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The White Trilogy: A White Arrest, Taming the Alien, The McDead

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In this book, a jagged, brilliant tour of London noir, Detective Chief Inspector Roberts and Detective Sergeant Brant are obverse sides of the same tarnished coin. They come up against some of the worst thugs, gangs, and lowlifes.


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In this book, a jagged, brilliant tour of London noir, Detective Chief Inspector Roberts and Detective Sergeant Brant are obverse sides of the same tarnished coin. They come up against some of the worst thugs, gangs, and lowlifes.

30 review for The White Trilogy: A White Arrest, Taming the Alien, The McDead

  1. 5 out of 5

    Patrick O'Neil

    I had a hard go starting Ken Bruen's The White Trilogy. The writing felt clunky, and rough, spit out in bits, and slung at my head like a fishmonger tossing out a three day old Flounder. I was thinking: "I can't do this. Dude writes like a butcher." And then, Bruen did this thing he does, it's really simple: Roberts didn't know what to say. "I don't know what to say," He said. Yup, obviously doesn't take much to impress me. But really, if you think about it, and even if you don't, it’s fucking b I had a hard go starting Ken Bruen's The White Trilogy. The writing felt clunky, and rough, spit out in bits, and slung at my head like a fishmonger tossing out a three day old Flounder. I was thinking: "I can't do this. Dude writes like a butcher." And then, Bruen did this thing he does, it's really simple: Roberts didn't know what to say. "I don't know what to say," He said. Yup, obviously doesn't take much to impress me. But really, if you think about it, and even if you don't, it’s fucking brilliant. And that's pretty much Bruen's schtick, flaunt the obvious, play with the mundane, and beat it to death. He's got a way with words, and he shoves them together into menacing sentences. He's an Irishman, he's written about a million books – and he's my new goddamn hero.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Still

    I finished the final novel in this trilogy a few moments ago. As I understand these are the 1st three novels in the Brant & Roberts series. If you've read all of Ken Bruen's outstanding "Jack Taylor" novels and you have a thirst for more things Bruen this is an excellent book to continue whatever mad tear you might be on. These aren't exactly "crime thrillers" and they're definitely not "police procedurals". They're a breezy romp through a series of adventures and misadventures of two London police I finished the final novel in this trilogy a few moments ago. As I understand these are the 1st three novels in the Brant & Roberts series. If you've read all of Ken Bruen's outstanding "Jack Taylor" novels and you have a thirst for more things Bruen this is an excellent book to continue whatever mad tear you might be on. These aren't exactly "crime thrillers" and they're definitely not "police procedurals". They're a breezy romp through a series of adventures and misadventures of two London police officers who break almost every rule in order to bring villains to justice. As with every book I've read by Ken Bruen this trilogy is highly recommended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Brant's pants and Y-fronts were around his ankles and he felt a baseball bat tap his bum. For a horrific moment, he envisaged rape of an American variety. Fen said, 'I hear you're a hard ass. Time to change that. For the next few weeks when you try to sit, remember: keep yer bloody nose outta people's business.' xXx Stella Davis-Fenton's ex wife- was loading her washing machine. If she could have known it was the last day of her life, she might have done the wash regardless. It's highly doubtfu Brant's pants and Y-fronts were around his ankles and he felt a baseball bat tap his bum. For a horrific moment, he envisaged rape of an American variety. Fen said, 'I hear you're a hard ass. Time to change that. For the next few weeks when you try to sit, remember: keep yer bloody nose outta people's business.' xXx Stella Davis-Fenton's ex wife- was loading her washing machine. If she could have known it was the last day of her life, she might have done the wash regardless. It's highly doubtful she'd have added fabric softener. xXx ... his weapon of choice was a hurley. The national sport in Ireland, apart from talking, is hurling. A cross between hockey and homicide. The White Trilogy contains the best mixture of Irish wit and violence and Brant's escapades are a delight to behold. Recommended by this reader. 5 stars.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Charles

    I like Bruen's jack Taylor books. This less. Still read other GR reviews. I may just have eaten a sour nut.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alex Gherzo

