE ALIEN. THE McDEAD
An original and thought provoking trilogy from the author of whom Books Ireland said: “If Martin Amis was writing crime novels, this is what he would hope to write.”
Here are your poor, your tired, your hungry; your predatory crack dealers, your arsonists and rapists; your killers for money, for revenge, for enforcement, and for sheer ugly fun. The neighborhoods of Southeast London are the kind of place where the most hardened, brutal criminals are treated like Robin Hood, where a snitch is likely to get cooked alive, where even the pit bulls better travel in pairs.
It’s the place R&B call home. Chief Inspector Roberts and Detective Sergeant Brant are obverse sides of the same tarnished coin.
Roberts is cool, calculating, cerebral and deadly. Brant is a thug, bad as any of the hard case crooks, but with his own unshakeable code.
In The White Trilogy, Ken Bruen’s jagged, brilliant tour of London noir, they come up against some of the worst. A sadistic gang who hang crack dealers from lampposts; Fenton “The Alien,” who leads Brant on a deadly chase through London, New York, San Francisco and Acapulco; and Tommy Logan, a ruthless lowlife with social aspirations and no compunctions about dealing out brutal death
The White Trilogy is a potent epic of death and redemption, love and betrayal, and the thin line between chaos and the rule of law.
“If you only know Bruen’s work from the Taylor series, you’re in for a treat. For Bruen is also the author of a police procedural series set in southeast London, featuring the amoral Sergeant Brant”. Bookreporter
BLITZ (Film in production)
The fast moving follow-up to The White Trilogy.
The Brixton-based police squad are suffering collective burn out. Detective Sergeant Brant is hitting the blues and physically assaulting the police shrink. Chief Inspector Roberts’ wife has died in a horrific accident and he’s drowning in gut-rot red wine. ‘Black and beautiful’ WPC Falls is lethally involved with a junior member of the National Front and simultaneously taking down Brixton drug dealers to feed her own habit
The team never had it so bad and when a serial killer takes his show on the road, things get progressively worse. Nicknamed ‘The Blitz’, a vicious murderer is aiming for tabloid glory by killing cops. Harold Dunphy, Ace crime reporter believes he’s on to the story of the decade and the police have never had more incentive to catch a villain.
‘Getting hammered’ was never meant to be the deadly swing it is in this darkest chapter from London’s most addictive police squad.
Blitz (First published in the UK by The Do-Not Press, 2002): World Ex: English N/A (St. Martin’s Press); UK, Ireland, AUS, NZ (Transworld); France (Gallimard Série Noire); Russia (Ripol Classic).
For the south-east London police Squad, it’s rough, tough, dirty business, as usual. The Vixen – the most sensuous, crazy, female serial-killer ever – is masterminding a series of lethal explosions. She is dispatching her own gang and the cops, and has more than a passing interest in WPC Falls…
Meanwhile… Porter-Nash is facing a serious health problem, nothing to do with his being gay, but everything to do with needles. PC McDonald finds himself looking down the wrong end of a .38…
The career of a new addition to the Squad, WPC Andrews starts spectacularly but, as usual, she is about to discover that dynamite doesn’t just mean explosive substances…
Superintendent Brown is close to a coronary, and arresting the wrong man in a blaze of publicity is only the beginning of his problems… If the Squad survives this incendiary instalment, they’ll do so with barely a cop left standing.
In Bruen’s new pulp-inspired novel featuring Inspector Brant, the Southeast London Police Squad is plagued by a serial murderer who’s determined to give his victims a lesson in manners.
Taking a cue from Jim Thompson’s “The Killer Inside Me”, the ‘Manners Killer’ believes that anyone who behaves rudely in public (e.g., verbally abuses a store clerk, slaps a child) is fair game. He soon finds that he’s no match for Brant, Bruen’s amoral, sociopathic brute of a detective (“He was heavily built with a black Irish face that wasn’t so much lived in as squatted upon”).
