A month or two back, I mentioned here that I was underwhelmed by Ken Bruen’s much-praised novel THE GUARDS. I was surprised by the shock and outrage my comments provoked here and on several other blogs. Author Jason Starr suggested I try Bruen’s HER LAST CALL TO LOUIS MACNIECE. I did. And I loved it. I devoured it in one sitting. It’s everything THE GUARDS wasn’t. Fresh. Surprising. With a narrative engine that growls like a Pontiac GTO. It’s a darkly funny, nasty reimagining of the pulp noir formula. It’s equal measures Harry Whittington, Charles Willeford Elmore Leonard and Roger Corman… set in the UK. Now I see what all the excitement is about. I wish I read this one before THE GUARDS. I’m sure this won’t get as much play in the blogosphere as my critical comments did… but I’ve just got to say, WOW. I can’t wait to read the rest of his stuff… except, maybe, for his sequels to THE GUARDS.