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Purgatory (Jack Taylor Series #10)
     

Purgatory (Jack Taylor Series #10)

4.0 3
by Ken Bruen
 

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Recovering from the severe mental and physical wounds inflicted from his recent past, former cop Jack Taylor has finally found a modicum of peace. He has managed to kick the myriad substances that have had a stranglehold over his painful life, however tenuously. Yet this fragile existence is threatened when a vigilante killer begins targeting the scum of Galway,

Overview

Recovering from the severe mental and physical wounds inflicted from his recent past, former cop Jack Taylor has finally found a modicum of peace. He has managed to kick the myriad substances that have had a stranglehold over his painful life, however tenuously. Yet this fragile existence is threatened when a vigilante killer begins targeting the scum of Galway, signing mysterious notes with the moniker 'C 33'. The killer addresses these cryptic letters to Jack, trying to goad him into joining the murderous spree.

While Jack tries to unravel the mystery and motives of this demented killer, he is also brought into the fold of an enigmatic tech billionaire who has been buying up massive amounts of property in Galway, seemingly in the hopes of offering this downtrodden city a better future. Yet if Jack has learned one thing living in Ireland, it's that people who outwardly claim to be on the side of righteousness are likely harboring far more nefarious motives beneath the surface.

With the help of his friends, former drug dealer-turned-zen master Stewart and dogged police sergeant Ridge, Jack is determined to track down C 33, even if it jeopardizes his livelihood, his friends, and the remaining shreds of his sanity. C 33 is Bruen at his best: lyrical, brutal, and ceaselessly suspenseful.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 09/02/2013
Edgar-finalist Bruen’s excellent 10th Jack Taylor novel (after 2011’s Headstone) finds the Irish PI looking upon the sights of Galway with now-sober if ever-wistful eyes—but a serial killer wants him to come out and play. Signing invitations to Jack as “C33,” the mysterious figure inflicts vigilante justice on other murderers and scumbags. “A Dexter with an Irish lilt... C33 had honed the art of reprisal in the States, an equal killer land of opportunity.” For once, with a possible new woman in his life, Jack isn’t interested, and stays aloof from the crimes, much like a soul lost in purgatory. But when his former drug-dealer friend, Stewart, picks up the challenge, all hell breaks loose. Bruen maintains his trademark hip references and highly poetic style, but fans expecting the usual are in for some shock therapy, as he busts out one series-changing surprise after another. Agent: Lukas Ortiz, Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
Praise for Purgatory

“The things Jack witnesses these days . . . would cause a saint to go blind. And Jack, whose heroism is fueled by ‘plain old-fashioned rage, bile and bitterness,’ is no saint. Never was, never will be. Amen.”—New York Times Book Review

“Excellent. . . . Bruen maintains his trademark hip references and highly poetic style, but fans expecting the usual are in for some shock therapy, as he busts out one series-changing surprise after another.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Bruen’s storytelling style, a stream-of-consciousness mix of prose and verse, strips away Galway’s tourist-board façade and offers a darkly comic social commentary. . . . Noir fans will find what they love here.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Bruen is an Irish treasure, holding his own in a line of literary giants including Joyce, Yeats, Wilde and Beckett. . . . Purgatory may be the best of the Jack Taylor series.”—Shelf Awareness

“Another fine installment in the series that defines Irish noir.”—BookPage

“There’s an explosion of talent coming out of Ireland in the detective genre right now, and Bruen is a major player in that scene . . . Full of mayhem, Galway lore, and deft literary allusions, as befits an author with a PhD in metaphysics. Bruen’s staccato, telegraphic style sometimes looks like poetry on the page, but don’t be fooled; his rhetorical moves are closer to the sweet science of the boxing ring than they are to the song forms of verse.”—Santa Barbara Independent

“Strangely poetic. Bruen uses the automatic weapon’s staccato burst writing style, lacing it with current event allusions.”—Huntington News

“One of the most sublime pleasures in crime fiction is reading a new book by Ken Bruen. For almost twenty years now, he’s been delighting mystery and noir audiences with his stunning, poetic books of the shadowy side of life. . . . Purgatory is one of the darkest books yet. . . . This is real writing, the likes of which we are blessed to behold.”—Strand Magazine

“Gleefully profane and joyfully blasphemous, the prose in Ken Bruen’s Jack Taylor books is so unapologetically lyrical and right that it fooking hurts. . . . No matter how black Bruen paints it, there is also an unabashed celebration of life here. To read these books is to fly.”—Mystery Scene

