Read London Boulevard by Ken Bruen Online


When Mitchell is released from prison after serving three years for a vicious attack he doesn't even remember, Billy Norton is there to pick him up. But Norton works for Tommy Logan, a ruthless loan shark lowlife with plans Mitchell wants nothing to do with. Attempting to stay out of Logan's way, he finds work at the Holland Park mansion of faded movie actress, Lillian PalWhen Mitchell is released from prison after serving three years for a vicious attack he doesn't even remember, Billy Norton is there to pick him up. But Norton works for Tommy Logan, a ruthless loan shark lowlife with plans Mitchell wants nothing to do with. Attempting to stay out of Logan's way, he finds work at the Holland Park mansion of faded movie actress, Lillian Palmer, where he has to deal with her mysterious butler, Jordan. It isn't long before Mitchell's violent past catches up with him and people start getting hurt. When his disturbed sister Briony is threatened, Mitchell is forced to act....

Title : London Boulevard
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781899344772
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 237 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

London Boulevard Reviews

  • Melki
    2019-04-15 10:01

    "Oh God, Mitch, you crazy bastard. You're out...what? Ten minutes...and you're at it already. You can't be losing it.""I didn't lose it, Billy.""What, you smash the guy's arm, that's not losing it?""If I'd lost it, I'd have broken his neck."You can probably guess...Mitch is NOT on his way to pick up a Humanitarian of the Year award. Mitch has been warned that after three years in prison, he might find adapting to life on the outside a bit difficult, but he's been out only 24 hours, and already he's got a nice flat, a closet full of clothes, and plenty of job offers.Too bad just about all of those offers may get him sent back to the pen, or maybe even...dead.This is a nice, taut thriller. Lots of great references to pop culture and other crime writers. I added quite a bit to my "to-read" list. I didn't plan to read it all in one day, but once I started, not much else seemed as important as this book. I liked it so much, I decided to watch the film version right after I finished reading.BIG MISTAKE!So, technically the book review is over. Now I'm gonna rant about the movie. WHAT THE HELL? Was the idea of a 45-year-old man having sex with an attractive 60-year-old woman so off-putting that they had to totally rewrite her character and replace her with an anorexic woman in her twenties? CURSE YOU FILM INDUSTRY AND YOUR DAMNED DOUBLE STANDARDS! (GRRRR!!! Must stop gnashing teeth. Will need them later in case I ever get a chance to bite the bastard responsible for this travesty!)

  • Mark
    2019-04-17 07:07

    My first encounter with this writer which I can honestly say is quite brilliant. This story about the misadventures of a released convict has him assaulting a window washer within an hour of release. That said I had no sympathy at all for the victim. Anytime a human thinks that lama behaviour is acceptable he/she should not be surprised if they'd receive a decent kicking.Anyhow while the main character Mitchell does plan to stay out of jail after stint of 3 year due to a case of GBH which he cannot remember due to his state of drunken stupor, his direct environment does not promise anything like that. He does find himself back into the world of London underworld. He does manage to get a job with a aging movie star and she kinda fancies him.Mitchel does his best to keep clear of any trouble and as a result trouble is finding him. The dialogues as written by Bruen are bloody great and funny. Mitchell loves his crime novels and does quote quite a few lines from the various authors he really likes in the genre. This book I would consider a London Noir tale. The story is light on his feet, wickedly funny and full of interesting observations, and it is such an easy read. You'll find yourself in the middle of quite few unsavory characters and yet they are fun company to spend time with.Well advised read, I will certain vist this writer a wee bit more in the future (good thing I bought three hardcovers of this writer at the same time)

