Thursday, June 11, 2009


Author: Ken Bruen
Publisher: St Martin’s Minotaur
Published: 2008
isbn: 978 0 312 38440 1

WOW!! A wow book. What is a wow book? A wow book is a book that has you glued to the pages, resenting every interruption. A wow book sees your hubby putting his head around the bedroom door saying, “aren’t you getting up today?” A wow book finds you lying in the bathtub and realising with a jolt you’ve been in there so long reading this book that the water has nearly gone cold.

ONCE WERE COPS by Ken Bruen is a WOW book.

Michael O’Shea is a Guard (Irish police officer) in Northern Ireland. He is known simply as Shea, Shea is seen as a good cop, but he is hiding a secret. A very dark secret. Shea has a black heart and a taste for violence and death; especially young women with swan-like necks.

Northern Ireland and New York City have a police officer exchange programme. Shea feels like his dream has come true when he is selected to spend a year on the streets of New York City. The big apple. Or in Shea’s case The Rotten Apple. Shea finds himself teamed with Kebar, an officer whose name comes from the fact that he likes to mete out justice with short metal stick called a K-bar. Kebar is corrupt and unstable. The murder of his beloved sister puts him over the edge.

No one could ever in their wildest dreams describe Bruen’s writing as cozy. Bruen is contemporary noir. Midnight noir.. His writing is to the point and punchy in every sense of the word. Pick up a Ken Bruen novel and you’re hooked. I guarantee your bath-water will be ice-cold before you know it.

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