What could be more fitting on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day than to
read the ninth book in the Jack Taylor series, perhaps as good as they
come. It is a kick-off novel from a new imprint of Grove/Atlantic,
Otto Penzler’s Mysterious Press, and serves well as a guide to the
As in the previous volumes in the series, the troubled Irish PI
wallows in drinks and drugs, violence and evil. It begins with the
brutal beating of a priest, where no love is lost between Jack and the
victim. Then Jack, his buddy Stewart, and Ridge, the female Garda,
receive miniature headstones, apparently the targets of a person or
persons bent on some form of aggression. Along the way are a variety
of side issues occupying Jack’s attention, including the church and
the precarious economy.
Jack Taylor is a unique character. Beyond that, one can read Ken
Bruen and enjoy the writing, the sad commentaries on Ireland, life in
general, and the awesome adventures of Jack Taylor. The book is,
obviously, highly recommended.