The Killing of the Tinkers (Jack Taylor Series #2)

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"When Jack Taylor blew town at the end of The Guards, his alcoholism was a distant memory and sober dreams of a new life in London were shining in his eyes. In the opening pages of The Killing of the Tinkers, Jack's back in Galway a year later with a new leather jacket on his back, a pack of smokes in his pocket, a few grams of coke in his waistband, and a pint of Guinness on his mind. So much for new beginnings." Before long he's sunk into his old patterns, lifting his head from the bar only every few days, appraising his surroundings for mere
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The Killing of the Tinkers: A Novel

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Overview

"When Jack Taylor blew town at the end of The Guards, his alcoholism was a distant memory and sober dreams of a new life in London were shining in his eyes. In the opening pages of The Killing of the Tinkers, Jack's back in Galway a year later with a new leather jacket on his back, a pack of smokes in his pocket, a few grams of coke in his waistband, and a pint of Guinness on his mind. So much for new beginnings." Before long he's sunk into his old patterns, lifting his head from the bar only every few days, appraising his surroundings for mere minutes, and then descending deep into the alcoholic, drug-induced fugue he prefers to the real world. But a big gypsy walks into the bar one day during a moment of Jack's clarity and changes all that with a simple request. Jack knows the look in this man's eyes, a look of hopelessness mixed with resolve topped off with a quietly simmering rage; he's seen it in the mirror. Recognizing a kindred soul, Jack agrees to help him, knowing but not admitting that getting involved is going to lead to more bad than good. But in Jack Taylor's world, bad and good are part and parcel of the same lost cause, and besides, no one ever accused Jack of having good sense.\
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Ken Bruen confirms his rightful place among the finest noir stylists of his generation. This is a remarkable book from a singular talent."

- Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

"Bruen is a brilliant, lyrical, deeply moving writer who can make you laugh and cry in the same paragraph and whose characters are so sharply portrayed that they almost walk off the page at you. If you like Ian Rankin, Dennis Lehane, Pelecanos, and the like, Bruen is definitely a writer to reckon with."

-Denver Post

"Bruen is an original, grimly hilarious and gloriously Irish. I await the further adventures of the incorrigible Jack Taylor."

-Patrick Anderson, Washington Post

"The next major new Irish voice we hear might well belong to Ken Bruen."

-Chicago Tribune

Publishers Weekly
With his second Jack Taylor crime novel (after 2003's The Guards), Irish author Bruen confirms his rightful place among the finest noir stylists of his generation. A year after the newly sober Jack Taylor left Galway to start a new life in London, the former member of the Gardai S och na (the Irish police) returns home, a failed marriage behind him. The PI is sinking back into alcoholic oblivion when an Irish Gypsy, Sweeper, approaches Jack for help in solving the murders of a number of young men in his clan. The Guards aren't interested, since, after all, "it's only tinkers... and everyone knows, they're always killing each other." The quintessential outsider himself, Jack empathizes with the roaming Gypsies and feels comfortable in their company. Enlisting the aid of Keegan, a burly cop friend from London, Jack sets about investigating the killings, while at the same time he struggles to keep his own personal demons under control. Bruen's spare, lean style reads like prose poetry. Indeed, beneath the surface of Jack's jaded, self-destructiveness is a romantic with a poet's sensibilities. An autodidact, Jack continually references his literary heroes, from Chester Himes to Thomas Merton. Next to his bottle of Jameson is always a book to help him through the hard times: "I needed Merton and a pint. Not necessarily in that order." This is a remarkable book from a singular talent. (Jan. 19) Forecast: A national author tour, Bruen's first in the U.S., plus blurbs from T. Jefferson Parker, James W. Hall and James Crumley, should ensure that the author builds on sales of The Guards. The book will do best in independent and specialty stories, hand-sold to readers of literate, cerebral hard-boiled fiction-and to fans of Irvine Welsh and Patrick McCabe who will appreciate the similar dark sensibility. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.\
Kirkus Reviews
Back from London, where he was deeper down and farther out than Orwell ever was, comes p.i. Jack Taylor for his second walk on Galway's dark side. Jack's picked up "a leather coat and a coke habit," and not much more to show for a journey that had begun so optimistically, with fond hopes of recovering his sobriety and working out his redemption. Now, once again at anchor in his favorite pub, he's swilling Jameson's, fighting demons, making phrases (his coffee is "bitter as a rumor"), and being available to troubled souls in need of his services. Enter the tinker Sweeper. Someone's been murdering and mutilating his gypsy clansmen, and he's heard Jack will help when the Garda Siochana can't be bothered. Reluctantly, Jack moves into action, or at least into another of his wobbly journeys with idiosyncratic detours, this time for a brief but poignant love affair, a bizarre skirmish with a teenaged swan-killer, and related twistings and turnings. When at length he gets his man, it's the wrong man. Rectifying this spot of error thrusts Jack into a contract with-well, not quite the Devil, but a near relation. From time to time, Jack (The Guards, 2003) may test a reader's tolerance for the comic antihero, but how can you resist a man who says, "Lord knows, feeling bad is the skin I've worn almost all my life"?\
Denver Post

Bruen is a brilliant, lyrical, deeply moving writer who can make you laugh and cry in the same paragraph and whose characters are so sharply portrayed that they almost walk off the page at you. If you like Ian Rankin, Dennis Lehane, Pelecanos, and the like, Bruen is definitely a writer to reckon with.
Washington Post - Patrick Anderson

Bruen is an original, grimly hilarious and gloriously Irish. I await the further adventures of the incorrigible Jack Taylor.
Chicago Tribune

The next major new Irish voice we hear might well belong to Ken Bruen.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312304119
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 1/23/2004
  • Series: Jack Taylor Series, #2
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.52 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author

Ken Bruen has been an English teacher in Africa, Japan, Southeast Asia, and South America. He lives in Galway, Ireland.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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