BLITZ – by Ken Bruen

Out now from Transworld Ireland.

I love Ken Bruen’s PI Jack Taylor novels – so am pleased to say that the new one, The Devil, is due out in just twelve days time – review to follow on that in the next few days.

In the meantime we have BLITZ – a fast paced, action filled and blazer of a London based crime novel out now in time for the movie adaptation from Lionsgate directed by Eliott Lester (due 20th May) – see pic of Bruen in centre of pic below from the movie set.

If you’re not a fan of Jason ‘The Stath’ Staham and his movies, then don’t let the book jacket put you off, this is a fine read and, having just viewed the movie trailer, I think the film will also have a much wider appeal than the actor’s usual roles too.

It’s a dark tale, but a relatively simple one.

London cops are being killed, initially by gun but, when the killer runs out of ammo, the weapon of choice becomes a hammer.

BLITZ has a whole cast of cops up to no good, whether it be drug taking or unauthorised use of force and sometimes even murder to stop the bad guys on their patch.

Although a Statham vehicle as a movie, this is certainly not a book based just around his character of DS Brant, with many of the other supporting characters having very important and distinctive roles.

They are certainly not a PC bunch of coppers – with racist and homophobic slurs being banded about to their fellow officers and the people they deal with on the London streets abound.  In many ways the team that surround Brant made me think of Stuart MacBride’s novels – these are similarly troubled and messed up cops dealing with crime in sometimes unorthodox ways and means to get the job done.

I particularly enjoyed sequences within the novel where the killer worked on building his part through discussions and suggestions to a local press reporter, even choosing his own moniker for fear he’d be labelled with a press-created one he wouldn’t like.  It’s through this that ‘The Blitz’ (as in Blitzkrieg) creates his identity and I’m really looking forward to seeing those scenes in the forthcoming film.

Bruen is clearly becoming a favourite with movie makers and actors alike.  The recent adaptation of London Boulevard brought Colin Farrell, David Thewlis, Keira Knightley and Ray Winstone to the script.  With BLITZ, we can look forward to Paddy Considine joining Statham as he takes the role of fellow copper Porter Nash, plus the double-whammy bonus of having David Morrissey and Aidan Gillen (both fresh from the excellent Thorne series from Mark Billingham’s books) playing reporter Harold Dunphy and Barry Weiss (aka The Blitz).

If you’ve not had the joy of reading a Ken Bruen novel, then this would be a great place to start – prepare for a fast ride and a book you will devour quickly, leaving you wanting another and very soon.

Keith B Walters

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