Weighing in at over a thousand pages, containing over forty-seven stories and two novels, this book is big baby, bigger and more powerful than a freight train—a bullet couldn’t pass through it. Here are the best stories and every major writer who ever appeared in celebrated Pulps like Black Mask, Dime Detective, Detective Fiction Weekly, and more. These are the classic tales that created the genre and gave birth to hard-hitting detectives who smoke criminals like packs of cigarettes; sultry dames whose looks are as lethal as a dagger to the chest; and gin-soaked hideouts where conversations are just preludes to murder. This is crime fiction at its gritty best.
• Three stories by Raymond Chandler, Cornell Woolrich, Erle Stanley Gardner, and Dashiell Hammett.
• Complete novels from Carroll John Daly, the man who invented the hard-boiled detective, and Fredrick Nebel,
one of the masters of the form.
• A never before published Dashiell Hammett story.
• Every other major pulp writer of the time, including Paul Cain, Steve Fisher, James M. Cain, Horace McCoy, and many
many more of whom you’ve probably never heard.
• Three deadly sections–The Crimefighters, The Villains, and Dames–with three unstoppable introductions by Harlan Coben,
Harlan Ellison, and Laura Lippman
• Plenty of reasons for murder, all of them good.
• A kid so smart–he’ll die of it.
• A soft-hearted loan shark’s legman learning–the hard way–never to buy a strange blonde a hamburger.
• The uncanny “Moon Man” and his mad-money victims.
Nonexistent, that is, until a dazzling woman walks into the bar with a strange request and a rumor about Jack's talent for finding things. Odds are he won't be able to climb off his barstool long enough to get involved with his radiant new client, but when he surprises himself by getting hired, Jack has little idea of what he's getting into.
Stark, violent, sharp, and funny, The Guards is an exceptional novel, one that leaves you stunned and breathless, flipping back to the beginning in a mad dash to find Jack Taylor and enter his world all over again. It's an unforgettable story that's gritty, absorbing, and saturated with the rough-edged rhythms of the Galway streets. Praised by authors and critics around the globe, The Guards heralds the arrival of an essential new novelist in contemporary crime fiction.
Ken Bruen's The Guards is a 2004 Edgar Award Nominee for Best Novel.
Before long he's sunk into his old patterns, lifting his head from the bar only every few days, appraising his surroundings for mere minutes and then descending deep into the alcoholic, drug-induced fugue he prefers to the real world. But a big gypsy walks into the bar one day during a moment of Jack's clarity and changes all that with a simple request. Jack knows the look in this man's eyes, a look of hopelessness mixed with resolve topped off with a quietly simmering rage; he's seen it in the mirror. Recognizing a kindred soul, Jack agrees to help him, knowing but not admitting that getting involved is going to lead to more bad than good. But in Jack Taylor's world bad and good are part and parcel of the same lost cause, and besides, no one ever accused Jack of having good sense.
Ken Bruen wowed critics and readers alike when he introduced Jack Taylor in The Guards; he'll blow them away with The Killing of the Tinkers, a novel of gritty brilliance that cements Bruen's place among the greats of modern crime fiction.
But when he's called to investigate a student murder—connected to an elusive Mr. K—he remembers the man from the airport. Is the stranger really who he says he is? With the help of the Jameson, Jack struggles to make sense of it all. After several more murders and too many coincidental encounters, Jack believes he may have met his nemesis. But why has he been chosen? And could he really have taken on the devil himself?
Suspenseful, haunting, and totally unique, The Devil is Bruen at his very best.