Please take a moment to review Hachette Book Group’s updated Privacy Policy: read the updated policy here.

An Excerpt from Limitless: Part III

In 2002, Alan Glynn wrote the celebrated suspense novel The Dark Fields. On March 18, The Dark Fields will come to theaters as the film Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro and Abbie Cornish.  Below is the final installment in our three-part series excerpting the book (generously provided by Picador from their Limitless movie tie-in edition), accompanied by stills from the film. Limitless, the author’s cut.

Missed Part 1? Part 2? Read them first.

3

Outside on the street it was noticeably cooler than it had been. It was also noticeably darker, though that sparkling third dimension, the city at night, was just beginning to shimmer into focus all around me. It was noticeably busier, too—a typical late afternoon on Sixth Ave, with its heavy flow uptown out of the West Village of cars and yellow cabs and buses. The evacuation of offices was underway as well, everybody tired, irritable, in a hurry, darting up and down out of subway stations. Continue reading “An Excerpt from Limitless: Part III”

An Excerpt from Limitless: Part II

In 2002, Alan Glynn wrote the celebrated suspense novel The Dark Fields. On March 18, The Dark Fields will come to theaters as the film Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro and Abbie Cornish.  To celebrate, Mulholland Books will run a three-part series: three chapters from the book (generously provided by Picador from their Limitless movie tie-in edition), accompanied by stills from the film. As well as some forthcoming extras. Get ready for Limitless, the author’s cut.

Missed Part 1? Read it first.

We went to a bar over on Sixth, a cheesy retro cocktail lounge called Maxie’s that used to be a Tex-Mex place called El Charro and before that had been a spit-and-sawdust joint called Conroy’s. It took us a few moments to adjust to the lighting and the decor of the interior, and, weirdly, to find a booth that Vernon was happy with. The place was virtually empty—it wouldn’t be getting busy for another while yet, not until five o’clock at least—but Vernon was behaving as though it were the small hours of a Saturday morning and we were staking our claim to the last available seats in the last open bar in town. It was only then, as I watched him case each booth for line of vision and proximity to toilets and exits, that I realized something was up. He was edgy and nervous, and this was unusual for him—or at any rate unusual for the Vernon I’d known, his one great virtue as a coke dealer having been his relative composure at all times. Other dealers I’d been acquainted with generally behaved like ads for the product they were shifting in that they hopped around the place incessantly and talked a lot. Vernon, on the other hand, had always been quiet and businesslike, unassuming, a good listener—maybe even a little too passive sometimes, like a dedicated weed smoker adrift in a sea of coke-fiends. In fact, if I hadn’t known better, I might have thought that Vernon—or at least this person in front of me—had done his first few lines of coke that very afternoon and wasn’t handling it very well. Continue reading “An Excerpt from Limitless: Part II”

Black Lens: Part VIII

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 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6 and Part 7.

THE GUARD.

Manson screamed.

A single evil phrase designed to let the entire prison know that once again he was going to be on
TV.

Colbert, the head guard, massaged his temples, counting the minutes to his break and the Willie Nelson songs he had cued up on his iPod.

Long ago, Ransom had ceased to surprise him, his predecessor, a grizzled hack, had said

‘Kid, Manson doesn’t follow any logic, he’s not so much Anti-Christ as ass backwards. In our time we tried

Thorazine,

Then beating the living fucking crap out if him,

trust me, nothing………….

nothing works, the clown is……………

indestructible.’

Continue reading “Black Lens: Part VIII”

An Excerpt from LIMITLESS

In 2002, Alan Glynn wrote the celebrated suspense novel The Dark Fields. On March 18, The Dark Fields will come to theaters as the film Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro and Abbie Cornish.  To celebrate, Mulholland Books will run a three-part series: three chapters from the book (generously provided by Picador from their Limitless movie tie-in edition), accompanied by stills from the film. As well as some forthcoming extras. Get ready for Limitless, the author’s cut.

[1]

IT’S GETTING LATE.

I don’t have too sharp a sense of time any more, but I know it must be after eleven, and maybe even getting on for midnight. I’m reluctant to look at my watch, though—because that will only remind me of how little time I have left.

In any case, it’s getting late.

And it’s quiet. Apart from the ice-machine humming outside my door and the occasional car passing by on the highway, I can’t actually hear a thing—no traffic, or sirens, or music, or local people talking, or animals making weird nightcalls to each other, if that’s what animals do. Nothing. No sounds at all. It’s eerie, and I don’t really like it. So maybe I shouldn’t have come all the way up here. Maybe I should have just stayed in the city, and let the time-lapse flicker of the lights short-circuit my now preternatural attention span, let the relentless bustle and noise wear me down and burn up all this energy I’ve got pumping through my system. But if I hadn’t come up here to Vermont, to this motel—to the Northview Motor Lodge—where would I have stayed? I couldn’t very well have inflicted my little mushroom-cloud of woes on any of my friends, so I guess I had no option but to do what I did—get in a car and leave the city, drive hundreds of miles up here to this quiet, empty part of the country . . . Continue reading “An Excerpt from LIMITLESS”

Black Lens: Part V

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 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

Repulsion

The call came at the strangest time.

