Detectives Beyond Borders reads London Boulevard
He's better known for his machine-gun verbal outbursts. A fair parody of Bruen on paper would include
Mordant, rapid-fire jokes that bounce off the page like hailstones.
But London Boulevard is also chillingly laconic in the matter of its protagonist's reactions to the violence he inflicts, experiences, and has experienced. And that makes this 2001 novel more than just a revenge odyssey or damaged-hero story, though it is both.
It also is the author's version of Sunset Boulevard and, with a possible quibble about a surprising personality switch on the part of the Erich von Stroheim character, that aspect of the novel holds together beautifully and without intruding on the novel's suspense and mystery. Discussion of Bruen tends to focus on his raw emotion, tragic humor, and this like—on feeling rather than craft. But London Boulevard shows he’s capable of a well-crafted mystery while retaining all the rawness you’ve come to love. And that's why it's probably my favorite, and maybe the best, of the seventeen or so of his novels that I've read.
© Peter Rozovsky 2013