While he might or might not agree with the killer’s cause and can even forgive his tactics to some degree, Brant is just ornery enough to employ his trademark brand of amoral, borderline-criminal policing to hunt for the Manner Killer. For if there’s one thing that drives the incomparable inspector, it’s the unshakeable conviction that if anyone is going to be getting away with murder on his patch, it’ll be Brant himself. While his methods may be questionable, Brant gets results, and we find ourselves secretly cheering him on.
Meanwhile, Brant is writing his first crime novel, Calibre, and aspires to become the English Joseph Wambaugh. Of course, he doesn’t let the fact that he can’t write deter him; Brant just nicks the stories from his cop buddy Porter Nash…
“The seventh Inspector Brant noir from Shamus-winner Bruen maintains the feverish pacing that has become Bruen’s trademark. As incorrigible hardcase Brant sits in a London pub brooding about the recent demise of his hero, real-life author Ed McBain, a gunman opens fire and then disappears. Hit multiple times, Brant is rushed to the hospital. Local criminals and cops alike rejoice at this unexpected bit of good fortune, but within a few days he’s up and crankier than ever, vowing revenge on his assailants. Meanwhile, his fellow cops grapple with their own personal crises: Sgt. Elizabeth Falls is harassed by a psycho named Angie (last seen in Vixen), fresh out of prison and anxious to settle the score; police constable McDonald, in a cocaine-fueled downward spiral, agrees to lead a group of senior citizen vigilantes. When one of the codgers is killed during their first mission, McDonald’s fate is sealed. Bruen keeps this train wreck on proper course to a wholly satisfying, and very noir, conclusion.” Publishers Weekly
The White Trilogy (first published in the UK by The Do-Not Press, 1998-2000): World Ex: USA/Canada (Justin, Charles & Co.; France (Gallimard Série Noire); Russia (U-Factory); Japan (Hayakawa); Spain (Pamies).
Blitz (First published in the UK by The Do-Not Press, 2002): World Ex: English N/A (St. Martin‘s Minotaur); UK, Ireland, AUS, NZ (Transworld); France (Gallimard Série Noire), Russia (Ripol Classic).
Vixen (first published in the UK by The Do-Not Press, 2003): World Ex: USA/Canada: (St. Martin’s Minotaur) France:(Gallimard Série Noire).
Calibre: World Ex: USA/Canada: St. Martin’s Minotaur; France (Gallimard Série Noire).
Ammunition: World Ex: USA/Canada: (St. Martin’s Minotaur); France (Gallimard Série Noire).
LONDON BOULEVARD (Film in post-production)
Mitchell is finally free after a stint in prison for assault. A crony offers him a job as a loan-shark enforcer, and though Mitchell isn’t crazy about the idea, he doesn’t have any better offers. He’s perfect for the job – mean and merciless.
Buthe’s also got another, softer side: he’s an avid reader of crime novels, he’s a loyal friend, and he’d even like to get married one day if he can find the right woman. He figures his luck might have changed when he lands a legitimate job as a handyman for a rich actress who’s eager to reward him with cash, cars, and sex. Then he meets Aisling – smart, beautiful, and, best of all, as crazy about Mitchell as he is about her. But Mitchell can never truly escape his violent past or the dangerous world of loan sharks, druggies, and other bottomfeeders. When an arrogant error in judgment threatens everything that’s dear to Mitchell, he plots his own ghastly form of revenge on those who’ve stolen his life.
First published in the UK by The Do-Not Press, 2001. Rights Available Ex: English N/A (St. Martin‘s Press); UK, Ireland, AUS, NZ (Transworld); French (Fayard); Japanese (Shinchosha); Spanish (Pamies), Polish (Gruner+Jahr); Czech (Plejada Publishing); Russian (Ripol Classic); Turkish (Sel Publishing); Finnish (Arctic Banana); Hungarian (Alexandra Könyvesház Kft.); Chinese Simplified (Law Press); Korean (Sigongsa).