    For quite a while I had been meaning to start this series by Ken Bruen (after seeing the movie Blitz, based on his fourth book in the series, starring a perfectly case Jason Statham as Brandt). Finally getting my hands on The White Trilogy, a collection of his first three books -- A White Arrest, Taming the Alien and The McDead -- I decided to make it my first book of 2017. And, despite massive flaws, I really liked it. Detective Sergeant Brandt and Chief Inspector Roberts are a pair of hard-nose For quite a while I had been meaning to start this series by Ken Bruen (after seeing the movie Blitz, based on his fourth book in the series, starring a perfectly case Jason Statham as Brandt). Finally getting my hands on The White Trilogy, a collection of his first three books -- A White Arrest, Taming the Alien and The McDead -- I decided to make it my first book of 2017. And, despite massive flaws, I really liked it. Detective Sergeant Brandt and Chief Inspector Roberts are a pair of hard-nosed London cops. Roberts is a gruff commanding officer who doesn't mind if the rules get broken so long as it bears results. And Brandt is the guy who's not only willing to break those rules, but relishes it. In A White Arrest, they go after a gang of amateur vigilantes murdering drug dealers, as well as a psycho killing cricket players; in Taming the Alien, Brandt heads off to America on the hunt for a hardened criminal who made the mistake of targeting him; and in The McDead, Brandt and Roberts set their sights on the new top gangster in London. Spoilers... The biggest problem with these stories is that they're not very satisfying. Brandt and/or Roberts never actually get their men. The killer in A White Arrest gets away, even after killing Brandt's dog; Brandt never catches up with Fenton "the Alien," and he's left a paraplegic by a hurricane (how's that for random?); and Tommy Logan is shot by a guy he tuned up in a subplot that is present only to offer up someone outside of any of the main or supporting characters to kill him. This sucks, particularly in Taming the Alien, as Fenton is a great villain and a showdown between him and Brandt is set up very well. Also, I don't know if it's just the edition I have or all of them, but there are lots and lots of typos and grammatical errors. Whoever edited the book was either out to lunch or doesn't know what he's doing. Things get particularly confusing when there's a conversation and the quotation marks have no rhyme or reason, so it's difficult to tell who's talking when. These (especially the first) would normally be deal-breakers, but I still found myself loving The White Trilogy. The characters are fantastic and a lot of fun to be around, particularly Brandt. He's the kind of cop we all wish was real at first, but Bruen doesn't go the easy route and make him a total wish fulfillment. Brandt does a lot of unsavory things, like extort business owners for free service (while failing to actually protect them); he even tries to sleep with Roberts' wife. You can't help but like him, however; he's funny as hell, and refreshingly politically incorrect. There's also a sweetness to him underneath the rock-hard exterior; he doesn't extort sex directly from Robert's wife, for example, but rather wants the opportunity to take her out to a nice dinner and impress her. It's almost enough to make you overlook how dishonorable his actions are. Roberts is great too, a guy with a lousy life -- a cheating wife, an ungrateful daughter, skin cancer -- whose only refuge is the job, along with his love of noir movies. The supporting characters, particularly WPC Falls, are great too. Also, and this is a personal thing, but I love how deeply ingrained in London culture the stories are. They couldn't take place anywhere else, and it makes me feel almost like I'm back in England, even if this is the seedier side of London. The narrative tends to meander and go off on tangents, but it's so much fun to be there with these characters that it doesn't matter; in fact, it helps distract from how unsatisfying the main plots are. Brandt's sojourn in Ireland, for example, doesn't really amount to anything, but it's such a pleasant interlude that it doesn't matter. The White Trilogy is a fun, if very imperfect, read, and I'll definitely be picking up the rest in the series before long.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Wichorek

    These three short novels feature Insp. Roberts and Sgt. Brant-three very tough guys , indeed.They were a fast read, but very violent and somehow, also, very funny. Just like one of those Tarentino films. So, if ou like your noir, very noir, you'll like these.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Random

    These books (I accidentally read the 4th, Blitz first) are a blast. Gritty and twisty, like Guy Ritchie, streetwise and colloquial, like Irvine Welsh, I think it's best called Crime Fiction, rather than mystery. The books follow the work and personal lives and times of 3 British police in southern London. Not my typical cuppa, but these were a fun and funny wild ride. It's very Brit-speak, I had to look up more than a few slang terms and acronyms. Recommended. FYI, this book is the first 3 of the These books (I accidentally read the 4th, Blitz first) are a blast. Gritty and twisty, like Guy Ritchie, streetwise and colloquial, like Irvine Welsh, I think it's best called Crime Fiction, rather than mystery. The books follow the work and personal lives and times of 3 British police in southern London. Not my typical cuppa, but these were a fun and funny wild ride. It's very Brit-speak, I had to look up more than a few slang terms and acronyms. Recommended. FYI, this book is the first 3 of the series.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Pam Mezaraups

    Absolutely loved it...well I am a Ken Bruen reader...love Jack Taylor...and now I add Roberts and Brant. I love the N-O-I-R... (Mr. Brant, please note) and I admire the sense of humor, sometimes bitter, in the face of an impossible job. The villains always seem to get their just due...but seldom in a court of law... I am ready for more Roberts and Brant...and I love the females in the action!!!! Loved the "sticky" solution to a girl's problem.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Barry

    You might think that a book with a police inspector as a prtagonist, and one who admires the 87th precinct books by Ed McBain, would be a procedural. But Inpector Brant is everything you might hate in a policeman; profane, violent, vindictive,sexist and racist. So why do I like it? Probably cecause it is a no hold barred battle between the police and the criminals, and both sides are completely amoral.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ace McGee

