Ken Bruen & Jason Starr
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Buy *Bust* by Ken Bruen & Jason Starr online

Ken Bruen & Jason Starr
Hard Case Crime
254 pages
May 2006
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Donít let the name fool you; this book is anything but a bust. In fact itís quite an entertaining read by two up-and-coming modern noir writers, Ken Bruen (The Dramatist, The Magdalen Martyrs) and Jason Starr (Twisted City, Nothing Personal). The story stars Max Fisher, a wealthy businessman who wants to have his wife murdered so he can sleep with his beautiful secretary, Angela Petrakos. Max gets introduced to Angela's cousin Dillion, also-known-as "Popeye," a former IRA hitman, in a Manhattan pizza parlor.

Max is happy that he has found the right man for the job. Dillion does the job and kills Max's wife, Deirdre, and his niece. Max tries his best to feign grief, but as soon as he can he is having sex with Angela. Into the picture comes Bobby Rosa, an ex-con in a wheelchair who likes to take pictures. Rosa just so happens to have pictures of Max and Angela having sex. At the same time, policeman Kenneth Simmons, the detective in charge of the case of Max's wifeís murder, has a strong suspicion that Max was in on the whole deal. Max's plan starts to fall apart when everyone is double-crossing everyone, and Kenneth Simmonsí death sends an even more eager policeman, Detective Ortiz, to make Max crack and confess to the murders.

Clocking in at two hundred and fifty pages, Bust is a fast, one-session read. There is a noticeable difference between the two writers, but that could be a plus depending on who your favorite writer is. Overall, Bust is a mix of Bruen's Irish underworld and Starr's seedy, sinister view of New York City, the hallmarks of these rising stars in the modern noir genre.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Bobby Blades, 2006

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