Genre Genre Genre
Billy Wilder's Sunset Blvd. set in Ken Bruen's 21st-century London.
And since London Boulevard (Minotaur) is being adapted to the formerly silver screen by William Monahan (screenwriter of The Departed), with Colin Farrel and Keira Knightley, Bruen’s anonymity outside the genre ghetto of crime fiction has probably come to an end.
Bruen’s books, both his Jack Taylor series and his standalones, are fast-paced and violent, with a light blend of cynicism and irreverence which makes for a fun read. Additionally, London Boulevard is an homage to Billy Wilder’s screen classic, Sunset Blvd.
Mitchell, out of prison after a three-year bit for assault, is offered a job as a loan shark enforcera job he is well-suited for, but then he gets a straight job as a handyman with a rich but fading stage actress, Lillian Palmer, who compensates him with cash, cars, and sexrewards which Bruen does not leave to the reader’s imagination.
As is the case in a Bruen novel, the author is not light-handed with the body count. In this story, I stopped counting after 11 including a climactic blood bathwhich might be thought excessive except this is, after all, crime fictionand it makes sense in Bruen’s London populated with thugs, loan sharks, druggies, and bottom-feeders of every stripe.
Some people call this fun. And, I’m one of them.