Ken Bruen has described his latest Jack Taylor novel, Galway Girl, as a penultimate book with his anti-social, drink and drug addicted finder who drops further and further into the abyss. We definitely see him possibly finding a road to hope. That said, he will walk through fire to get there.
We pick up with Jack still in understandable anguish from events in The Galway Silence. He is pulled into duty when someone is bumping off guards, one he knew. The murders are connected to a trio of killers linked to his past. Jack, who has been more of a reluctant survivor, takes what he’s developed by in his hard life of being one and with the help of a bird he rescued comes at Jericho with a vengeance, resulting in one of the best crime fiction endings of the year.
Jack may be rising from the depths, but he’s not flying out of the ashes phoenix style. It is more like he hovers just above them, his flapping wings kicking up some of those ashes around him. With a second year of Trump and Brexit fallout playing in the background, he’s not just striking out at Jericho, but the entire mad world.
More and more with each Jack Taylor book, Ken Bruen works directly with his time. It has become an important part of the character’s fragility. We identify with the pressure and insanity these days have done to us. Despite his faults, like our own, we want him to make it and find peace. Maybe that’s why he hovers, Ken keeps him close to us.
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