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Chris High reviews the book'Rilke On Black' a book by Ken Bruen

Rilke On Black

Ken Bruen


Publisher: Serpent’s Tail
ISBN: 185 242 781 7
Re- Published: March, 2006

Does Anything Eat Wasps? cover of the book

Rilke On Black

written by
Ken Bruen


Sometimes aspiring authors have to remove their hats and ask themselves: “Why bother? You’re not going to top that?” Of course, we bother because that’s the challenge. To get to the top – or even to get on the ladder – books need to be read and learned from and Ken Bruen’s Rilke On Black, with its tight, clipped dialogue (that cracks both smiles and frowns of concern for the characters in equal measure), detailed yet underplayed descriptions and overall sense of powerful eeriness, is one novel from which much can be learned.

 


In South London, an unlikely gang of kidnappers – Nick, an ex-bouncer, Dex, a charismatic sociopath, and Lisa, a motor-mouthed, over-sexed junkie femme fatale – hatch a plot. Their prey is a powerful local businessman with an obsession for the poet Rilke and a beautiful wife.

Thing is, each kidnapper has a very different agenda. Which means it's only a matter of time before the joking stops, and the ever-threatening violence begins.
Its tempo is unrelenting and the author’s ability to take the most ordinary of situations and imbue them with an overwhelming sense of darkness and mystique, is inspirational.

Nick is a likeable guy, Lisa is trying hard to escape and Dex is, well, a violent thug. What is most remarkable, however, is that we as readers all know them because we’ve met them and their like in reality and not just once or twice, but every day.
Littered with highlights, Rilke On Black, one of Ken Bruen’s first ventures into Crime fiction and originally published in 1996, is an absolute “must read” novel.

www.kenbruen.com

Order this book online - Linghams Booksellers


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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
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