Tuesday 9 March 2021




Perfect for fans of Robert Crais and John Sandford

Former LA County Deputy Bruno Johnson is now a bailiff in the courts having stepped down from his role on the Violent Crimes Team to spend more time with his daughter, Olivia. Bruno fears his job decision may have come too late when he gets a frantic call to extricate Olivia from a gunpoint situation in a LA gang-infested neighborhood. His desperation escalates when he realizes Louis Barkow, a stone-cold killer awaiting trial, had orchestrated that deadly tableau.

When Barkow and three other criminals break out of jail and hit the streets, Bruno is plunged back into violent crime mode. Now, the agenda is personal - Olivia has become a pawn in the desperate chase of this sinister murderer. The walls are caving in on Bruno as violence escalates in his hunt for Barkow and his heart strings are stretched to the breaking point as he struggles to protect his daughter not only from the criminal violence swirling around them, but from Olivia's own impetuous life choices.

Another enjoyable Bruno Johnson outing, with The Heartless, the seventh in the series blasted through in a couple of days intense reading. It's been a while since I read one of the series and I'd forgotten how much I enjoy them.

LA setting, an imperfect main character trying to do right by his family, and despite the best intentions not always getting it right. Here Bruno gets caught up in the hunt for a violent escaped convict. Unfortunately so does his daughter, Olivia.

Fast-paced, exciting, violent, a touch of romance, family, collateral damage, a manhunt, confrontation and a resolution.

It's kind of hard to articulate what makes these books work for me. There's a familiarity with certain characters - Bruno's dad and Robbie Wicks, a former partner and mentor in law enforcement. There's an always welcome LA setting. And there's always a problem or two to be solved, usually involving some measure of heavy physicality as well as street smarts and an ability to detect and chase down an assailant. All served up in short tight chapters, which kind of keep you sucked in and turning pages.

My kind of reading.

4 from 5

The earlier books in the series which have all been enjoyed are....

1. The Disposables (2014)
2. The Replacements (2015)
3. The Squandered (2016)
4. The Vanquished (2017)
5. The Innocents (2018) 

6. The Reckless (2019)

Roll on book 8 - The Ruthless!

Read - February, 2021

Published - 2020

Page count - 336

Source - review copy from author

Format - trade paperback ARC  


  1. Sounds like my kind of book and series, Col. I need to get to it.

    1. Elgin, I think it's well worth tryine a couple in the series at least.

  2. Bruno sounds like an interesting character, Col, and that's always a plus for me. I also like it that he's human and makes mistakes, but isn't your stereotypical 'damaged detective.' The LA setting sounds like a good fit for the story, too.

    1. Margot, I enjoy reading these Bruno books, and you can't beat an LA setting. Not always and not everytime, but I do like to visit there in my reading regularly.

  3. Replies
    1. June, well worth checking out at least one in the series IMO.