The Barnes & Noble Review
The mean streets of New York City meet the brutality of Irish gangland in Ken Bruen and Jason Starr's Bust, the first collaboration ever between these two crime fiction icons. As cold-hearted as it is darkly comedic, this noir mystery has it all: illicit sex, blackmail, double-crossing, and a virtual cornucopia of unsuspecting murder victims.
Max Fisher, aging CEO of NetWorld, is not a happy man. But if he can somehow figure out a way to get rid of his nagging wife, he'll be able to carry on with his wildly self-indulgent, Viagra-fueled existence of drunken business meetings, excursions to seedy strip joints, and, most important, his ongoing affair with his executive assistant -- an Irish-American bombshell named Angela. Fisher hires a hit man, a former IRA thug nicknamed Popeye, to kill the "redundant" wife; but what the balding chief executive doesn't realize is that Popeye is secretly Angela's boyfriend -- and the murder they're planning is another one altogether.
Hard Case Crime Editor Charles Ardai describes Bust: "In anyone else's hands (except maybe the late Charles Willeford's), I'm not sure this very dark black comedy would've come off -- there is not one likable character in the entire book (well, maybe one, but he doesn't last long) and the selfishness and viciousness with which the assorted heels and sociopaths pursue their catastrophic schemes at each other's expense is breathtaking." Who says sleazy crime fiction can't be fun? Bust is an absolute gem of a novel -- a must-read. Paul Goat Allen
This first-time collaboration between two rising crime fiction writers is a full-tilt, rocking homage to noir novels of the 1950s, taking full advantage of the neo-pulp Hard Case Crime imprint. Wealthy, successful New York City business owner Max Fisher finds himself in a delightfully familiar scenario: he wants to get rid of his nagging wife so he can shack up with his sexy secretary, Angela Petrakos. When Angela introduces Max to Dillon, a former IRA hit man, Max thinks he's found his man; what Max doesn't know is that Dillon is already Angela's man-and the two plan to double-cross Max as soon as it becomes profitable. Dillon, however, proves to be less a professional than a psychotic: he'd just as soon kill "for the price of a pint" as he would for Max's wealth. Rolling in on the action is wheelchair-bound Bobby Rosa, an ex-con with a taste for lewd photography, guns and blackmail. As it tends to do, the murderous plot goes awry, sending Bruen and Starr's delicious, despicable characters scrambling for their money and their lives. A seamless blend of Bruen's dead-on Irish underworld and Starr's hellish vision of the Big Apple, Hard Case's latest release is smart, trashy fun, fulfilling ably the series' irresistible promise. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.\
A New York businessman and his lover plot to kill his wife, but she has other plans up her sleeve when she introduces him to an ex-IRA hitman. Bruen lives in Ireland and Starr lives in NYC. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.\