Her Last Call to Louis MacNeice
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Her Last Call to Louis MacNeice

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  101 ratings  ·  13 reviews
“If this thriller was any more hard-boiled, you’d be able to paint a face on it and roll it down the hill . . . Noir at its grungiest”—The Good Book Guide

Cooper had done his time in prison. Now on the outside, he’d set up a legitimate business with Doc, who he’d met inside. They called themselves “Righteous Repo,” and they even had an accountant. The repo firm did good bus...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Five Star (first published 1998)
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Martial arts film star Bruce Lee used to demonstrate what he called the "Three Inch Punch." He'd hold his fist a mere three inches away from his target, yet when he struck from that absurdly short range, he put so much power behind the strike that he could propel a man across the room and shatter his ribs in the process.

Ken Bruen's books are like that: short, yet powerful and brutally effective.

Her Last Call to Louis MacNeice is a short work, but there's a lot of story packed into those 120-odd...more
Bruen's second published novel is a dark, fast-moving shotgun blast of South London noir with a splash of Irish Whiskey to top it off. Cooper's happy little life of crime goes very bad, very fast, once Cassie enters his life. This is a great one-sitting read, something like an Anglo-Irish Elmore Leonard doing a novella-length riff on KISS ME, JUDAS with Guy Ritchie directing. Perfect as a literary palate-cleanser. (Now I need to find Bruen's RILKE ON BLACK, which apparently comes before this one...more
Nigel Bird
I love the title of this book. It's a lesson in how to suck a punter in. The link to poetry was a strong pull for me and also the fact that it doesn't give anything away, the latter possibly explaining why it took me 3 or 4 pages to find the rhythm.

It opens with a fast flow, like the floodgates have been opened on a river-of-consciousness.

Once I'd worked out how to surf the waves, a simple case of going with the tide, I was completely taken by the style and the first-person narrative.

Page 1, th...more
Tim Niland
Cooper is an ex-con in London who is part owner of a repossession business called Righteous Repo with a fella named Doc (because he wears Doc Martens, not because of any medical talent) whom he met in prison. Cooper and Doc also have a profitable side business, namely in bank robbery. When Cooper meets Cassie, a sexy American tourist, the wheels start to come off. Cassie is clearly mentally ill, obsessed with the poet of the title and soon becomes obsessed with Cooper and becomes the bane of his...more
I'd call this one a work for Bruen purists only. It has a lot of classic gritty noir elements, but they don't add up to anything, not even a character piece. The author's penchant for pop culture references is in overdrive, and adds the additional complication of unmooring the story's place in time: in one sentence it's mentioned that the movie Repo Man recently came out, then a little while later there's a reference to the sitcom Friends, without the passage of several years in between.
"A celtic Dashiell Hammett" (book cover quote)

Ken Bruen's a big favorite author - gritty, spare, hard boiled Irish author, writes crime stories.

In this short book, Cooper a legit repo man by day, bank robber by night, meets Cassie -- bold, brash and very mentally disturbed.

Sam Soule
I've finally bought into Bruen. Totally. The sparse hard-action prose. The consistently snap-happy dialog. The amazingly deep crime fiction fanboy-ness (-ish? -ism?). This be a small story with a big screen tone (realized soon). Raymond. Higgins. Pelecanos. Thank you.
Dan Mccarthy
It's all about the pace and the poetry. The characters are replaced with uncertainty. Sometimes a writer has more confidence in where he is going than the reader. This is one of those times. Sticking with Bruen ends up being fun.
An early Bruen that shows how he has refined his skills and voice over his career, but one thing that remains a constant delight to me is Bruen's willingness to completely suckerpunch his characters.
One of Bruen's lesser novels but still worth reading. If you're looking for modern noir, Bruen should be on your bookshelf (or ebook reader". I recommend starting with The Guards.
Cooper gets out of jail and continues in his villainous ways. Very dark, kind of a jazz riff on noir.
Simon Parsons
Pretty standard for the Bruen book I have read - Nastyish crook, psychotic woman, fast story.
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Ken Bruen, born in Galway in 1951, is the author of The Guards (2001), the highly acclaimed first Jack Taylor novel. He spent twenty-five years as an English teacher in Africa, Japan, S.E. Asia and South America. His novel Her Last Call to Louis Mac Niece (1997) is in production for Pilgrim Pictures, his "White Trilogy" has been bought by Channel 4, and The Guards is to be filmed in Ireland by De...more
More about Ken Bruen...
The Guards (Jack Taylor, #1) The Killing Of The Tinkers (Jack Taylor, #2) The Magdalen Martyrs (Jack Taylor, #3) Priest (Jack Taylor, #5) The Dramatist (Jack Taylor, #4)

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