  • Tfitoby
    2019-04-25 09:20

    Bruen writes real page turning stuff here, it's not an incredible piece of noir by any stretch of the imagination but what he has done is written a really very good piece of MODERN crime fiction. It's not like that's particularly difficult with the amount of garbage that gets published in the genre these days. It's fast paced, it's LOADED with pop culture references, and it's incredibly knowing from start to finish. Wait, does that make it post-modern?Colin Farrell gets out of prison, somehow gets himself a job as a handyman for some rich old actress, crimes happen, the criminal underworld circles he moves in ebb and flow to accommodate his return to their world, the outline of Sunset Boulevard is tacked on, all in all it's a pretty cool little tale.Having read two Bruen's in a row featuring different characters in different cities I had a major problem with his writing from the very start of this book. He only knows one voice, one way to write, Colin Farrell has an inner monologue that sounds just like Jack Taylor, only slightly less miserable and supposedly English. There's the other problem I had too, for a man who only ever loved two things you'd think he would use the right word to refer to it. I've never heard a single Londoner refer to football as soccer, it's a small detail sure but if you're trying to provide a sense of realism (and what else would constantly talking about pop music and crime novels and tube stations be if not an attempt at realism? If you start thinking about that too much this entire novel falls apart so don't) when writing a middle aged Londoner you should probably try not to think like a middle aged man from Galway.Yeah the pop culture references were a bit much too, who really cares how widely read Ken Bruen is? Constantly name dropping "forgotten greats" of noir does not magically make your novel of the same quality. Giving James Ellroy a cameo on the other hand...I dig Bruen's work so far but I think I'll only check out more if I run out of other people to read. As he points out, there's all this David Goodis and Charles Willeford and James Ellroy to get through first.

  • Ed [Redacted]
    2019-03-28 06:13

    London Boulevard purports to be an updating of the Sunset Blvd story moved to London in the present (at the time of the writing). The similarities to Sunset Blvd are really surface at best. There is an aging actress and the protagonist is financially supported by said actress however the Sunset Blvd similarities appear to be pasted onto the framework of a very good noir crime novel. The protagonist, Mitchell, is recently released from prison for a crime he was too drunk to remember. His friend, Norton, helps to set him back up in his old way of life, but with a few catches Mitchell is not willing to go along with. This leads to some difficulties with the local crime boss.At the same time, Mitchell finds "honest" work as a handyman for an aging actress with an interesting butler. Hilarity ensues and the butler turns out to be full of surprises.This is the first Ken Bruen book I have read after hearing and reading rave reviews of much of his work. I suspect this is not Bruen's strongest novel (he is much better known for his detective novels), and yet I could see genius at work all the same. Mitchell is exactly the type of flawed, amoral, completely awesome criminal that I love reading about. Fans of Parker or similar criminal protagonists will enjoy Mitchell I suspect. He is much more rounded a character than many of the criminal protagonists currently knocking somebody or the other's teeth out in a book near you. I now count myself a Bruen fan. 4/5

  • WortGestalt
    2019-04-19 08:10

    Ken Bruen mixt Elemente aus dem Hollywood-Schwarzweiß-Klassiker »Sunset Boulevard« mit dem Londoner »East-End-Boys-und-West-End-Girls«-Motiv und kreiert damit einen modernen, konsequenten Kriminalroman der harten Schule, der gerade zum Ende hin komplett überzeugen kann.

  • Manuel Antão
    2019-03-27 08:11

    I don't know what makes Ken Bruen's books so appealing to me, but they certainly do.With this book he uses Sunset Boulevard by Billy Wilder, one of my favourite movies of all-time, as the perfect canvas for a wonderful book. Everything is almost right.After meeting the infamous Lilly Palmer in the book, we understand that she's quite different from Nora Desmond, the Diva in Wilder's movie. After a few more pages, the book and the movie diverge almost completely. I'd say the movie serves as an inspiration for the book. Only that. The aging actress isn't the major character that she is in Sunset, though she and her devoted butler do still play a critical part in the story.Bruen successfully takes the spirit of Sunset Boulevard and turns it into something that's new and different and altogether wonderful. It has all the grit of a down-and-dirty pulp thriller. It twists and turns, and you'll never really know who can be trusted and who cannot.But is it the story itself that makes London Boulevard such a noteworthy novel? That's a definite no. What made my day while reading it was his prose, which is like a round of machine-gun fire: quick and sharp and to the point. And although his style is simple and clipped, it's also strikingly lyrical - heavily seasoned with references to literature (almost all of my favourite crime fiction writers are represented: Derek Raymond, Charles Willeford, James Sallis, etc), music, and even philosophy. Bruen grabs you by the throat and this story is nothing short of ass-kicking at its finest. Pulp poetry and it's sheer fun to read.

  • Sam Reaves
    2019-04-10 06:17

    Ken Bruen has the gift of making it sound easy: all you do is sit down and channel these South London criminal types, breezing through a few days of their chaotic lives and recording the wreckage, and Bob's your uncle. The fluency and the concision are, of course, carefully crafted, and Bruen's poetic vocation shows. This is an inspired twist on Sunset Boulevard, with a just-released ex-con hired as handyman by a faded actress in a cavernous Holland Park mansion complete with shady butler. Nothing good ensues. Bleak and black and often very funny.

