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A White Arrest (Bloodlines) Paperback – 31 Oct 1998

3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: The Do-Not Press (31 Oct. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1899344411
  • ISBN-13: 978-1899344413
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.8 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 900,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

A serial-killer is picking off the England cricket team, and in Brixton, a vigilante group is hanging dope dealers from lampposts. Chief Inspector Roberts and Detective Sergeant Brant, two tough, corrupt cops, are out to clean up the streets.'

From the Publisher

The first in the ground-breaking 'White Trilogy'
"'A White Arrest' pits a double act of corrupt cops against serial killer The Umpire, who is gradually picking off the England cricket squad. DS Brant is a fat, obnoxious enforcer with a bitter sense of humour and everyone in his South London manor serving his needs. CI Roberts really can't be bothered any more, but the Commissioner's on his back. Both need a 'white arrest' to stop their careers from hitting the skids, but, as the plot grows stickier, it becomes evident that neither are going to get off lightly." - BizArre magazine

"An absolutely cracking read, it rolls along bretahlessly, inviting you to grab on tight and enjoy the ride. This is a fine novel that just happens to be a crime novel." - Time Out

"With his latest, theb stunning, fast moving. 'A White Arrest', he has once again shown himself to be a master of plot, pacing, and character... 'Books In Ireland' once declared, 'If Martin Amis was writing crime novels, this is what he would hope to write'. But he wouldn't be able, let's be honest.' - Galway Advertiser.

The other books in the 'White Trilogy' are 'Taming The Alien' and 'The McDead', both are available from Amazon.co.uk


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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A. Ross TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 April 2013
Format: Paperback
I picked this up when it came out 15 years ago and just couldn't get past the first ten pages or so -- it felt like I'd turned the TV on in the middle of an unfamiliar show, with long-established characters bantering their way through quick scenes, and I just couldn't keep up. This time around, I was able to find the book's rhythm right away and ride it to the end -- which doesn't take long, it's very short.

The title is London cop slang for the kind of career-making bust that renders one nearly untouchable -- something two of the three protagonists are in dire need of. DS Brant is the worst kind of bully cop, smacking people around in interrogation rooms, sexually harassing pretty much any woman in his line of sight, and leaning on local merchants for all manner of freebies. His boss, Chief Inspector Roberts is on the tail end of his career and close to being forceably retired. The third protagonist is WPC Falls, whose gender and race place her on the opposite end of the spectrum from Brant, but still manages to get along with him.

Their Southeast London precinct is locus for not one serial killer, but two -- the first a total nutcase called "The Umpire" intent on killing off the English national cricket squad, the latter a foursome led by a testosterone and shame fueled vigilante thug inspired by the Death Wish movies to start lynching local drug dealers. I generally can't stand crime novels that involve serial killers -- I think they're a very lazy plot device. However, everything in this book, from the cops, to the action, to the vivid language is so bursting with outsized color that it fits in.

Make no mistake, for all the wisecracking and pop culture references, this is a violent and grim book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently saw the film "Blitz" with Jason Statham which I loved so much I saw it twice..I bought the book to see what they based it on, and was thoroughly enthralled by it.Tension and humour in equal measures.I loved every page and read it in no time.As Brant would say"If you love Ed McBain's 87th precinct police procedurals ya will luv this".Buy it and you will not be disappointed.I am now in the process of buying the other novels in the series.

Jeff
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I bought a selection of books for holiday reading by Ken Bruen - including this one. I thought it was coarse and heavy handed, unlike his other books
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A great book which with great characters, if a little short. How about a full length novel Ken. Thorghly recommend this series
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars 11 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The anti-police procedural 14 Dec. 2012
By TChris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Although A White Arrest could be characterized as a police procedural, there is little police work and almost no detection on display. It might be better to think of A White Arrest as a crime novel. A White Arrest features plenty of crime, at least half of it committed by the police. Fundamentally, though, A White Arrest is a stark examination of three characters, all cops: Roberts, Brant, and Falls.

Neither Chief Inspector Roberts nor Detective Sergeant Brant are exemplary law enforcement officers. Roberts and Brant are likely to get sacked if they don't pull off a white arrest, the sort of legendary, career-making, front page arrest that guarantees lifetime employment. Their best chance would be to catch a serial killer known as The Umpire, who has been murdering cricket players. Another possibility would be to arrest the members of the E crew, a four person gang dedicated to killing dealers and stealing their drugs.

