London Boulevard

( 3 )


Now a major motion picture starring Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley, written and directed by Oscar-winning screenwriter William Monahan of The Departed.

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 ...

See more details below
Paperback (First Edition)
$14.10 price
(Save 21%)$17.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (35) from $1.99   
  • New (16) from $1.99   
  • Used (19) from $1.99   
London Boulevard

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - First Edition)
$7.99 price


Now a major motion picture starring Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley, written and directed by Oscar-winning screenwriter William Monahan of The Departed.

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.

London Boulevard is a masterful work of double-dealing and suspense from Ken Bruen, one of the great crime writers of our time.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Even tough guys are allowed to play their little games, and Ken Bruen exercises that license in London Boulevard, an unnervingly clever reworking of ‘Sunset Boulevard’ that’s both a homage to the 1950 Billy Wilder film and a blueprint for contemporary noir fiction.” ---Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times

"This is a strong solo effort from Irish noir master Bruen, whose prose floats like a butterfly and stings like bejesus." --Library Journal

"Bruen combines staccato prose and hard-edged dialogue with gritty realism and a terrifying look at London's dark underbelly. This one packs one hell of a powerful punch." --Booklist (starred review)

"Noir fans will enjoy this rapid-fire thrill ride." --Publishers Weekly

“Bruen is a master of dark crime fiction and London Boulevard further seals his affinity for the noir.” –The South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Patrick Anderson
Bruen's prose is often a delight…Ultimately, the success or failure of the novel turns on whether you think the use of the "Sunset Blvd." plot works. I found it interesting to see both the young screenwriter and the crazed old actress morphed into the dangerous, predatory and highly sexual creatures they are in the novel
—The Washington Post
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312650421
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 11/22/2011
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 789,013
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

KEN BRUEN has been a finalist for the Edgar and Anthony Awards, and has won a Macavity Award, a Barry Award, and two Shamus Awards for the Jack Taylor series. He has been an English teacher in Africa, Japan, Southeast Asia, and South America. He lives in Galway, Ireland.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

ILEARNT this in prison. Compulsive is when you do something repetitively. Obsessive is when you think about something repetitively.

’Course, I learnt some other stuff, too. Not as clear- cut.

Not as defined.

The day of my release, the warden had me up for a talk.

Bent over his desk, he kept me waiting. His head over papers, a model of industry. He had a bald patch, like Prince Charles. That made me feel good. I concentrated on it. Finally, he looks up, says,


"Yes, sir?"

I could play the game. I was but a cigarette away from freedom. I wasn’t going to get reckless. His accent was from up north somewhere. Polished now but still leaking Yorkshire pudding and all that decent shit. Asked,

"You’ve been with us now for?"

Like he didn’t know. I said,

"Three years, sir."

He hmmphed as if he didn’t quite believe me. Riffled through my papers, said,

"You turned down early parole."

"I wanted to pay me debt in full, sir."

The screw standing behind me gave a snort. For the first time, the warden looked directly at me. Locked eyes. Then,

"Are you familiar with recidivism?"


"Repeat offenders, it’s like they’re obsessed with jail."

I gave a tiny smile, said,

"I think you’re confusing obsession with compulsion," and then I explained the difference.

He stamped my papers, said,

"You’ll be back."

I was going to say,

"Only in the repeats,"

but felt Arnie in The Terminator would be lost on him. At the gate, the screw said,

"Not a bright idea to give him lip."

I held up my right hand, said,

"What else did I have to offer?"

Missed my ride.

What the Yanks say. I stood outside the prison, waiting on my lift. I didn’t look back. If that’s superstition, then so be it. As I stood on the Caledonian Road, I wondered if I looked like a con, ex- con.


Yeah, and furtive. That too.

I was forty-five years old. Near 5' 11' in height, weighed in at 180 pounds. In shape, though. I’d hammered in at the gym and could bench press my share. Broken through the barrier to free up those endorphins. Natural high. Shit, do you ever need that inside. Sweat till you peak and beyond. My hair was white but still plentiful. I had dark eyes, and not just on the outside. A badly broken nose near redeemed by a generous mouth.


I love that description. A woman told me so in my twenties. I’d lost her but hung on to the adjective. Salvage what you can.

A van pulled up, sounded the horn. The door opened, and Norton got out. We stood for a moment. Is he my friend?

I dunno, but he was there. He showed up, friend enough. I said,


He grinned, walked over, gave me a hug. Just two guys hugging outside Her Majesty’s jail. I hoped the warden was watching.

Norton is Irish and unreadable. Aren’t they all? Behind all the talk is a whole other agenda. He had red hair, pasty complexion, the build of a sly greyhound. He said,

"Jaysus, Mitch, how are you?"


He took that on board, then slapped my arm, said, "Out . . . that’s a good one. I like that . . . Let’s go. Prison makes me nervous."

We got in the van, and he handed me a bottle of Black Bush. It had a green bow. I said,

"Thanks, Billy."

He looked almost shy, said, "Aw, it’s nuttin . . . for your release . . . the big celebration is to night . . . and here . . ." He produced a pack of Dunhills. The lush red luxury blend. Said,

"I thought you’d be gasping for a tailor made."

I had the brown paper parcel they give you on release. As Norton started the engine, I said,

"Hold on a sec." And I slung the parcel.

"What was that?"

"My past." I opened the Bush, took a long, holy swallow. It burned. Wow, did it ever. Offered the bottle to him. He shook his head.

"Naw, not when I’m driving."

Which was rich, him being half in the bag already. He was always this side of special brews. As we headed south he was rabbiting on about the party. I switched off.

Truth is, I was tired of him already.

Norton said, "I’ll give you the scenic tour."


I could feel the whiskey kicking in. It does all sorts of weird shit to me, but mainly it makes me unpredictable. Even I can’t forecast how it will break.

We were turning from Marble Arch and, of course, got caught at the lights. A guy appeared at the windshield and began to wipe it with a dirty cloth. Norton yelled,

"These fuckin’ squeegees, they’re everywhere!"

This guy didn’t even make an effort. Two fast wipes that left skid marks on the glass. Then he appeared at my window, said,

"Four quid, matey."

I laughed, rolled the window down, and said,

"You need another line of work, pal."

He had long, greasy hair down to his shoulders. His face was thin, and he had the eyes I’d seen a hundred times on the yards. The eyes of the bottom- rung predator. He leant his head back and spat. Norton went,

"Aw Jaysus."

I didn’t move, asked,

"You got a tire iron?"

Norton shook his head,

"Mitch, Jesus, no."

I said, "OK."

And got out.

The guy was surprised but didn’t back off. I grabbed his arm and broke it over my knee. Got back in the van, and the lights changed. Norton revved fast, crying,

"Oh God, Mitch, you crazy bastard. You’re out . . . what? Ten minutes . . . and you’re at it already. You can’t be losing it."

"I didn’t lose it, Billy."

"What, you smash the guy’s arm, that’s not losing it?"

"If I’d lost it, I’d have broken his neck."

Norton gave me an anxious look, said,

"You’re kidding . . . right?"

"What do you think?"

Excerpted from London Boulevard by Ken Bruen.
Copyright 2009by Ken Bruen.
Published in February 2009 by Minotaur Books.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)