cover image Galway Girl: A Jack Taylor Novel

Galway Girl: A Jack Taylor Novel

Ken Bruen. Mysterious, $26 (288p) ISBN 978-0-8021-4793-6

In Bruen’s superior 15th Jack Taylor novel (after 2018’s In the Galway Silence), killers stalk PI Taylor, once a member of the Garda, through Galway. Jericho, a femme fatale for whom “everyone was the enemy,” cracks the whip on her fellow psychos as they roam the city gunning down members of the Garda to grab Jack’s attention. Soon enough it gets personal with the fatal stabbing of a nun known to Taylor. Abrupt violence and plot twists keep the action popping, as Bruen plays his story like a series of brilliant improvisational jazz solos. Cultural references punctuate the narrative—for example, the first paragraph from Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon is dropped in as a free-form poem. For the finale, Bruen brings in a new character, the capable and deadly Keefer, once a roadie for the Rolling Stones, thereby balancing the odds so that Jack might live to drink Jameson another day. Bruen reinforces his place as the master of Irish noir. Agent: Lukas Ortiz, Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency. (Nov.)