Michael O'Shea is a member of Ireland's police force, known as The Guards. He's also a sociopath who walks a knife edge between sanity and all-out mayhem. When an exchange program is initiated and twenty Guards come to America and twenty cops from the States go to Ireland, Shay, as he's known, has his lifelong dream come true--he becomes a member of the NYPD. But Shay's dream is about to become New York's nightmare.
Paired with an unstable cop nicknamed Kebar for his liberal use of a short, lethal metal stick called a K-bar, the two unlikely partners become a devastatingly effective force in the war against crime.
But Kebar harbors a dangerous secret: he's sold out to the mob to help his sister. Her rape and beating leaves her in a coma and pushes an already unstable Kebar over the edge just as Shea’s dark secrets threaten boil over and into the streets of New York.
Once Were Cops melds the street poetry of Brooklyn and Dublin into a fast-paced, incomparable hard-boiled novel. This is Ken Bruen at his best.
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“Bruen tells the story brilliantly…the pacing is intense…one of the darkest portrayals of policing since James Ellroy’s L.A. Confidential.” –The San Francisco Chronicle
"Bruen, a master of modern noir, render his prose in short staccato bursts, which is curiously mesmerizing--and, at the book's gruesome end, downright terrifying. A-" --Entertainment Weekly
"[A] stripped-down dark thrill ride...No one is safe as this shocker spins wildly toward a violent finish." --Publishers Weekly
"Shea is an otherworldly malevolence who makes ONCE WERE COPS a chilling and deeply creepy read. That Bruen renders such a remarkable character in what be called clipped free verse is further proof of his writing talent." --Booklist
"Bruen tells the story brilliantly. The dialogue captures both Irish and New York accents. The pacing is intense. And the prose is at once vivid and as tight as anything this side of a haiku." --The Salt Lake Tribune
KEN BRUEN has been a finalist for the Edgar and Anthony Awards, and has won a Macavity Award, a Barry Award, and two Shamus Awards for the Jack Taylor series. He has been an English teacher in Africa, Japan, Southeast Asia, and South America. He lives in Galway, Ireland.