The Magdalen Martyrs [NOOK Book]


Jack Taylor is walking the delicate edge of a sobriety he doesn't trust when his phone rings. He's in debt to a Galway tough named Bill Cassell, what the locals call a "hard man." Bill did Jack a big favor a while back; the trouble is, he never lets a favor go unreturned.

Jack is amazed when Cassell simply asks him to track down a woman, now either dead or very old, who long ago helped his mother escape from the notorious Magdalen laundry, where young wayward girls were ...

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The Magdalen Martyrs

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Jack Taylor is walking the delicate edge of a sobriety he doesn't trust when his phone rings. He's in debt to a Galway tough named Bill Cassell, what the locals call a "hard man." Bill did Jack a big favor a while back; the trouble is, he never lets a favor go unreturned.

Jack is amazed when Cassell simply asks him to track down a woman, now either dead or very old, who long ago helped his mother escape from the notorious Magdalen laundry, where young wayward girls were imprisoned and abused. Jack doesn't like the odds of finding the woman, but counts himself lucky that the task is at least on the right side of the law.

Until he spends a few days spinning his wheels and is dragged in front of Cassell for a quick reminder of his priorites. Bill's goons do a little spinning of their own, playing a game of Russian roulette a little too close to the back of Jack's head. It's only blind luck and the mercy of a god he no longer trusts that land Jack back on the street rather than face down in a cellar with a bullet in his skull. He's got one chance to stay alive: find this woman.

Unfortunately, he can't escape his own curiosity, and an unnerving hunch quickly turns into a solid fact: just who Jack's looking for, and why, aren't nearly what they seem.

The Magdalen Martyrs, the third Galway-set novel by Edgar, Barry, and Macavity finalist and Shamus Award-winner Ken Bruen, is a gripping, dazzling story that takes the Jack Taylor series to explosive new heights of suspense.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This third entry in Bruen's Jack Taylor series (The Killing of the Tinkers) is arguably the bleakest to date, but also the best. When a local thug hires Jack to track down a woman, it seems like an easy way to repay an outstanding debt. Not until he's in too deep does Taylor realize that it's not a simple identity trace, and that his client may have been playing him all along. While flashbacks in time are kept to a minimum, it's clear that Jack's search is somehow related to events that happened decades ago at a home for wayward girls. Jack juggles his search with another case, one in which he becomes involved with the woman he's hired to investigate. Jack is often a hard man to like, and he spends a great deal of the book hitting potholes on his meandering path to redemption. For all that, he remains completely compelling, and Bruen continues one of the best current crime series. Recommended for most public libraries. Bruen lives in Galway, Ireland.-Craig Shufelt, Lane P.L., Oxford, OH Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Private eye Jack Taylor, late of the Garda Siochana, the Irish National Police and any condition remotely resembling sobriety, is down and out in Galway in the third entry in this relentlessly dark yet never dreary series (The Killing of the Tinkers, 2004, etc.). A summons arrives from Bill Cassell, Galway gangster and figure of authentic evil. He's done Jack a favor asked out of dire necessity, and now he's calling his marker. Find a woman named Rita Monroe, orders the reptilian Cassell. It's not the blood-chilling imperative Jack had been dreading, but he knows better than to relax, and he's right. The search for Monroe leads him to a group of young women horrifically exploited and tortured while being forced to labor not in some primitive Third World country but in the heart of Galway. The revelations bruise Jack's spirit as severely as the parallel investigation into his own addictive and destructive personality. At length, Jack finds Rita Monroe, achieves long-overdue justice for the brutalized women and maybe, just maybe, takes one small step toward personal redemption. Jack's Orwellian journey is often painful, but there are compensations. An array of good writers, from Ralph W. Emerson to George P. Pelecanos, are quoted throughout. It's a class of writer that includes Bruen himself. Author tour
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429902359
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2007
  • Series: Jack Taylor Series, #3
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 186,398
  • File size: 253 KB

Meet the Author

Ken Bruen was a finalist for the Edgar, Barry, and Macavity Awards, and the Private Eye Writers of America presented him with the Shamus Award for the Best Novel of 2003 for The Guards, the book that introduced Jack Taylor. He lives in Galway, Ireland.

Ken Bruen has been a finalist for the Edgar and Anthony Awards, and has won a Macavity Award, a Barry Award, and two Shamus Awards for the Jack Taylor series. He lives in Galway, Ireland.
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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    strong British Noir

    The finding business has proven quite dangerous for Jack Taylor, who is quite acrimonious that life has past him by with the worst time of the year being Christmas bad cheer for all the lonely people. Actually this season he feels less self pity than usual although his last case (see KILLING OF THE TINKERS) was more brutal than ever. He still needs to eat and drink (even if his binges mean hospital stays) and this is about all he can do since he and THE GUARDS departed.--- Cancer victim Bill Cassell calls in a favor from Jack, who owes the local kingpin. Bill orders Jack to locate Rita Monroe, ¿the Angel of the Magdalen¿ who helped his mother escape the appalling abuse of these church ¿prisons¿. Trying is not good enough as Bill's enforcer will cancel debts the old fashioned way if Jack fails or gets drunk. A second client surfaces as Terry Boyle hires Jack to prove that his father was murdered and the official accident report is a lie; instead he insists that his stepmother killed his dad. As Jack investigates both cases, he begins to find a link though he was not looking for one as the same police officer seems to surface in both inquiries.--- Jack is at his ¿rosy¿ antihero best struggling with sobriety to work both cases. The story line is action-packed and takes an intriguing twist (no olives) when the seemingly separate investigations merge sending Jack even further over the edge. Although alcoholism is taken perhaps too lightly, the look at the Church 1950s atrocities towards female wards is shocking (see Marita Conlon-Mckenna¿s historical fiction THE MAGDALEN for more). Readers will appreciate Ken Bruen¿s latest Taylor British Noir.--- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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