In this follow-up to last year’s Tyler Cross: Black Rock, Fabien Nury and Brüno provide us with more edgy thrills. It’s a completely different chapter in Tyler Cross’s life, so don’t worry too much if you haven’t read the first one (though we’d thoroughly recommend it).
Following a bungled heist (which is already more complicated than it ought to have been, due to the victim hiring the robbers to help him avoid paying out on a messy divorce) Tyler finds himself in a brutal penitentiary. Cross is all too aware that the guards are corrupt, and the prisoner hierarchy is teetering and open to influence, but this also makes him a target. Escaping his incarceration is going to prove spectacularly tricky.
Brüno captures the sweaty, intense atmosphere perfectly, with shadowy darkness helping the warders turn a blind eye to the underhand goings-on of the prisoners. As with the previous book, his characters capture archetypal noire tropes with aplomb, creating a sweeping study of individuals caught up in the judicial system.
The story isn’t as dynamic as the first, trapped as it is in a prison, but it’s just as intense and dark. Nury manages to supply something different, while staying deeply entrenched within the noire genre.