Someone is scraping the scum off the streets of Galway, and they want Jack Taylor to get involved. A drug pusher, a rapist, a loan shark, all targeted in what look like vigilante attacks. And the killer is writing to Jack, signing their name: C-33.
Jack has had enough. He doesn't need the money, and doesn't want to get involved. But when his friend Stewart gets drawn in, it seems he isn't been given a choice. In the meantime, Jack is being courted by Reardon, a charismatic billionaire intent on buying up much of Galway, and begins a tentative relationship with Reardon's PR director, Kelly.
Caught between heaven and hell, there's only one path for Jack Taylor to take: Purgatory.
Purgatory is Bruen’s 10th and latest Jack Taylor novel and unusually for the completist in me I skipped forward to this one, after having only read the first two or three.
An interesting enough read, but a little less enjoyable than I had been hoping for. Perhaps skipping the seven in-between left me feeling more as a fairly impartial observer to events concerning Taylor and his friends Stewart and Ridge, as opposed to having an emotional connection to them and caring – assuming the friendships have developed over the course of the series.
Bad things happen during the course of the book. A vigilante seems to be cleaning up Galway and the Gardai aren’t joining up the dots and acknowledging the connection. Jack ignores notes from the killer, until the murderer makes things personal. Taylor oscillates between manic action with a mad urge to locate someone one minute, to calmly having a drink the next day; said person still unfound. Maybe that’s how damaged alcoholic investigators function?
The usual cultural references and hat-tips towards other novelists and books abound throughout, though they seemed a bit forced and stale to me this time. Perhaps, I’m turning into an old grouch?
Best bit of the book - the slow motion analysis of Ibrahimovic’s spectacular goal for Sweden against England......go figure.
3 from 5
At some point I will read the Taylor books that I have skipped. For now at least Brant rules.
Another book courtesy of Net Galley.
Col - Sorry to hear that this one didn't have quite the 'punch' for you that you'd hoped. Still, Bruen's quite talented and you've reminded me I must spotlight one of his books. Thanks.ReplyDelete
Thanks Margot, never mind eh!Delete
I plan to catch up with the rest of your reviews but wanted to comment on this one. I started with the Jack Taylor books by Bruen and they are pretty decent reads but yeah, Brant is a much more interesting anti-hero and the writing style is really different and I find myself preferring them over Jack Taylor but I do have a soft spot for this series. Also, Bruen has had a devil of a time with copyright issues quoting other writers. It was such a big deal at the time that he had to resort to what he could add without stepping on toes. Sorry to see the 3/5 rating but I'm sure I'll like it more since I did start at the beginning. And there is a lot to be said to read some series books in order for familiarity among other things.
Keishon, I wish I had liked it more, but hey. Maybe the lesson is keep to the chronology?Delete
Hey Col, well, I think some fans tend to be more forgiving of plots in a series that run this long (ten books in total I believe). Does that make sense? Not all of the Jack Taylor books were awesomely great to me but the character and the social criticism on poverty and church scandals more than make up for any perceived lack of a good central storyline so I'm just saying albeit in a bad way that I like the character regardless of the storyline that he is put into and I like Ken Bruen's writing style/voice. I can say the same for Jo Nesbo's character, Harry Hole. For both of these writers I tend to not find many weaknesses in their stories because I like their writing style that much. Their books would have to be really, really bad for me to remark on it but if those elements I listed are there then I'm content. The tl;dr version: I'm a fangirl and will read these writers parking ticketsDelete
Hiya, I understand what you're saying and I'm forgiving of the same in other authors..... maybe I ought to read 4,5,6 etc then go back to this - but I feel I might have spoiled the series for myself. I like a caustic view of the world - probably because I'm an old cynic myself. Perhaps a case of right book at the wrong time - I haven't given up on him!Delete
Since I have only read the one Jack Taylor, I kind of skimmed your review. Don't want to know too much in advance. I did see you were not thrilled with it. Until I try more Jack Taylor I could not pick a favorite but I love Brant.ReplyDelete
Tracy, hopefully I haven't put you off the JT's. I will go back to some of the earlier books myself.Delete
Col, don't worry, you have not put me off Jack Taylor. I have #2 and #3 in the series and I will read those for sure... probably have one more also.Delete
Glad to hear it, Tracy....phew!Delete
TracyK pretty much sums it up for me! Probably won't get to it soon....ReplyDelete
Moira, I'm sure it will keep - there's plenty of other hard-boiled you can be getting on with!ReplyDelete
Col, the theme of the reluctant sleuth being drawn into a case because a friend or family member is involved has been done often in books and films. I'm sure Ken Bruen handles that plotline well. I hope to get to the Jack Taylor series soon.ReplyDelete
Prashant, yes it's a common enough theme. I usually love Bruen's books, but this time it was a like - hopefully I'm not getting jaded!Delete
Thanks for the great review on Purgatory - love the title! I have not read Bruen's books yet, but you have peeked my curiosity. One book that I just finished, which was very enjoyable, is called "No One Can Know," by Adrienne LaCava. The story is set during the 1960s during the time of JFK's assassination, and involves a CIA who gets caught in the cross hairs of the event. The book doesn’t take a position in the matter of who killed JFK, but rather takes you on a thought provoking journey. You can find the author's website here: http://adriennelacava.com/ReplyDelete
Great choice, Audrey. I am interested in No One Can Know, especially with the story involving JFK.Delete
Thanks Audrey and Sparkie, A bit of a love-in for No One Can Know - I'll check it out.Delete