“Bruen is as quietly unflinching and honest an author as you are likely to encounter. . . . Everybody should read Purgatory and every other word he has ever written.”—Bookreporter.com

“The Taylor books are the pinnacle of Bruen’s offhand but bleakly poetic style. . . . Bruen and Taylor are very much of this moment, in terms of popular culture, crime fiction, Irish history, and global politics.”—International Noir Fiction

“[Purgatory] well-captures the flavor of the time.”—Criminal Element

"Entertaining."—Avid Mystery Reader

“Bruen has some important things to say about contemporary Ireland, if not the world in general. . . . [Purgatory] is also very funny, with more than its share of serious observations and, as one would expect, dark moments.”—Woody Haut

Praise for Ken Bruen

"Ken Bruen is an exceptional writer. . . . [He] writes some of the darkest, leanest prose you'll ever encounter."—Hilary Davidson, Dark Voyage

"Ken Bruen might be the best-kept literary secret in Ireland."—The Independent (Ireland)

"[Bruen's] fast-paced and hard-boiled action novels will appeal to those looking for gripping crime fiction."—News-Press

Library Journal
Nine previous titles, a Shamus Award, two feature films, and now this: even as he struggles to maintain his hard-won stability, former cop Jack Taylor must face a vigilante killer wiping out the bad guys of Galway and leaving little missives to Jack signed C 33. Bruen's doctorate in metaphysics adds depth.
Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-23
Galway ex-cop Jack Taylor, whose main job these days is keeping himself clean and sober, goes up against a vigilante whose targets richly deserve to die. You might feel sorry for Joseph, the teenager shot off his skateboard, if you didn't know he was dealing dope to kids even younger than him. But no one mourns the passing of Tim Rourke, the accused rapist who'd be rotting in prison instead of the grave if a dewy-eyed social worker's testimony hadn't freed him to meet his maker. Or Peg Ramsay, the moneylender's widow who's been determined to squeeze her clients even harder than her late lamented husband ever did. Or Dolan, the landlord who neglected to make sure all his tenants had made it out of his properties before he burned them down. Jack wouldn't waste a tear on any of these victims if their killer, calling himself C33, weren't sending notes to Jack (The Devil, 2010, etc.) inviting him to join the festivities. Soon enough, Jack and his mates, Zen-spouting entrepreneur Stewart and lesbian Sgt. Ridge Ní Iomaire, are up to their necks in C33's lethal games. The case brings Jack bumping repeatedly against dot-com billionaire Daniel Reardon, with each new collision producing fresh eruptions of bile--is there an angrier narrator in the genre than Jack?--but precious little in the way of plot development, until the obvious suspect gets identified and does a runner, turning Jack from reluctant detective into nemesis, a role that suits him much better. For all the furious energy of Jack's throwaway riffs, the title of this installment, which would have fit most of Bruen's pitch-noir dispatches equally well, isn't the only thing that feels recycled here.
Booklist

“Bruen always respects his characters. . . . Noir fans will find exactly what they love here.”
Booklist [HC starred review]

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802126078
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
11/04/2013
Series:
Jack Taylor Series , #10
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
481,355
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Ken Bruen received a doctorate in metaphysics, taught English in Africa, Japan, Southeast Asia and South America, then became a crime novelist. His novels, including nine previous Jack Taylor books, have been nominated for many awards, two Edgars.

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Purgatory 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Minkbooks1 More than 1 year ago
Like a perfect slow poured pint of the dark, Ken Bruen's novels fill the senses, as his words cascade and settle on the soul. Pure perfection. Page after page. Book after book.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
To read a Jack Taylor novel is to relive James Joyce’s stream of consciousness in modern inebriated lingo. And that is a good thing because Ken Bruen is a thinking man’s (or woman’s) writer. In this entry Jack is recovering from events in preceding volumes, in which he lost fingers on one hand and his hearing, partially. He’s given up drinking, smoking and other assorted vices, and is moderately content. That is, until he receives mysterious notes signed “C33,” a presumed vigilante murderer of persons condemned for their evil deeds. Apparently, the killer wants Jack to assist efforts to rid Galway of other miscreants. Jack ignores these efforts, but becomes entangled in the web of a peculiar billionaire who is buying up everything in sight. At the same time, he becomes involved with the money man’s wife. The novel, like its predecessors, glows with the charm of an Irish leprechaun, with expressive comments derived from Ireland’s history. Mr. Bruen is never an easy read, but always an enjoyable one. Recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think it was a good summary of previous Jack's background (I have read all the series) but unnecessarily brutal in telling of this story.