  • Jevron McCrory
    2019-03-30 08:04

    I bought this book on the strength of the movie and it's movie cover. I liked the film (mostly for the acting), but I thought the ending sucked beyond belief. I was curious about the novel.Let's clear this up straight away.The movie with Colin Farrell and Kiera Knightley has almost NOTHING to do with this book. Aside from a few elements and some choice dialogue, they are two TOTALLY different animals. If I was Ken Bruen, I'd be seriously offended someone bought the rights to my book and then CHANGED EVERYTHING!The book is written in a hip, flip, fast, short handed style, tons of dialogue and barely any description at all and though I enjoyed it at first (like you enjoy an episode of Friends; light and not too taxing), by the time I got to halfway, with still no real insight into the bones of the story, and the second part called itself FINAL CURTAIN, I realised there would be NO depth to this book.It's funny and violent but shallow. OH SO SHALLOW. Murders, beatings, sex, etc, are tossed away with a sentence, as if none of it has any consequence at all. If the author thinks so little of such events, why should we? (If that was the point of the book, the character's emotional standpoint, it wasn't fully delivered...)The so called 'twist' was laughable. Trying not to ruin anything, the tough 'smart' hero may not have asked why his partner in crime was such a turn coat but maybe why his partner in crime was so eager to help him in the first place?For the writer; if you're going to preach about South East London criminal principles, remember the basic one, you trust NO ONE till they have proven themselves trustworthy. Oh and the second one? Try whacking a London East End gangland boss with NO comebacks WHATSOEVER. See what happens.....I liked the style of this book at first but it's a loosely connected series of set pieces, witty one liners and explosive violence with no emotional pay off and very little intrigue.A shame because I really wanted to like it.

  • Jonfaith
    2019-04-10 08:04

    Mr. Bruen obviously knows his tradition. At one point in his reworking of Sunset Boulevard (hence the title, saucy!) James Ellroy makes an appearence, yeh, Ellroy himself appears just off stage. References are made in almost every chapter to some noir classic. Such a homage creates its own set of problems, namely that the narrative is crowded out by the hall of fame tour. Whie I was frustrated as hell during the first half of the novel detailing the protagonist's release from prison and his efforts to reorient himself in society, the second proved easier to swallow. Bruen does affect a style which often literarly cascades down the page. I can't say I hated such technique, I only wish there was more on display.

  • Gary
    2019-04-15 12:07

    "It's About Absolute Devastation""Mitchell" is a hard guy. He is just out of prison after three years of payback for a brutal beating he doesn't remember. But best mate Billy Norton is waiting at the gate with a sweet setup for Mitch as the muscle for a loan shark. Though Mitchell's feeling are mixed. While the perqs that come with the leg breaking are good, he'd just as soon skip another stay at the gray bar hotel. When a job as a live-in handy man for aging actress Lillian Palmer falls into his lap, Mitchell takes a shot - if a somewhat tentative shot for the career criminal - at the straight and narrow.From this backdrop, the prolific Ken Bruen literally rips out another savage crime novel with more grit than Jones Beach and Bruen's trademark black humor. Lillian Palmer, deliciously demented and coming complete with a sexual appetite that belies her years, provides a bizarre twist to what otherwise may have been a pedestrian and often-told story of betrayal and retribution. But the real brilliance in the author's twisted logic comes in the form of "Jordan", Palmer's mysterious butler who proves to be so much more. Bruen's staccato dialogue and disregard for small annoyances like punctuation or other literary convention add to the quirky appeal of Mitchell and the eclectic cast of thugs and wankers that follow him through the pages of this razor-edged page turner, which should keep you guessing right up to the bloody last sentence.Adding to Mitch's (and Bruen's) sandpaper charm is an uncongruous and unabashed love of crime fiction and the authors that pen them, with references to Andrew Vachss, Dennis LeHane, and other masters of crime who are liberally quoted and add credibility and depth to an already addictive storyline.If you haven't read Bruen yet - an unforgivable injustice that he remains relatively unknown, at least on this side of the Atlantic - then "London Boulevard" is a great place to start what you can expect to be a long, entertaining, and brutal acquaintance

