Black Lens: Part XIX

Story by Ken Bruen and Russell Ackerman

Ken Bruen is one of the most celebrated crime novelists of our time.

Black Lens is his most secret project.

Read on as the unveiling continues.

Every Wednesday on Mulholland Books.

With art by Jonathan Santlofer.

Fade in…

Read Part 1, Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9Part 10Part 11,Part 12, Part 13Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17 and Part 18.

The Cop


Jimmy Scott was in the pub, the day of his supposed murder.

Trying not to consider that very fact.

And stay sober.

Such a thought was enough to drive anybody to drink. Ran over the various scenarios, like what?

He’d go back to his room and the assassin


Would jump him?

He couldn’t picture it.

Yet, Trudy had been adamant, his hotel was the intended killing ground.

He thought again of his discovery.

The days he’d been obsessed with Ransom, running the numbers

A series of three killings to make your bona fide serial.


Ransom was tied to six?

And he’d pored over old documents until, one tired New York evening, wilted slice of pizza, in his hand, dead coffee, he’d thought

‘Holy fuck, go back.’


To that photo of Ransom, one of the very few to show Ransom’s torso. Got his magnifying glass, shouted

‘Jesus H.’

The number three, barely decipherable on his left shoulder.


………Come on



Sweet Lord,

He hadn’t so much killed six, as killed TWO Sets of Three.

Which meant

Not to add but to multiply

Three by three.

Oh heavens.

Ransom wasn’t finished, he had one set of three to complete.

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 lives in Galway, Ireland. Learn more at

Russell Ackerman is Guillermo del Toro’s Development Executive. He is currently working on the film MAMA to be directed by Andy Muschietti, DROOD based on Dan Simmons’ novel of the same name, adapted by Brian Helgeland, and MIDNIGHT DELIVERY written by Neil Cross, all set up at Universal Pictures. He lives in Los Angeles.