While Ken Bruen gives the reader a peek into the unsettled minds of The Umpire and the leader of the E crew, Bruen gives most of his attention to the cops, particularly Brant, whose mind is as unsettled as those of the criminals he's half-heartedly trying to catch. Brant is the jerk of all jerks, the kind of cop who takes bribes, steals money, abuses suspects, and stiffs the pizza delivery guy. When he isn't sexually harassing female officers, Brant is getting liquor on credit from the off-licence shop (a debt he never intends to pay), watching The Simpsons, and reading Ed McBain novels. He also fantasizes about shagging Roberts' wife, Fiona. Roberts certainly isn't getting satisfaction from Fiona, who (egged on by her friend Penny) has it on with a boytoy she hires at a club that caters to women of "a certain age."

Susan Falls is a female constable who joined the force to escape from a troubled family, only to find that the police are themselves a troubled family. Falls yearns for love. Sadly for her, she's in a Ken Bruen novel, where love is a scarce commodity.

As you'd expect from Bruen, A White Arrest is riddled with quotations from crime novels and movies (although the Umpire tends to quote Shakespeare, always a good source when it comes to murder). The novel's brisk pace and penetrating prose make it a quick read. Don't expect much in the way of plot, and don't expect the police to do anything that might actually solve a crime. Roberts and Brant don't always catch the bad guy, and when they do manage to make an arrest, it's more a function of luck than effort. A White Arrest isn't a novel for someone who wants a traditional police procedural filled with hard-working, likable cops. For readers who are intrigued by flawed characters living gritty lives, A White Arrest is -- like all of Bruen's novels -- meaty entertainment.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Inner London Violence 14 April 2013
By A. Ross - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I picked this up when it came out 15 years ago and just couldn't get past the first ten pages or so -- it felt like I'd turned the TV on in the middle of an unfamiliar show, with long-established characters bantering their way through quick scenes, and I just couldn't keep up. This time around, I was able to find the book's rhythm right away and ride it to the end -- which doesn't take long, it's very short.

The title is London cop slang for the kind of career-making bust that renders one nearly untouchable -- something two of the three protagonists are in dire need of. DS Brant is the worst kind of bully cop, smacking people around in interrogation rooms, sexually harassing pretty much any woman in his line of sight, and leaning on local merchants for all manner of freebies. His boss, Chief Inspector Roberts is on the tail end of his career and close to being forceably retired. The third protagonist is WPC Falls, whose gender and race place her on the opposite end of the spectrum from Brant, but still manages to get along with him.

Their Southeast London precinct is locus for not one serial killer, but two -- the first a total nutcase called "The Umpire" intent on killing off the English national cricket squad, the latter a foursome led by a testosterone and shame fueled vigilante thug inspired by the Death Wish movies to start lynching local drug dealers. I generally can't stand crime novels that involve serial killers -- I think they're a very lazy plot device. However, everything in this book, from the cops, to the action, to the vivid language is so bursting with outsized color that it fits in.

Make no mistake, for all the wisecracking and pop culture references, this is a violent and grim book. Definitely for fans of hard-boiled London, rather than more cerebral crime stories. It doesn't always work -- there are some subplots (one about a Roberts's wife going to a sex club, another about a sad sack police officer) that seem somewhat extraneous to the story. But it's worth checking out if you're interested in crime stories that have an unusual style to them.

Note: There are continuous references to Ed McBain's 87th Precinct books, and Bill James Harpur & Iles series get a namecheck as well.
4.0 out of 5 stars Criminals Beware 10 Mar. 2013
By Sam Sattler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Ken Bruen novels are inhabited by a few (very few) good cops, a whole bunch of "bent" ones, and a few brutal criminals who happen to wear police badges while committing their crimes. His is a violent world in which criminals and cops compete on an even playing field - rules and rights, be damned. A White Arrest, the first book in Bruen's White Trilogy, is a prime example of that world.

London's Chief Inspector Roberts and Detective Sergeant Brant do not do things by the book. On the good cop/brutal cop spectrum, they are much closer to being characterized as criminal cops than as good cops. But, despite their wild-man tactics, they are not particularly effective at solving crimes. Consequently, their jobs are often on the line. They badly need a "white arrest," - the high profile arrest of a criminal whose crimes have caught the imaginations of the public - if they are ever to have any real job security.