  • Tony
    2019-04-24 05:58

    Bruen, Ken. LONDON BOULEVARD. (2009). ****. Mr. Bruen once again has worked his magic and produced another stand-alone icon of noir. This one is set in London and tells the story of Mitchell, a stand-up guy who has just gotten out of prison. He has just served three years for a vicious attack on a fellow drinker in a bar that he can’t even remember doing. He is met by his friend Billy Norton, who takes him to an apartment that is up-scale to any that Mitchell has ever had. Norton tells him that it is a payment for debts from a man who borrowed money from him and couldn’t pay him back. Mitchell finds out, however, that it comes with strings. Norton and his boss expect him to do a few “jobs” with them as a repayment. Mitchell opts out and goes looking for a real job. He finds one as a jack-of-all-trades at the mansion of a woman who was once a star of stage and screen, but was now in her fading 60s. He takes the job and moves to an apartment over the carriage house that he share with the butler, Jordon. It’s a strange arrangement. Jordon is devoted to the actress, Lillian, and, supposedly, was even once married to her. He turns out to be much more than Mitchell sees at first glance, and the two of them later team up to rid Mitchell of his threatening pals, Norton and his boss. It all gets heavy very quickly and bodies begin to fall, while Bruen tells you what songs are playing in Mitchell’s head and what books he’s reading. This is another competent job by Bruen, and one that is – according to the dust jacket – “Now a major motion picture.” Recommended.

  • Mark
    2019-04-14 11:58

    If you've been thinking about trying out Ken Bruen, LONDON BOULEVARD is not a bad entry point. You're not committing to the Jack Taylor or Brant/Roberts series, and you'll be avoiding the broad parody of his "Max" collaborations with Jason Starr (that's the absolute WRONG place to start with either writer). LONDON BOULEVARD is a sort-of adaptation of SUNSET BOULEVARD displaced to (guess) London, and it's a well-written, fast-moving, and stylish neo-noir. I guess the only strike against it as a starting point for Bruen is that it's set in England not Ireland, but Bruen seems comfortable in both locales, and this book offers much of what you'll either really like or dislike about Bruen as a writer: quick, telegraphed prose with lots of white space on the page; melancholy interior monologues; wise-ass dialogue; lots of hip pop culture references; and a dark brooding Irish pessimism about life and human nature. This is not the best Bruen I've read (I am soon going to get back into the Taylor series), but is a solid and pleasing work of crime fiction and a real page-turner. (I have yet to see the film, but now I can.)

  • Reem Al Kaabi
    2019-04-07 10:23

    London Boulevard by Ken BruenIt's a novel which talk about a man who released from prison, his name Harry Mitchell. He met his friend and they live together. After that they did a welcome party for Mitchell. In there way to party Mitchell met a women here name is Penny. She told him to help her friend Charlotte. In this point when Mitchell met Charlotte the problems are started. Many crimes happen and Mitchell's friend was killed. It was awesome book and I enjoy read it. This book was amazing and I enjoy read it.It's a crime and romantic book . The only thing that i learn from that book is the vocabulary.

  • Anna
    2019-04-06 07:01

    Holy sh*t. (I just finished reading it, so excuse me....)I loved it. The language is not sophisticated, I think this is what you call a "short" writing style.I was really in need of a book where the main character is tough, no kidding around.The whole book is manly and rough and the ending surprised me very much. I thought I had it figured out but on the last couple of pages everything turned around. (I can still remember the moments I've finished this book, I remember where I was and how it made me feel. Powerful.)I think I'm going to read this again, soon.

  • Ed
    2019-04-08 09:15

    Really interesting and tough main character which is the only reason to read this. This book seems to be a gritty British version of Sunset Boulevard right down to the retired 50ish actress to her butler who'll do anything for her. The characters here really well thought out which makes the mystery kind of a drag. It seems like you can get away with whatever style plotting in a book that would never ever fly in a movie or TV episode. Still, very interesting main character and worth a look on that basis.

  • Sandi
    2019-04-25 10:02

    Dark, violent, and funny with the author's trademark style and tons of crime fiction/authors references.

  • Gabi
    2019-04-04 07:25

    Rovid mondatok, frappans, porgos parbeszedek: olyasmi erzesem volt, mintha nem is regenyt, hanem forgatokonyvet olvasnek. (Erdekes lesz majd a filmmel osszevetni.) Valahogy, talan pont azert, mert annyira gyorsan lehetett olvasni, es mert keves volt a korites, erzelmileg nem nyomott meg annyira.Tetszettek a Sunset Blvd-os athallasok, mindazonaltal a Sunset szerintem joval veszjoslobb hangulatu tortenet, annak ellenere, hogy a London Blvd-ban joval tobb az eroszak.

