Ireland, awash in cash and greed, no longer turns to the Church for solace or comfort. But the decapitation of Father Joyce in a Galway church horrifies even the most jaded citizen. Jack Taylor, devastated by the recent trauma of personal loss, has always believed himself to be beyond salvation. But a new job offers a fresh start, and an unexpected partnership makes him hope that his one desperate vision - of family - might yet be fulfilled. An eerie mix of exorcism, a predatory stalker, and an unlikely attraction conspires to lure him into a murderous web of dark conspiracies. The spectre of a child haunts every waking moment. Bleak, unsettling and totally original, Ken Bruen's writing captures the brooding landscape of Irish society at a time of social and economic upheaval. Here is evidence of an unmistakeable literary talent.
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(178mm x 105mm x 22mm)
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
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US Kirkus Review »
When a pedophile priest is decapitated, p.i. Jack Taylor (The Dramatist, 2006, etc.) seeks to get his own head on straight.A multi-substance-abuser of some standing, Jack Taylor has come within an eyelash of the ultimate crack-up. Sitting zombie-like in a wheelchair in a Galway mental hospital, he's salvaged through the kindness of strangers - plus one female friend - and something inside him, some kernel untouched by booze, makes him want to reward the considerable effort required for his rescue. So, putting aside his "full quota of self-loathing," he agrees to try to solve pro bono the riddle of the headless priest. Who hated Father Joyce enough to brutalize him? Any number of those brutalized by him when they were too young and powerless to defend themselves against a predator so authoritatively robed. Taylor focuses on a list of potential avengers, narrows them to three and discovers as he does how many ripples old crimes can create. Not that this is really news to him, inasmuch as his own old crimes continue to bring about shattering, inescapable punishment.As bleak and uncompromising a noir stylist as anyone working the genre. And there's comfort for the squeamish: The insights are always sharp, the wit can flash and, anyway, you don't read Bruen for his worldview. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Ken Bruen
Ken Bruen was born in Galway. Having spent 25 years as an English teacher in Africa, Japan, South East Asia and South America, he now lives in Galway city with his wife and daughter. Ken Bruen's earlier Jack Taylor novels are published by Brandon Press in Ireland.