Headstone (Jack Taylor Series #9)

( 7 )

Overview

Acclaimed Irish crime writer Ken Bruen has won numerous awards for his hard-charging, dark thrillers, which have been translated into ten languages. In Headstone, an elderly priest is nearly beaten to death and a special-needs boy is brutally attacked. Evil has many guises and Jack Taylor has encountered most of them, and has the scars to prove it. But nothing before has ever truly terrified him until he confronts an evil coterie named Headstone, who have committed a series of random, insane, violent crimes in ...
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Headstone

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Overview

Acclaimed Irish crime writer Ken Bruen has won numerous awards for his hard-charging, dark thrillers, which have been translated into ten languages. In Headstone, an elderly priest is nearly beaten to death and a special-needs boy is brutally attacked. Evil has many guises and Jack Taylor has encountered most of them, and has the scars to prove it. But nothing before has ever truly terrified him until he confronts an evil coterie named Headstone, who have committed a series of random, insane, violent crimes in Galway, Ireland that leave even the national police shaken. And Jack is especially vulnerable now that he has finally found love and happiness.

Jack, slowly accepting the sheer power of Headstone, comes to realize that in order to fight back he must relinquish the remaining shreds of what has made him human. Headstone barrels along its deadly path right to the center of his life and the heart of Galway. In a moment of awful clarity, Jack realizes that not only might he be powerless to stop Headstone; he may not have the grit needed to even face it. A terrific read from a writer called “a Celtic Dashiell Hammett,” Headstone is an excellent addition to the Jack Taylor series.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Irish author Bruen’s hard-hitting ninth Jack Taylor novel (after The Devil) finds the Galway PI coping with alcoholism, a permanent limp, hearing loss, and emotional scars that continually threaten to take him down. For once, however, Taylor appears to have found a promising love interest in Laura, an American-born crime novelist, with whom he’s recently enjoyed a romantic idyll in Paris. Of course, moments of grace are fleeting in Bruen’s world, and things rapidly head south after Taylor receives a miniature gravestone in the post, courtesy of a group of psychopaths calling themselves “Headstone.” Led by a fanatic recidivist criminal from a previous Taylor case, they target the “weak,” including the handicapped, the mentally ill, and the homeless. Now they have their sights set on Taylor and everyone close to him. That the plot is a tad cartoonish and over-the-top scarcely matters in a remarkable series that at heart is about one man’s reckoning with a lifetime of pain and loss in a rapidly changing Ireland. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Award-winning author Bruen brings back the intrepid Jack Taylor (The Devil) to figure out a brutal series of hate crimes, seemingly random, in Galway, Ireland. Even Jack will be flummoxed by the pure evil he's forced to confront. [See Prepub Alert, 4/4/11.]
Booklist
“A must for the Bruen faithful.”
Booklist
Euro Crime
“I was knocked out by Headstone. Bleak and dark, shot through with humour and humanity, written with elegance—Headstone is terrific. I have become a Bruen fan.”
Euro Crime
From the Publisher
“A must for the Bruen faithful.”
Booklist

“I was knocked out by Headstone. Bleak and dark, shot through with humour and humanity, written with elegance—Headstone is terrific. I have become a Bruen fan.”
Euro Crime

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802126009
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/4/2011
  • Series: Jack Taylor Series , #9
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

KEN BRUEN received a PhD in metaphysics; taught English in Africa, Japan, Southeast Asia, and South America; andthen became a crime novelist. His novels have been nominated for many awards, including two Edgars.

JOHN LEE has acted in shows ranging from Beckett to Shaw and has narrated hundreds of audiobooks including the works of Nobel Winner Orhan Pahmuk and James Joyce’s Ulysses. He is an Audie® Award winner, an AudioFile Golden Voice, and recipient of dozens of Earphone Awards.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 18, 2012

    Nobody Does it Better!

    Ken Bruen is in a class by himself. But even a die hard fan like me thinks his bad guys could have had a little more depth. Considering the havoc and fear they created you expected more than just a bunch of crazies to be at fault. Poor Jack! He's had his knees busted -- teeth knocked out--hearing damaged and more cuts ,bruises and broken bones then all Michael Connelly detectives put together. And now thy're cutting off body parts. I hope there is enough to scrape together for another book. I can't help myself I'd miss him. Even though I doubt happiness is just around his corner. Highly Recommended!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Slante

    The ninth book in the Jack Taylor series is as good as they come. The hardcover edition was the kick-off novel from a then-new imprint of Grove/Atlantic, Otto Penzler’s Mysterious Press, and serves well as a guide to the future.

    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.

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  • Posted March 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Slante

    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 future.

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    law is for the courthouse and justice is served in the alleyways

    This was my introduction to noir poet Ken Bruen, and I will be diving into his prolific writings immediately. The latest in the Jack Taylor series, Bruen peels back the veneer of Galway and shows the machinations of the idyllic seaside town through real and broken people who love it. Jack Taylor is a hard drinking man who believes "law is for the courthouse and justice is served in the alleyways," a dinosaur relic in our ethically wobbly times. With a verbal economy verging on poetry and a masterful eye for human character, Bruen is a force of nature and his latest novel with the Mysterious Press is a treasure. If you haven't read him before, like myself, you'll be kicking yourself for waiting so long.

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  • Posted August 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The latest Taylor thriller is an exhilarating but gorier than usual tale

    In Galway, Ireland young punks calling themselves the Headstone batter Father Malachy. The elderly priest is in intensive care at the University Hospital. The next victim of the vicious Headstone gang is Tom Reed, a Downs Syndrome child, whose throat is slashed before they rob him.

    Former Garda Jack Taylor has met some amoral brutal predators but none like the Headstone whose objective is to cleanse society of misfits like gays, recovering alcoholics, special people, and those they dislike. He knows he is a target as are his friends Ridge the Garda and Stewart the former convict when they receive headstones in the mail. Not one to avoid violence and knowing anyway there is no Sanctuary from this insane fringe, Jack and his buddies take the fight to the Headstone members.

    The latest Taylor thriller is an exhilarating but gorier than usual tale, which says a lot as this series is known for the flow of blood and guts. Jack struggles with his ugly past though the American he recently met has given him some hope for redemption of sorts. Ironically Jack concludes the Headstone's lunatic homicidal actions make his transgressions seem like virtues. Although the plot is thin, Taylor fans will anticipate the Galway confrontation.

    Harriet Klausner

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    Posted October 24, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

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