Standing in the door to their bedroom, Romanski’s wife had just given him

The LOOK

………………that allure that he had spent forty years attempting to catch on camera.

He muttered

‘Merde.’

At his age, the farther reaches of his body slowly creeping toward decrepitude.

Though the mind indeed was willing, Bien Sur mais,

the form,

Quelle dommage.

Jack…………..The days of Chinatown, Jack had always worn toute le monde with such style.

And had also introduced Romanski to his completely whack-o neighbor.

Hunter S.

Who got off most on guns.

A true lunatic in The French meaning of the word,

A buffalo of the legendary endangered species.

Took the way of the warrior, ate his gun.

Continue reading “Black Lens: Part V”

Black Lens: Part IV

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 2 and Part 3.

“FAME”

–DAVID BOWIE

The director was back in his study, his kids safely in bed.

He gave a rueful chuckle, “SAFE!”

In this fucked-up psycho world where Ransom got more hits on Facebook than Brad Pitt.

He permitted himself a small shot of amber Glenfiddich, the ultimate whiskey first introduced to him by Johnny Depp.  Allowing himself the rare privilege of an Americanism.

Depp was his kind of actor, no interest in fame, only the work. And the suggested bio-pic of his own self, with Johnny in the lead.

Mais non.

He wasn’t ready for the final chapter yet.

Cochons . . . the nightmares, still they came.

Merde.

Shit and fuck.

And then some.

Continue reading “Black Lens: Part IV”

Black Lens: Part III

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.

With art by Jonathan Santlofer.

Fade in…

Missed Part 1? Or Part 2? Read them first.

ROMAN CANDLES

Blade in the Stream.

The movie ended and the great director moved to the screen, peered at the credits, sighed; so many of that illustrious cast had passed.

He thought as often in French as he did in the other languages he had been fluent in. Muttered softly

Quel dommage . . .” (What a pity.)

Sounds from the quiet Parisian street reached him, a woman singing off-key, a street vendor hawking his wares in that defiant tone that only the French could muster. He looked at his watch, a Patek Philippe, a gift from Harrison Ford, when they worked on that piece of cinematic fluff, like the horror of that pirate movie. A small smile touched his thin lips as he thought, peut-être, he was before his time, then along came Pirates of the Caribbean.  Johnny had been in touch a few weeks back to moot the possibility of the bio-pic of his life.

His children would be impressed with Depp playing their boring dad.

The plans for the next movie were on his desk and he wondered if he had the energy needed to regain the ruthless vision of the early wild days. Galliard were pressing him for an answer on his projected memoir.

A slight tremor of dread crept along his spine, reaching his neck and forcing a thin line of perspiration on his small brow. That call. A deeply respected and reliable source warning that his coming trip to Switzerland was a trap. The damn incessant Americans continuing their ceaseless crusade to bring him to their justice.

He snarled

“Guantánamo  Bay.’’

Muttered

Merde.”

A brief montage of stills crossed his mind, black lens, Jack Nicholson’s house, the girl, the dope, the awful screaming, his own included.

Sacré bleu.”’

He exhaled, the camera of his mind lighting the scenes, the scenes that had forced him into exile. Hadn’t he lost enough? And still they came, with their Big Macs and bigger grudges. If, shudder, that extradition was ever to become reality, they’d bring him in chains. He knew, oh he knew, the deal was done, the vigilantes of the Bible Belt, the moneyed majority, who would never rest till he was dying in a cell.

Continue reading “Black Lens: Part III”

Black Lens: Part II

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.

Mulholland Books is proud to present the unveiling of Black Lens.

One chapter a week.

A read you’ll never forget.

With art by Jonathan Santlofer.

Fade in…

Missed Part 1? Read it first.

Wolfgang

A figment of your own imagination.

He knew that.

Sweet fuck, he’d been told often enough.

Mainly by ex-wives.

Some others too but as he wasn’t paying them alimony, did they count?

Like fuck.

Not in the Wolf’s world.

And what a world it was.

He was fifty-five now and if fifty was the new thirty, no one had told him. He was what they politely term

“Rotund.”

Fat.

Very.

He knew.

Did he ever.

Did he care?

A lot.

Continue reading “Black Lens: Part II”

Black Lens

Story by Ken Bruen & Russell Ackerman

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

Black Lens is his most secret project.

Starting today, Mulholland Books is proud to let the unveiling of Black Lens begin.

One chapter a week.

A read you’ll never forget.

With art by Jonathan Santlofer.

Fade in…

MONSTRE SACRÉ

THE THING WE CREATED, THAT, MON DIEU

WE WISH

WE HAD NOT”

“IF IT’S NOT

ON CAMERA

IT NEVER HAPPENED.”

-GEORGE A. ROMERO

Ransom was excited. He paced his narrow cell like Rilke’s panther.

Phil Spector was due to be transferred to the prison that evening.

Ransom had already bribed the guard to deliver a note to Spector. It read:

“Maestro, welcome, the running dogs have caged you as they have me. But fear not, my pilgrim, I have your back and you’ll learn that what Charlie says is the real law in this joint. As soon as you are settled, drop by. I have some stunning songs that need the wall of sound.”

He was pleased with the note.

It was

Direct

Reassuring

And had the Ransom tone of ultimate authority.

Continue reading “Black Lens”