When Jack Taylor blew town at the end of The Guards his alcoholism was a distant memory and sober dreams of a new life in London were shining in his eyes.
A year later, Jack's back in Galway with a new leather jacket on his back, a pack of smokes in his pocket, a few grams of coke in his waistband, and a pint of Guinness on his mind. So much for new beginnings.
Before long, he's sunk into his old routine, lifting his head from the bar only every few days, appraising his surroundings for mere minutes, and then descending deep into the alcoholic, drug-induced fugue he prefers to the real world. But one day a gypsy walks into the bar during a moment of clarity and changes all that with a simple request.
Jack knows the look in this man's eyes, a look of hopelessness mixed with resolve, topped off with a quietly simmering rage. He's seen it in the mirror. Recognizing a kindred soul, Jack agrees to help him, knowing but not admitting that getting involved is going to lead to more bad than good. Because in Jack Taylor's world bad and good are part and parcel of the same lost cause. Besides, no one ever accused Jack of having good sense.
Praise for Ken Breun:
'Bruen confirms his rightful place among the finest noir stylists of his generation. This is a remarkable book from a singular talent.' – Publishers Weekly
'Bloodied and broken, Jack is still recognizable as Bruen’s boy, a wounded street poet who believes in the redemptive properties of language.' – The New York Times
'Jack Taylor is back in town, weighed down with wisecracks and cocaine … Somebody is murdering young male travellers and Taylor, with his reputation as an outsider, is the man they want to get to the root of things … Compulsive-rapid fire … entertaining.' – Sunday Tribune