“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

An Unfair Cop, Guv

Brian Lindemuth was kind enough to drop us a line and let us know that Fantasy Book Spot is expanding its reach by moving into the realms of mystery and crime fiction. And where better place to start than with the publication of an excerpt from Sir Kenneth of Bruen’s (right) sparkling new – and tantalisingly as yet unpublished – standalone, ONCE WERE COPS, which comes courtesy of Fantasy Book Spot’s third issue of their Heliotrope e-zine. The opening salvo runneth thusly:
ONCE WERE COPS, by Ken Bruen
Kurt Browski, built like a shit brickhouse and just as solid. A cop out of Manhattan South, he was having a bad day.
Much like most days.
His heritage was East European but contained so many strands, not even his parents knew for sure it’s exact basis.
And cared less.
They wanted the American Dream.
Cash … and cash … and yeah, more of same.
They didn’t get it.
Made them mean.
His mother was a cleaner and his father had been a construction worker but had settled into a life of booze, sure beat getting up at 5.00 in the morning.
His father beat his mother and they both beat Kurt.
Somehow, he, if not survived them, got past them and finished High School, joined the Cops.
He wanted to be where you gave payback.
That was how he saw the force, emphasis on force. He was certainly East European in his view of the boys in blue, they had the juice to lean on … who-ever-the-fuck they wished.
And he did.
His early weapon of choice was a K-bar.
Short, heavy and lethal and you could swing it real easy, plus, they rarely saw it coming.
They were watching your holstered gun and wallop, he slid the bar out of his sleeve and that’s all she wrote.
His rep was built on it and over the years, he became known as Kebar.
Did he care?
Not so’s you’d notice. He didn’t do friends, so what the fuck did he care …
For the rest, jump on over to the latest Heliotrope. But keep a weather eye out for that K-bar, eh?

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