Monday, October 10, 2011

Books: Headstone by Ken Bruen (Mysterious Press, 2011)

Headstone: A Jack Taylor NovelHeadstone: A Jack Taylor Novel by Ken Bruen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jack Taylor is back! I am thrilled to no end to see one of my favorite crime fiction series continue, because with the amount of abuse and torment Jack receives in each book, I expect it to be his last. This time the drug addicted, demon haunted, alcoholic unlicensed private eye faces one of his toughest foes. A group called Headstone, inspired by the Columbine massacre, decides to rid Galway of what they consider undesirables: priests, homosexuals, the developmentally disabled and alcoholics. After Jack is kidnapped and mutilated by this group, he vows revenge... the only way he knows how. Jack also gets a side gig, helping the church, whom he has a love/hate relationship with, and that eventually results in him losing another friend. The conclusion, where Jack and his friends Ridge and Stewart meet Headstone for the final climactic scene is apocalyptic and harrowing. This was a fantastic novel in one of the best series going in contemporary crime fiction. Jack Taylor is such a compelling character, that whatever happens, you can't stop rooting for him and be simultaneously repulsed and fascinated by his deeds. As always, Bruen makes the city of Galway, Ireland a major character in the story. The landmarks, the people and the financial disaster that came in the wake of the Celtic Tiger are the backdrop for this extraordinary story. Headstone - amazon.com

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