Brant, the book's main character, abuses his police power so badly that he has long forgotten how to make a legal arrest. He physically abuses suspects, takes bribes when he can get them (and steals cash laying around crime scenes when he hopes no one is looking), runs a liquor store tab he has no intention of ever paying, and is not above stiffing the pizza delivery guy on occasion. But all that makes him the perfect cop to stop the murderers terrorizing two very different segments of the London population.

A White Arrest is Ken Bruen at his wildest - and that is really saying something. Reading this one is like reading under a bright strobe light as Bruen presents one short scene after another in such rapid succession that it is often difficult to determine which character is speaking - or, for that matter, even involved in the segment. But, frustrating as this approach often is, it works well to set the tone of the dual investigations that take on lives all their own.

Roberts and Brant, like them or not, are a forced to be reckoned with in their patch of southeast London. Criminals beware.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early Bruen work that delivers with raw passion 10 Sept. 2013
By Sebastian Fernandez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am one of the many readers that discovered Bruen through his Jack Taylor series and was hooked forever. Since I have devoured all his books in that series, it was time to expand my horizons while I waited for the next installment. That is how I ended up getting the first book in the Brant and Roberts series. What I found was a noir that is as raw as noir can be, delivering a myriad of characters, with none of them being the good guy or gal. I am used to Bruen using the anti-hero as his protagonist in the Jack Taylor series, and here we get a couple of cops that epitomize the dirty cop. Especially Brant, who abuses his power like there is no tomorrow.

The author uses a series of short passages to deliver the story. We are constantly jumping from one scene to the next, and it gets a little while to get used to figuring out who is participating in the scene and how it connects to everything else that is going on. At first it can be confusing and frustrating, but I recommend you keep at it because the final result is rewarding enough. Also, don't expect this to be a novel in which the plot revolves around investigating the crime, since that is not what this work is about. It is almost as if the cases the duo is working on are an excuse to show us everything else that is going on in the lives of these characters. We get to see details of their personal lives and relationships and these end up being the focal point of the story.

As always, Ken Bruen delivers a work that truly diverges from the well-known paths. He does not conform to what others have done in the genre. There are some similarities; in particular Brant is obsessed with the novel of McBain, but Bruen always delivers a breath of fresh air. Well maybe sometimes the air is fetid, but you still appreciate it. Those that love all types of books, like I do, will certainly enjoy the constant references to other authors and specific works throughout this story. I have found some hidden gems by looking up authors Bruen mentions in his Taylor series, and I hope I end up finding more in this one.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atonement 23 Jan. 2013
By Gary Griffiths - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In cop parlance - London cops anyway - "a white arrest" is that mythical collar that atones for all the screw-ups, a big-time bust that returns a detective - or even an entire precinct - back from that proverbial river with no paddle. And with not one but two serial killers on the loose with little progress, the gang from London's Southeast police station has traveled pretty far up that river. One, an apparent vigilante is hanging and torching drug dealers; the other a psychopath targeting members of England's cricket team, sets the stage for "A White Arrest," first in "The White Trilogy, and the debut of Bruen's tales of gritty and dangerous Southeast London.

It is also the debut of Ken Bruen's irascible antihero Detective Sergeant Thomas Brant; brutal, boorish, and blunt, a bare knuckled brawler of a cop who offends all and regularly crosses over that line separated by jailhouse bars. While Brant wouldn't admit to such a gross a weakness as having a friend, Chief Inspector Roberts is about as close as you'll get. Roberts is down on his luck: 62 with a cheating wife and over-stressed finances, finding some solace and self-respect ridding London of a few of its many miscreants. With WPC Falls, a black female constable, along to add depth and color (but no frills or sensitivity), Brant and company ignore rules and protocol, pulling out all stops to hunt down the perps.

If you're a fan of intricate crime novels - arcane forensics and brainy CSI babes running around in lab coats - Ken Bruen's brand of bare knuckled police work in London's seedy southeast side may not satisfy. In fact, about the only tools the rude and crude but bone-breakingly efficient Brant and his misfit cronies employ in reducing London's crime rate are hurley sticks and .38's. Likewise, Bruen's prose is about a subtle as a sledgehammer - raw edged stories told in rapid-fire staccato chapters, refreshingly free of political correctness and daring to offend. It's violent, raunchy, occasionally witty, and raw - Bruen crafts a unique style of contemporary crime noir that is unmistakably his own.

"A White Arrest" is a blistering start of a vicious series. Don't expect tidy endings or social redeeming values, and be prepared for some ambiguity. But if you're a fan of crime fiction and the written word, you're missing a treat if you haven't met Ken Bruen.
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