London Boulevard purports to be an updating of the Sunset Blvd story moved to London in the present (at the time of the writing). The similarities to Sunset Blvd are really surface at best. There is an aging actress and the protagonist is financially supported by said actress however the Sunset Blvd similarities appear to be pasted onto the framework of a very good noir crime novel. The protagonist, Mitchell, is recently released from prison for a crime he was too drunk to remember. His friend, Norton, helps to set him back up in his old way of life, but with a few catches Mitchell is not willing to go along with. This leads to some difficulties with the local crime boss.
At the same time, Mitchell finds "honest" work as a handyman for an aging actress with an interesting butler. Hilarity ensues and the butler turns out to be full of surprises.
This is the first Ken Bruen book I have read after hearing and reading rave reviews of much of his work. I suspect this is not Bruen's strongest novel (he is much better known for his detective novels), and yet I could see genius at work all the same. Mitchell is exactly the type of flawed, amoral, completely awesome criminal that I love reading about. Fans of Parker or similar criminal protagonists will enjoy Mitchell I suspect. He is much more rounded a character than many of the criminal protagonists currently knocking somebody or the other's teeth out in a book near you. I now count myself a Bruen fan. 4/5