Ken Bruen, Jason Starr
May 2006
ISBN: 978-0857683106
Cover art by Richard B. Farrell

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1. When you hire someone to kill your wife, don’t hire a psychopath.

2. Drano is not the best tool for getting rid of a dead body.

3. Those locks on hotel room doors? Not very secure.

4. A curly blond wig isn’t much of a disguise.

5. Secrets can kill.

  • First publication anywhere, and first collaboration between two of crime fiction’s hottest stars
  • Bruen and Starr have been nominated for almost every major award in the mystery field, including the Edgar, the Shamus, the Anthony, the Barry, and the Macavity.
  • Bruen won the Shamus in 2003 for The Guards and Starr won the Barry in 2004 for Tough Luck; in 2005, Bruen won the Macavity for The Killing of the Tinkers and Starr won the Anthony for Twisted City.
  • Entertainment Weekly raves: "Tense, sometimes brutal, often funny [and] vividly fresh...This first-time collaboration between Irish hard-boiler Bruen (The Guards) and Brooklyn noirist Starr (Cold Caller) reads seamlessly--and mercilessly."
  • Publishers Weekly gives BUST a starred review: "A full-tilt, rocking homage to noir novels of the 1950s, taking full advantage of the neo-pulp Hard Case Crime imprint...A seamless blend of Bruen's dead-on Irish underworld and Starr's hellish vision of the Big Apple, Hard Case's latest release is smart, trashy fun, fulfilling ably the series' irresistible promise."
  • Chicago Sun-Times on BUST: "One of the year’s most darkly satisfying and electric noir novels...this is one of the top guilty pleasures of the year."
  • Rocky Mountain News on BUST: "Two of the century's best thriller writers have joined forces to bring a postmodern twist to the black heart of noir fiction. Grade: A."
  • Sarah Weinman (Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind) on BUST: "A really black comedy...I pretty much laughed my ass off."
  • Jenny Davidson (Light Reading) on BUST: "Really good...very violent and very funny."
  • Crime Scene Scotland on BUST: "The prose reads like a dream. Fast paced and bursting with energy...Hard Case Crime have released some of the best new novels of the past few years. They've given us some amazing reprints of classic crime. But this book, Bust, has just upped the ante once more."
  • Booklist on BUST: "Crosses and double-crosses, miscalculations and blunders, and plenty of dead bodies...For those who like the bungling-criminal genre, this is good fun."
  • Library Journal gives BUST a starred review: "Fasten your seat belts, and enjoy the bumpy ride of double- and triple-crosses, blackmail, and murder. If Quentin Tarantino is looking for another movie project, this novel with its mix of shocking violence and black comedy would be the perfect candidate. Highly recommended as a terrific summer read."

Raves for Ken Bruen and Jason Starr...

"Bruen’s twisted genius lies in blending noir elements with humor...Gloriously entertaining."
Miami Herald

"Starr, an heir of the bleakly noir mantle of Jim Thompson, is a master at portraying New York as a city of the damned."
Publishers Weekly

"The most startling and original crime novel of the decade."
GQ on Bruen

"From the first page of this noir thriller, you know things are only going to get worse, but you can’t stop reading."
Newsweek on Starr

"Among writers, Ken Bruen has become the crime novelist to read. He is...revolutionizing the art of crime fiction."
George Pelecanos

"Jason Starr is the first writer of his generation to convincingly update the modern crime novel by giving it provocative new spins."
Bret Easton Ellis