“Ken Bruen is hard to resist, with his aching Irish heart, silvery tongue, and bleak noir sensibility. . . . [Bruen] writes with extraordinary delicacy.” Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
“Dazzling. Bruen's style is clipped, caustic, heartbreaking, and often hilarious.” The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
“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, George Pelecanos, and the like, Bruen is definitely a writer to reckon with.” The Denver Post
“Bruen's furious, hard-boiled prose, chopped down to its trademark essence, never fails to astonish. . . . among the finest noir stylists of his generation.” Publishers Weekly
“Bruen's tommy-gun prose, lacerating dialogue, and hard-boiled worldview combine to provide entertainment of high order in dealing with low instincts.” New York Daily News
“The next major new Irish voice we hear might well belong to Ken Bruen.” Chicago Tribune
“Bracing, eccentric, hard-boiled, unforgettable.” The Times-Picayune (New Orleans)
“Spare and unforgiving, Bruen's novels are among the best.” Rocky Mountain News
“Bruen has established himself as a master of hard-boiled noir.” The Miami Herald
In Bruen's atmospheric, metaphysically tinged eighth Jack Taylor novel, the Galway PI clashes with Satan himself--or so all the clues scream. Denied passage to America at the airport in Ireland, Jack decides Xanax isn't enough and hits the bar for a Jameson, where he meets the mysterious Kurt, who tells him that "evil hones in on those closest to redemption." Soon murder and suicide point to the involvement of a "Mr. K" and force Jack to revisit previous cases, including a session with a tinker fortune teller. Bruen's usual tour of Galway shows Jack finding comfort in "that vanished Ireland where people stopped in the streets, blessing themselves and said the prayer." In addition to drugs and booze, Jack starts smoking again and reflects, "The Sig was to hand. I was ready and be-jaysus, I was willing." Lots of such delicious moments for the legion of fans dot this outing for the beleaguered detective--one character even suggests Jack read Sanctuary (2009), the previous novel in the series. (Sept.)
Someone's killing Jack Taylor's friends, and there's the devil to pay. Literally?
Galway's leading bipolar private eye (Sanctuary, 2009, etc.), whose mood swings from the merely dark to the stygian, is at his low point again. He'd like to resign and retire; that is, "put all the past horrors of my time as a half-arsed PI behind me." That's because Jack Taylor's cases have been ending unrewardingly. Oh, he cracks them brilliantly enough. It's just that there always seems to be collateral damage—good people getting hurt, people he thinks he should have been able to protect. When Teresa Jordan asks him to investigate the disappearance of her son, he knows he should fob her off, but he can't. She has those lovely eyes that tell of slings and arrows borne bravely, a look that to a man of Taylor's Irish susceptibilities is irresistible. But signing on proves exactly the mistake he feared. Enter the Luciferian Mr. K, polished to a high shine and dressed to kill. From whence has he come? What does he want with the likes of Jack? Plausible answers are unforthcoming. Suddenly, however, body bags begin filling with people Taylor cares deeply about, and he finds himself one on one with...whom? Does a bespoke Italian-made shoe conceal a cloven hoof?
Between all the Xanax-popping and Jameson-swilling, Bruen keeps Jack and his adventures as mordantly funny as ever.