  • Chris Rhatigan
    2019-04-12 11:14

    I'd only previously read Bruen's series with Jason Starr for Hard Case Crime. This is a solid noir with a complex plot, a manic central character, and clever dialog. Bruen's quite the stylist as well. Though I didn't care for this thing with a single word on a linejustlike this.Still, a fun read with a surprising ending.

  • Katie Brock
    2019-04-19 08:13

    Going to watch the film and then compare the two! This was a good book, short, but with lots going on so I was able to follow without it getting bored. It's very gory though, and probably not for the faint hearted reader due to the language and the violence but it's a very quick read! I'll be writing a full review on my blog which I shall link below when it's up and posted.

  • Chilodonella
    2019-04-02 13:58

    Viděla jsem film natočený podle této knihy a kupodivu to nebylo jako film. Bylo to své, bylo to čtivé, možná trochu jednoduché, ale mělo to všechno. hlavní hrdina tím tedy proplouval s přístupem "mám to tak trochu na háku" ale jo, bylo to celkem dobrý.

  • anolinde
    2019-04-13 09:00

    I wrote "what a fucking weird book" about halfway through reading this and my thoughts are no different upon finishing. What a fucking weird book.

  • Shannon Sullivan
    2019-04-13 10:10

    A poodle tap dancing on a keyboard could write a better and more detailed book.

  • Marie Grassick
    2019-03-27 12:06

    So readable but it's no Sunset Boulevard. The build up is fab but you need a memorable ending.

  • Valeriane
    2019-04-18 14:10

    London Boulevard, ça se passe à... Londres.Mitch sort de prison. 3 années passées derrière les barreaux. Enfermé pour une bagarre dont il n'a aucun souvenir, il compte bien revenir à Londres avec un avenir un peu plus "stable devant lui".On ne sait pas trop ce qu'il faisait avant, mis à part qu'il trempait dans des affaires plutôt louches... sex, drugs & rock'n roll... ce qui l'a conduit tout droit en tôle.Son vieil "ami" vient le chercher à sa sortie. Il lui loue gracieusement un logement -superbe appart meublé et équipé. Mais cela ne va pas sans un lot de magouilleries.Mitch, décidé à se ranger, se trouve un boulot d'homme-à-tout-faire dans une somptueuse demeure, auprès d'une ancienne actrice.Oscillant entre sa nouvelle vie tranquille et ses ex-plans foireux qui le rattrapent, la vie de Mitch va bien vite déraper.Le style de Ken Bruen était vraiment agréable à lire. Des phrases simples, fluides, avec des "mots" mis graphiquement en valeur (pour accentuer leur poids, leur impact, l'énumération). Un récit qui coule tout seul et qui s'avale comme une bonne Guinness (euh, bon là, faut que je repasse, je n'en ai jamais vraiment gouté). Sans jamais nous endormir, Bruen donne à lire le récit d'une réhabilitation ponctué de moments coups de poings, de rebondissements ou de retournements de situation. Avec son style plutôt bien rythmé, j'ai dévoré les pages à vive allure. J'étais entrainée dans l'histoire. J'ai apprécié le profil des différents personnages. Pas forcément originaux, ils n'en sont pas moins attachants, drôles, déjantés ou carrément détestables. Une belle découverte pour moi que cet auteur irlandais.Également gros de cœur pour les descriptions de Londres, et les références musicales et littéraires.Présenté comme un "roman noir", je ne sais pas si je suis totalement d'accord avec cette classification. Ici pas de détective, pas vraiment de critique de la société (dites moi si je me trompe), juste le côté voyous & gonzesses. Je pense que je le mettrais entre le polar et le noir... (Je crois que je n'aime pas les classification, c'est parfois réducteur et puis pas toujours évident. Il n'y a pas qu'une case pour chaque œuvre!).En bref, un bon moment de lecture, une belle découverte et sans doute un auteur à continuer à découvrir.Ma note : 3,75 étoilesC'était aussi un bouquin reçu dans le cadre de mon premier partenariat via Bibliofolie, cette fois-ci avec les éditions Points.Je remercie l'éditeur et les tenancières-Bibliofolles, de m'avoir permis d'y participer. Et hop, cette lecture s'inscrit également dans mon Challenge God Save the Livre...(euh les auteurs irlandais, ça compte hein??)