    The guy guys are bad so the bad guys got to be really bad! Choppy little stories in choppy little (1 -3 page) chapters. Tons of slang and references add to the disruption of the flow but one gets accustomed to it and even learns a few things. But don’t worry. All the baddies get their Just deserts albeit in the last three pages of each book, in quick, ugly manners. Quick read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Edmundo Munguia

    Bruen is one of the all time great crime writers! His Jack Taylor stories are always a fan favorite and sometimes hard to find in some local libraries. I had never read the D.I. Brandt stories and I will recommend them only because they are some of his early works and they even introduced D.I.Brandt in the movie Blitz.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alan Main

    This is a very difficult book to evaluate,the style its written in for me was difficult to follow,and to be honest I did not feel I really enjoyed it. However it is a interesting read,but probably not one I will be repeating.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Lies

    Simply put, I didn’t want it to end!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Nichols

    One of my favorite books of all time.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    "two lips and chimera" a tribute to e. e. cummings a fire-breathing she-monster in typographically exuberant style with lion's head and a goat's body spitting serpent's bile cummings was also a painter with no concern for rhyme or meter punctuation scattered across the page like the serpent's tail of a rhetor importance, elected, of presentation where meaning and emotion become clear

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ian Mathers

    I burned through the first half of this one in a night or two, then it almost burned me out; the whole thing felt just a little too mean spirited and nihilistic to consume in one gulp, and Bruen's impressionistic take on noir was a bit hard to follow when you're speeding through the books that fast. After setting it aside for a week, though, it was easier to see the humour in the characters, and really this is only a few shades darker than something like Terry Pratchett's Night Watch books (and I burned through the first half of this one in a night or two, then it almost burned me out; the whole thing felt just a little too mean spirited and nihilistic to consume in one gulp, and Bruen's impressionistic take on noir was a bit hard to follow when you're speeding through the books that fast. After setting it aside for a week, though, it was easier to see the humour in the characters, and really this is only a few shades darker than something like Terry Pratchett's Night Watch books (and I love those). Funny as hell, thrilling in both (breakneck, spitefulyl gleeful) style and content, relatively daring in form, this is great stuff.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Castagna

    Three books in one, albeit short ones. These books move along at a fast clip and have the feeling thrusting the reader into a boxing match, by the end of each novel one feels rather punch drunk and loopy. His style is sparse and energetic, and while traditionally each book has no real resolution, this does work well as a trilogy since there is carryover. Currently I am reading BLITZ which made me cognizant of the writer when I watched the movie with Jason Stratam.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Herb Hastings

    You don't get much more hard boiled than the 3 books in compendium. The stories follow London police into the heart of darkness. The main character is SGT Brant, a violent,and angry force of nature. He says of himself, " I was born angry and then got worse". The closest he has to a friend is Chief Inspector Roberts who is aging but still a man to be reckoned with. Bruen's terse and tight writing style drives these stories at an adrenalin pace. If you like noir fiction, read these books.

  19. 5 out of 5

    David Simonetti

    This is well worth reading. It is filled with total low lives and is a classic detectibve novel with a modern twist that highlights contemporary depravity. The writing is good and the main character is likeable depsite his many flaws.

  20. 5 out of 5

    April

    A refreshing kick in the teeth of a book (to call it a mere "crime novel" would be a grave injustice)...features some of my favorite, most memorable & complex baddies, sorta-good guys, and general pieces of work since the last Ellroy I read. A refreshing kick in the teeth of a book (to call it a mere "crime novel" would be a grave injustice)...features some of my favorite, most memorable & complex baddies, sorta-good guys, and general pieces of work since the last Ellroy I read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    Ken Bruen’s White Trilogy is breathless black comic mayhem thinly disguised as police procedural. The nonstop jokes, riffs on pop culture and post modern elliptical plots remind me of Steve Aylett. An almost ambient style that is more absorbed than read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ed O'farrell

    Not Bruen's best work, but entertaining nonetheless. Far better than most of what passes for mystery and suspense fiction these days. My three stars are more a reflection of the context of Bruen's other work than in comparison to other authors. Well worth the time and money.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Three excellent interconnected noir tales of inspectors Roberts and Brant bringing their own special blend of law and order to London. Less laconic than present, Bruen develops a great set of characters to surround the inspectors and puts them in service of solid storylines.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kon Lymbo

    I read the Inspector Brant seies in about 3 weeks. I gave each book 4 stars because they are great. The series gets FIVE STARS because it is BRILLIANT! Now to start on Mr Bruen's, Jack Taylor series.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Matt Stewart

    the funniest, most terse crime writing I've ever read - Jim Thompson hepped up on Jon Stewart. it's not literature, but an excellent vacation read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    Brutal, funny, and a very quick read. Not for those who like their heroes heroic.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    If Bukowski and Ellory spawned this would have popped out onto the pavement.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    If you haven't read Ken Bruen, you have a treat in store. Great noir writer from Ireland. His Brant character is wonderful, a Dirty-Harry type cop that everyone loathes, but he gets the job done!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Joel

    his first 3 books including A White Arrest

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    weary of this cockney tarantino style.

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