Nonexistent, that is, until a dazzling woman walks into the bar with a strange request and a rumor about Jack's talent for finding things. Odds are he won't be able to climb off his barstool long enough to get involved with his radiant new client, but when he surprises himself by getting hired, Jack has little idea of what he's getting into.
Stark, violent, sharp, and funny, The Guards is an exceptional novel, one that leaves you stunned and breathless, flipping back to the beginning in a mad dash to find Jack Taylor and enter his world all over again. It's an unforgettable story that's gritty, absorbing, and saturated with the rough-edged rhythms of the Galway streets. Praised by authors and critics around the globe, The Guards heralds the arrival of an essential new novelist in contemporary crime fiction.
Ken Bruen's The Guards is a 2004 Edgar Award Nominee for Best Novel.
First Thrills: Volume 2 contains stories six original stories by:
Wendy Corsi Staub
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Before long he's sunk into his old patterns, 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 a big gypsy walks into the bar one day during a moment of Jack's 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. But in Jack Taylor's world bad and good are part and parcel of the same lost cause, and besides, no one ever accused Jack of having good sense.
Ken Bruen wowed critics and readers alike when he introduced Jack Taylor in The Guards; he'll blow them away with The Killing of the Tinkers, a novel of gritty brilliance that cements Bruen's place among the greats of modern crime fiction.
The dealer knows that can't be true and begs Jack to have a look, check around, see what he can find out. It's exactly what Jack does, with varying levels of success, to make a living. But he's reluctant, maybe because of who's asking or maybe because of the bad feeling growing in his gut.
Never one to give in to bad feelings or common sense, Jack agrees to the favor, though he can't possibly know the shocking, deadly consequences he has set in motion. But he and everyone he holds dear will find out soon, sooner than anyone knows, in The Dramatist, the lean and lethal fourth entry in Ken Bruen's award-winning Jack Taylor series.
Jack Taylor, devastated by the recent trauma of personal loss, has always believed himself to be beyond salvation. But a new job offers a fresh start, and an unexpected partnership provides hope that his one desperate vision--of family--might yet be fulfilled.
An eerie mix of exorcism, a predatory stalker, and unlikely attraction conspires to lure him into a murderous web of dark conspiracies. The specter of a child haunts every waking moment.
Explosive, unsettling and totally original, Ken Bruen's writing captures the brooding landscape of Irish society at a time of social and economic upheaval. Priest is evidence of an unmistakable literary talent.
Jack is amazed when Cassell simply asks him to track down a woman, now either dead or very old, who long ago helped his mother escape from the notorious Magdalen laundry, where young wayward girls were imprisoned and abused. Jack doesn't like the odds of finding the woman, but counts himself lucky that the task is at least on the right side of the law.
Until he spends a few days spinning his wheels and is dragged in front of Cassell for a quick reminder of his priorities. Bill's goons do a little spinning of their own, playing a game of Russian roulette a little too close to the back of Jack's head. It's only blind luck and the mercy of a god he no longer trusts that land Jack back on the street rather than face down in a cellar with a bullet in his skull. He's got one chance to stay alive: find this woman.
Unfortunately, he can't escape his own curiosity, and an unnerving hunch quickly turns into a solid fact: just who Jack's looking for, and why, aren't nearly what they seem.
The Magdalen Martyrs, the third Galway-set novel by Edgar, Barry, and Macavity finalist and Shamus Award-winner Ken Bruen, is a gripping, dazzling story that takes the Jack Taylor series to explosive new heights of suspense.
Jack's investigations take him to many of his old haunts where he encounters ghosts, both dead and living. Everyone wants something from him, but Jack is not sure he has anything left to give. Maybe he should disappear--pocket his money and get the hell out of Galway like everyone else seems to be doing. But when the sister of the murdered boy is burned to death, Jack decides he must hunt down the killer, if only to administer his own brand of justice. Ken Bruen's Cross is a suspenseful and deeply moving mystery.
But when he's called to investigate a student murder—connected to an elusive Mr. K—he remembers the man from the airport. Is the stranger really who he says he is? With the help of the Jameson, Jack struggles to make sense of it all. After several more murders and too many coincidental encounters, Jack believes he may have met his nemesis. But why has he been chosen? And could he really have taken on the devil himself?
Suspenseful, haunting, and totally unique, The Devil is Bruen at his very best.
Ousted from the Guards, Ireland's police force, Jack Taylor is stuck in Galway with nothing to look forward to, until a dazzling woman walks into the bar with a strange request and a rumor about Jack's talent for finding things. But when Jack agrees, he has little idea of what he's getting into.
