American Rhodes scholar Boru Kennedy, who narrates much of Shamus Award–winner Bruen’s sketchy 11th Jack Taylor novel (after 2013’s Purgatory), has come to Galway to write a treatise on Samuel Beckett. When muggers start kicking in Boru’s teeth, Jack comes to the rescue, and Boru’s interest shifts to the brooding former member of the Garda, the Irish national police, as a subject of study. Boru becomes Jack’s Boswell, involved in his effort to take down a Galway university professor who’s getting away with violent crimes. About half the book consists of Jack’s trademark reveries on rage and drinking, his comments on binge-watching TV crime shows, and name-dropping mystery writers. In one metafictional scene, Jack buys an unnamed Ken Bruen a drink in a bar. New readers might do better to start with the first in the series, The Guards (2001), though dedicated fans of Irish noir will spot favorite touchstones of the saga. Agent: Lukas Ortiz, Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/13/2015 Release date: 07/01/2015 Genre: Fiction
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