cover image Ammunition


Ken Bruen, . . St. Martin's Minotaur, $13.95 (226pp) ISBN 978-0-312-34145-9

The seventh Inspector Brant noir from Shamus-winner Bruen (after 2006's Calibre ) maintains the feverish pacing that has become Bruen's trademark. As incorrigible hardcase Brant sits in a London pub brooding about the recent demise of his hero, real-life author Ed McBain, a gunman opens fire and then disappears. Hit multiple times, Brant is rushed to the hospital. Local criminals and cops alike rejoice at this unexpected bit of good fortune, but within a few days he's up and crankier than ever, vowing revenge on his assailants. Meanwhile, his fellow cops grapple with their own personal crises: Sgt. Elizabeth Falls is harassed by a psycho named Angie (last seen in Vixen ), fresh out of prison and anxious to settle the score; police constable McDonald, in a cocaine-fueled downward spiral, agrees to lead a group of senior citizen vigilantes. When one of the codgers is killed during their first mission, McDonald's fate is sealed. Bruen keeps this train wreck on proper course to a wholly satisfying, and very noir, conclusion. (Aug.)