London Boulevard is one of Ken Bruen’s relatively older novels originally published in 2001. It was the basis for a recent British noir film with the same title. The recent re-release of the book in November 2011 gave us the opportunity to take a fresh look at the book (We recently reviewed The Devil from Kevin Bruen here).
The story begins 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. Sober enough from spending years in prison, he wants to stay away from the criminal life. He finds work at the Holland Park mansion of faded movie actress Lillian Palmer, as a bodyguard.
Crime boss Rob Gant sees Mitchell’s value and tries aggressively to pursue him to become part of his gang. 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 react.
The book uses a lot of funny and witty dialogues and is full of violence. Bruen does a good job in creating a well-written and entertaining story and gives the main character Mitchell some style: In certain parts of the book we see him beyond an ex-con while he quotes various books he supposedly read and citing their authors, and making reference to numerous songs and the artists.
This was a fun to read book and I recommend it the lovers of noir genre. It deserves 3.5 out of 5 stars. Amazon link to the book: London Boulevard