Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Calibre by Ken Bruen

Mr. Bruen is a magician. Put a keyboard in front of him and he produces excellent work without fail. Of course, I say this having only read three novels and a couple of short stories. I'm thinking Rilke on Black has got to be a loser. Something has to be. In any event, if there is a loser in his oeuvre Calibre isn't it.

In this story, a nasty cop, DI Brant, chases a serial killer who kills for all the right reasons - people are just to bleeping rude. Brant himself is rude and may well have been a target but instead he targets the killer. In person.

Just when you thought Brant was man enough and more for this killer, Brant does something, something related to mystery writing no less, that turns the story on its ear a little.

Now, the thing about the novel, smoothly written in its way, frenetic in another, is that it is really a short story - I mean it's probably about 40,000 words. But you don't get a sense of an overgrown story or a novella that failed to grow up. Instead, you get a 40,000 word straight jab to the nose. It'll leave you bloody, and if it doesn't knock you out, it'll wake you up.


Blogger Peter said...

Nice to see a mention of one of the Brant/Roberts books, which I think sometimes get neglected in favor of Bruen's other work. I'm high on Calibre these days, and I've just posted a comment about it on my blog at, if you'd care to take a look.

Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

April 22, 2007 10:12 PM  

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