Friday, July 3, 2015

Ken Bruen's London Blvd with the Patron XO Cafe Shooter

Kerry Hammond is matching Ken Bruen's book with the perfect drink...

Mitchell has just been released from prison after serving a 3- year sentence and he’s picked up by his buddy Billy Norton, who gives him a place to stay. As much as Mitch doesn’t want to go back to prison, he finds himself struggling to stay away from a life of crime. Billy is working for a money lending crime boss named Gant, and is actively trying to get Mitch to join the team. Mitch helps Billy a bit, but also finds his own job as a handyman for an aging actress. He finds himself attracted to his new boss and realizes that there are perks beyond a paycheck in his current position. But Gant isn’t willing to let Mitch off that easy, and tries to convince him to continue working for him. When a crime boss tries to convince you, it’s much harder to resist. 

Mitch eventually finds himself torn between the women in his life: the aging actress, his crazy sister, and a girl he’s just met and clearly falling for. For an ex-con, keeping his woman safe while keeping himself out of trouble proves to be a difficult task. Gant puts more and more pressure on Mitch and he begins to take drastic measures to free himself. Mitch is a man with few friends, and this makes it extremely difficult to know who to trust.

I read London Boulevard because I wanted to read an Irish author to get myself excited for my trip to Ireland. Alas, this book takes place in London, so it didn’t have the Irish locale and scenery. But Ken Bruen is Irish through and through, and many of the characters in the book were Irish. So I figure I still accomplished something. Since it was my first Ken Bruen book ever, I felt very accomplished indeed. It’s hard to describe his writing, and I really enjoyed it. It’s written very simply, not a lot of extra clutter or flowery descriptions. I would venture to guess that, like the ballerina who leaps through the air making it look effortless, that this style of writing is difficult to pull off successfully. Not only did the author pull it off, he gained a new fan. 

Now I just need to get my hands on the movie that was based on the book, starring Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley.

I paired this book with a drink from Kytelers Inn, a pub in the town of Kilkenny, Ireland. Established in 1324, I believe Kytelers is the oldest establishment I have ever had the pleasure of entering. It is home to an interesting backstory, including that of Dame Alice Kyteler, the earliest person on record to be accused and condemned as a witch in Ireland. The Inn is said to be haunted, and if you ever step foot inside, you won’t doubt it for a minute. 

The drink I had was called a shooter, and being a coffee fan, I went with the  Patron XO CafĂ© Shooter. It is described as Tequila with Coffee essence. It was very tasty.

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