  • Leftbanker
    2019-04-10 13:14

    (I read this in Spanish. I plan to only read in Spanish and French for a few months. These crime novels are easy to read but I pick up a lot of cool, colloquial vocabulary.)I have to admit that I saw the film first before reading the book in translation. Both are flawed and I think that the film improved considerably on the novel. It’s a story we’ve seen before in which a young upstart gangster is courted by the older, more powerful boss. Very similar to J. J. Connolly’s Layer Cake. And we get it. You like crime novels and we like crime novels which is obvious because we are reading your crime novel. I just don’t want to hear you talk about other crime novels as I read yours. I also don’t give a crap about what you like and don’t like about music. The alternative title for this book could have been Everyone Wants to be Quentin Tarantino.If you take away the violence from the novel you’re left with very little and the violence isn’t very compelling. The movie makes much better use of the butler character and the actress is changed from an old Miss Havisham to a young ingénue which is also more interesting, at least on film. The Spanish translation was by Jesús María Abascal Pérez and this sort of slang-filled hipster English patois presents a lot of challenges for the translator. Most of these linguistic hurdles were handles adroitly and it never ceases to amaze me how much work it must be to do this sort of literary translation. There are a couple of errors, however, with two notable one being when he’s talking about a cop in one of his stories: “he’d found himself cruising for a child” is translated as “se descubrió a sí mismo enrollándose con una niña” which is hardly the same thing. In what I imagine was a typo “basketball” is translated as “baseball.” WTF?

  • I_love_books
    2019-04-12 07:58

    London Boulevard ist keine "Weichei-Gangsterstory", sondern es geht gleich von Anfang an hart zur Sache. Mitchell war wegen Körperverletzung sage und schreibe drei Jahre im Knast und kaum hat er die Luft der Freiheit geschnuppert, bricht er einem Punk den Arm. Das geht ja gut los, dachte ich mir und tatsächlich geht es im Grunde genommen wie in einer Abwärtsspirale weiter nach unten - Mitchell strudelt von einer Straftat zur nächsten. Klar braucht man einen Job, wenn man aus dem Knast kommt und neu anfangen möchte - aber man sollte echt nicht gleich den nächst Besten annehmen. Aber genau dass macht Mitchell - mehr oder weniger aus Mangel an Alternativen und weil er eine neue Bleibe braucht. Obwohl er nicht begeistert davon ist, nimmt er das Angebot seines Kumpels Billy - dem kleinkrimineller Ganoven - an, seine Brötchen von nun an als brutaler Geldeintreiber zu verdienen.Als er dann für die Schauspielerin Lillian Palmer irgendwie den "Hausmeisterjob" übernimmt, sie ihn mehr als gut entlohnt, keimt in Mitchell die Hoffnung auf, sein Leben doch noch zum Besseren wenden zu können.Ab dann wird es rasant... Neben der Affaire mit seiner Chefin bahnt sich etwas Ernsthaftes mit der schönen Aisling an. Als wäre das nicht genug Trouble, holt ihn seine Vergangenheit an dieser Stelle ein: Als er sich weigert Lillian auszurauben, wird der Obergangster (der Boss von Billy) mehr als stinkwütend und gibt Mitchell zum Abschuss frei.Mein Fazit:"London Boulevard" ist keine leichte Kost. Die Story ist recht brutal und die Wortwahl nicht unbedingt jedermanns Geschmack - und doch passend. Anfänglich musste ich mich erst einwenig reinhören, bis ich Gefallen an dem Krimi von Ken Bruen fand.

  • Karen
    2019-04-20 08:13

    To be honest, I'd read Ken Bruen's to do list, shopping list, just about anything he writes. (I live with this odd fantasy that his to do list would be terse, pointed, poignant, unapologetic, tense and yet hilarious... but I don't get out much and my mind tends to wander into odd places).As is also normal with any Ken Bruen book LONDON BOULEVARD is not for the squeamish. Unapologetic, brutal, violent and very in your face, it is as always, equally touching and somehow hamfistedly gentle. Mitch, fresh out of prison, has a soft side, particularly when it comes to his sister Briony, a fragile creature. Whilst he comes out of jail to an apartment, creature comforts and the small complication of a job with a local loan sharking outfit, Mitch prefers to look after himself. He branches out into the role of handyman to the glorious, Norma Desmond copycat Lillian Palmer. Hence LONDON BOULEVARD is also not a book for the prudish - as sex with elderly, slightly bats actresses is one thing; but to be honest the close attention that butler, caretaker, bodyguard and more, Jordan, pays to his mistress's every need was ... weird from the start.Life for Mitch meanwhile gets more complicated as his sister's desperation, betrayal, the desire for revenge and the madness of just about everybody around him means that he is caught between a rock and a very very hard place. LONDON BOULEVARD is another classic Ken Bruen novel - sharp, brutal, funny, touching, discomforting - delivered at break neck pace, not guilty of the use of an unnecessary word.

