Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Once Were Cops by, Ken Bruen

"Where do I begin?"

Michael O'Shea is a member of Ireland's police force, known as The Guards. He's also a sociopath. When an exchange program is initiated between The Guards and the NYPD, Shea is more than willing to go to America.  Teamed with a brutal cop nicknamed Kebar, the two unlikely partners become a devastatingly effective force in the war against crime.

Some of the blurbs liken Once Were Cops to James Ellroy's LA Confidential, and that's a pretty fair comparison. We have three male protagonists and they're all nasty pieces of work. Shea is a sociopath and a murder. Kebar is a cop on the take, possibly just bent because all the money he takes is to provide for his mentally challenged younger sister. Many of the characters do violent and deeply disturbing things and everyone is only out to enrich themselves.

This is my first brush with Bruen and I thought the story was well told and moved at a very quick pace. I did think the characters were a bit thin and the ending was a bit too neat. If the villain was as clever as the whole book made him seem, I don't see him falling for such an easy trap. That being said, I enjoyed it enough to put a couple of Bruen's Jack Taylor series on my TBR pile.

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