The Ghosts of Galway
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.