  • Ian Mapp
    2019-04-20 11:00

    A relief, after the last beast. The chance to knock off an excellent book in two days, which has introduced me to a new author who I want to read more of and was thrilling and entertaining all the way through.this is written in short, sharp prose that is emminently readable and the classic loner, criminal up against the world. Lets give an example of this sort of text."I could feel the whiskey kicking in. It does all sort of weird shit to me but mainly it makes me unpredictable. Even I can't forsee how it will break".Top stuff.The story starts with Mitchell being released from jail for a crime he can't remember committing - the beating of a man. He doesn't even ask for parole, as he doesnt want to owe anyone anything.On his release, he is picked up by his low life mates and starts out as a loan shark enforcer. There are deviations as he takes revenge on youths who have killed his big issue selling tramp mate until eventually two things happen to him....He starts working for an aging actress, who he starts an affair with. She is looked after by her butler, who it transpires is alos her husband.Then he falls out with the local loan shark and everything kicks off.The story is all a bit silly and this is referenced by the prose when he exclaims after finding out who is responsible that "the butler did it!"All sorts of cultural references to PJ Harvey, Courtney Love and Derek Raymond made me realise that I was in good hands.An excellent book that made me go straight for more of his from the libraray and once I started ordering, I was back up to 12. Which is daft.

  • Kevin
    2019-04-21 13:22

    I watched the film version of London Boulevard the other week and had a few unanswered questions. Often the original book fills in these gaps. In the case of The Road, I read the book first, and layers of its meaning were revealed to me by the film version - which was a very close rendition.The book London Boulevard is significantly different to the screen version. Same characters, same set piece scenes, but different motivations and emphasis.I enjoyed the story greatly nevertheless, and it certainly pulls you along. It's my first encounter with Ken Bruen's work though, and I can't say his writing style appeals. It's very choppy and his editor obviously skips over the proofs as there were a couple of errors in it - 9 years after the first edition. Grammatical as well as this random mention of some guy called Isherwood. One sentence, no context. Never mentioned again.I smiled at the mention of Filthy McNasty's as my daughter mentioned an establishment of the same name in Toronto.I live in Canada and am very sensitive to UK vs. US words. Ken Bruen is Irish, and he playfully mentions his hometown of Galway in this book a couple of times. I was surprised that a London thug would use words like eggplant, highway and flashlight. The London characters seemed fond of using the Northern English "nowt" too.Like Philip K Dick, he spins a good yarn, but in a clumsy writing style. Also like Dick, I can see how the tale is well suited to film adaptation.Worth a read if you want something quick and punchy - well suited for an aeroplane trip or a bus commute.

  • Paul Pessolano
    2019-04-19 09:06

    I came across Ken Brujen last year when I read his "Once Were Cops" and found not only a new author but a very unusual author who writes in a very unusual way and his mysteries are unique in their content."London Boulevard" starts with Mitchell being released from prison after three years for aggravated assault. He is vfery fortunate that a friend of his informs him of a good job. The job is taking care of a once famous actress. Mitchell's job is to take care of the properties, as well as the aging actress.Mitchell must also contend with Jordan, the Butler. Mitchell finds out that there is more to Jordan than meets the eye. In fact, way more than anyone would suspect.Mitchell is being drawn back into his former life. He is asked by his "friends" tgo help them out on several shake downs and heists. It is through these acquaintences that Mitchell starts to really get into trouble.Mitchell has a sister, Briony, who believes her dead husband is still alive, and becomes a pawn when Mitchell does not cooperate in these illegal activities.Although faced with these situations and decisions, he finds, Aisling, an Irish lass who he falls madly in love with and finds himself wanting to change his life, of course, this is after the big heist that nets Mitchell a lot of money.Not only will the reader be treated to an unusual author and an unusual storyline but also an unusual ending.