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Black Lens: Part XX

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, Part 18 and Part 19.






The cover of Sergeant Pepper’s,

If viewed under the light of the black lens, see Aleister Crowley, the so called,

Great Beast.

Crowley died in a modest guesthouse, in Hastings, a rundown resort, his deportation from Italy ringing in his ears.

That year, saw the birth of anger.

Kenneth Anger.

Who would eventually become the key lynchpin of the Satanist’s in the Sixties. If nothing else, this man was responsible for the merging of pop music and film.

He used Blue Velvet in ‘ Scorpio Rising’

Before meeting the Cabal Anger would dally with

Edith Piaf



Coco Chanel.

When Jimmy Scott finally tracked him down, he carried a copy of

‘Hollywood Babylon’.

Not a writer on the planet is going to ignore you if


You have a copy of the loser’s book.

Anger was literally down and out


The squalor of what would become Compton in LA.

Broke, ill, he told Scott

‘Got to get Lucifer Rising.’

Scott, lost, went


‘It’s an album.’

‘And it needs to get to the Prince of Darkness.’  ‘If not you’re


They know you.’

As Anger allowed Jimmy a moment to let his statement sink in

a weird hysterical laughter followed.

The he began again.

‘I warned Jimmy Page, Led Zep but no, they wouldn’t listen and you, some fucking nobody, probably can’t even loan me twenty bucks.’


The torrent became unintelligible, then, like the product of a wire coat hanger jammed into the back of an old TV, seemed to find the barest semblance of focus.

‘Get out, I’m still alive, you hear me, for a damn few dollars you think I’d risk the fate of others,

Jane Mansfield

Slapped his hand over his mouth, whispered

‘I didn’t say her name, never…’



Back in Earl’s Court, Scott, his hand about to turn the key of his room, could still recall that haunted wail, noticed the tiny hair he’d attached to the bottom of his door was gone, murmured

‘Company’s here.’

And opened the door.

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 KenBruen.com.

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.