The Ghosts of Gal­way

Irish Independent - Weekend Review - - FRONT PAGE -

Ken Bruen

Head of Zeus, trade pa­per­back, 330 pages, €16.99

Though mostly by his own mak­ing, life hasn’t been easy for Jack Tay­lor, the hard-drink­ing dis­graced for­mer po­lice­man who now ekes out a living in Gal­way City as a pri­vate de­tec­tive.

The pic­ture Bruen draws in this lat­est slice in the crum­bling life of his pro­fane an­ti­hero is of a man cling­ing to san­ity by a thread.

A mis­taken med­i­cal di­ag­no­sis that led to a failed sui­cide at­tempt, a brush with a Ukrainian crime boss, a run-in with a lu­natic rev­o­lu­tion­ary dooms­day cult which dumps dead an­i­mals in Eyre Square to at­tract at­ten­tion and the vi­o­lent death of one of his clos­est friends drives Tay­lor on a quixotic if deadly mis­sion to avenge ghosts of his own mak­ing.

Bruen’s spare prose per­fectly suits this bleakly mes­meris­ing tale.

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