LONDON BOULEVARD - Ken Bruen
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.
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 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.