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Ken Bruen, the “Godfather of the modern Irish crime novel” (Irish Independent), is beloved for his black humor, verse-like prose, and irascible protagonist Jack Taylor, an ex-cop who is as addicted to trouble as he is to Jameson, pills, and pop culture. In The Emerald Lie, the latest terror to be visited upon the dark Galway streets arrives in a most unusual form: a Cambridge graduate who becomes murderous over split infinitives, dangling modifiers, and any other sign of bad grammar. Meanwhile, Jack is approached by a grieving father with a pocketful of cash on offer if Jack will help exact revenge on those responsible for his daughter’s brutal rape and murder. Though hesitant to get involved, Jack agrees to get a read on the likely perpetrators. But Jack is soon derailed by the reappearance of Emily (previous alias: Emerald), the chameleon-like young woman who joined forces with Jack to take down her pedophile father in Green Hell and who remains passionate, clever, and utterly homicidal. She will use any sort of coercion to get Jack to conspire with her against the serial killer the Garda have nicknamed “the Grammarian,” but her most destructive obsession just might be Jack himself.
Ken Bruen is a singular voice in crime fiction “with his ear for lilting Irish prose and his taste for the kind of gallows humor heard only at the foot of the gallows” (New York Times Book Review). In The Ghosts of Galway, he brings those elegiac talents to bear on a case involving a famously blasphemous red book and Bruen’s equally profane antihero Jack Taylor. As well-versed in politics, pop culture, and crime fiction as he is ill-fated in life, Jack Taylor is recovering from a mistaken medical diagnosis and a failed suicide attempt. In need of money, and with former cop on his resume, Jack has been hired as a night-shift security guard. But his Ukrainian boss has Jack in mind for a bit of off-the-books work. He wants Jack to find what some claim to be the first true book of heresy, The Red Book, currently in the possession of a rogue priest who is hiding out in Galway after fleeing a position at the Vatican. Despite Jack’s distaste for priests of any stripe, the money is too good to turn down. Em, the many-faced woman who has had a vise on Jack’s heart and mind for the past two years, reappears and turns out to be entangled with the story of The Red Book, too, leading Jack down ever more mysterious and lethal pathways. It seems all sides are angling for a piece of Jack Taylor, but as The Ghosts of Galway twists toward a violent end, he is increasingly plagued by ghosts—by the disposable and disposed of in a city filled with as much darkness as the deepest corners of Jack’s own mind.
An Irishman with an ebullient love of life draws inspiration from the literature and poetry of death. A born loser with an "ex-wife, an ex-child, and no excuses" accompanies his alcoholic brother on a startling plunge into liberating despair. A self-styled vigilante avenges the death of his wife and child by waging a one-man war against the London underworld. A whiskey-sotted cleric sets out to battle his sexual demons with a resolve that borders on the malevolent. "Nobody writes like Ken Bruen," says the New York Times Book Review, and here, the author of The Emerald Lie and The Guards offers a taste of his wide-ranging skills. With his acrid barstool wit, literary allusions, and gut-punching twists, Bruen captures the Irish state of mind with bracing authenticity. Now, enthusiasts of his long-running series featuring Irish PI Jack Taylor – seven of which have been adapted for the screen – and new fans alike can discover Bruen's early works in an omnibus shaded with the crazy, violent, and melancholy poetry that has become his trademark. Hailed by the Los Angeles Book Review as one of "the most original and innovative noir voices of the last two decades," Bruen is a two-time Shamus Award winner, an Edgar Award finalist, and a recipient of the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. A Fifth of Bruen includes: Funeral: Tales of Irish Morbidities, Martyrs, Shades of Grace, Sherry and Other Stories, All the Old Songs and Nothing to Lose, and The Time of Serena May & Upon the Third Cross.
The award-winning crime writer Ken Bruen, called “the best-kept literary secret in Ireland” by the Independent, is as joyously unapologetic in his writing as he is wickedly poetic, mixing high and low with hypnotic mastery. In the previous book in the series, Purgatory, ex-cop Jack Taylor had finally turned his life around, only to be taunted back into fighting Galway’s corruption by a twisted serial killer named C33. In the new novel Green Hell, Bruen’s dark angel of a protagonist has again hit rock bottom: one of his best friends is dead, the other has stopped speaking to him; he has given up battling his addiction to alcohol and pills; and his firing from the Irish national police, the Guards, is ancient history. But Jack isn’t about to embark on a self-improvement plan. Instead, he has taken up a vigilante case against a respected professor of literature at the University of Galway who has a violent habit his friends in high places are only too happy to ignore. And when Jack rescues a preppy American student on a Rhodes Scholarship from a couple of kid thugs, he also unexpectedly gains a new sidekick, who abandons his thesis on Beckett to write a biography of Galway’s most magnetic rogue. Between pub crawls and violent outbursts, Jack’s vengeful plot against the professor soon spirals toward chaos. Enter Emerald, an edgy young Goth who could either be the answer to Jack’s problems, or the last ripped stitch in his undoing. Ireland may be known as a “green Eden,” but in Jack Taylor’s world, the national color has a decidedly lethal sheen.
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