The Killing of the Tinkers
Jack's back in Galway a year later, falling into his old patterns. But a big gypsy arrives one day during a moment of Jack's clarity and changes all that. Young men of his band are turning up dead in the center of town. Jack agrees to look into it, knowing but not admitting that getting involved is going to lead to more bad than good.
The Magdalen Martyrs
Jack Taylor receives a call from Bill Cassell, a hard man that Jack owes a favor, asking him to track down a woman, now either dead or very old. When Jack drags his feet, Bill's goons come for him and it becomes clear: finding this woman is his only chance to stay alive.
Now a major motion picture starring Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley, written and directed by Oscar-winning screenwriter William Monahan of The Departed.
Ken Bruen's London Boulevard is a masterful work of double dealing and suspense from one of the great crime writers of our time.
Paired with an unstable cop nicknamed Kebar for his liberal use of a short, lethal metal stick called a K-bar, the two unlikely partners become a devastatingly effective force in the war against crime.
But Kebar harbors a dangerous secret: he's sold out to the mob to help his sister. Her rape and beating leaves her in a coma and pushes an already unstable Kebar over the edge just as Shea's dark secrets threaten boil over and into the streets of New York.
Once Were Cops melds the street poetry of Brooklyn and Dublin into a fast-paced, incomparable hard-boiled novel. This is Ken Bruen at his best.
After much tragedy and violence, Jack Taylor has at long last landed at contentment. Of course, he still knocks back too much Jameson and dabbles in uppers, but he has a new woman in his life, a freshly bought apartment, and little sign of trouble on the horizon. Once again, trouble comes to him, this time in the form of a wealthy Frenchman who wants Jack to investigate the double-murder of his twin sons. Jack is meanwhile roped into looking after his girlfriend’s nine-year-old son, and is in for a shock with the appearance of a character out of his past. The plot is one big chess game and all of the pieces seem to be moving at the behest of one dangerously mysterious player: a vigilante called “Silence,” because he’s the last thing his victims will ever hear.
This is Ken Bruen at his most darkly humorous, his most lovably bleak, as he shows us the meaning behind a proverb of his own design—“the Irish can abide almost anything save silence.”
Brant's old partner Inspector Roberts, the man who may know him best, finds himself wondering why someone didn't shoot the hateful detective years ago. In Ken Bruen's Ammunition, they're all about to find out that the answer is quite simple: if you come after Brant you'd damn well better kill him the first time--because if you don't, you won't want to stick around to find out what happens next.
When he starts mailing letters to the Southeast London police squad, he'll soon find out just how bad a man's manners can get. The Southeast is dominated by the perpetual sneer of one Inspector Brant, and while he might or might not agree with the killer's cause and can even forgive his tactics to some degree, Brant is just ornery enough to employ his trademark brand of amoral, borderline-criminal policing to the hunt for the Manners Killer. For if there's one thing that drives the incomparable inspector, it's the unshakeable conviction that if anyone is going to be getting away with murder on his patch, it'll be Brant himself, thank you very much.
Ken Bruen's Calibre is original and astonishing hard-boiled noir.
The Stoker Award-winning author of the acclaimed, eclectic anthology The New Dead returns with 21st Century Dead and an all-new lineup of authors from every corner of the fiction world, shining a dark light on our fascination with tales of death and resurrection-and with zombies! The stellar stories in this volume include a tale set in the world of Daniel H. Wilson's Robopocalypse, the first published fiction by Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, and a tale of love, family, and resurrection from the legendary Orson Scott Card. This new volume also includes stories from other award-winning and New York Times bestselling authors, such as Simon R. Green, Chelsea Cain, Jonathan Maberry, Duane Swiercyznski, Caitlin Kittredge, Brian Keene, Amber Benson, John Skipp, S. G. Browne, Thomas E. Sniegoski, Hollywood screenwriter Stephen Susco, National Book Award nominee Dan Chaon, and others.
After much tragedy and violence, Jack Taylor has at long last landed at contentment. Of course, he still knocks back too much Jameson and dabbles in uppers, but he has a new woman in his life, a freshly bought apartment, and little sign of trouble on the horizon.
Once again, trouble comes to him — this time in the form of a wealthy Frenchman who wants Jack to investigate the double-murder of his twin sons. Jack is meanwhile roped into looking after his girlfriend's nine-year-old son and is in for a shock with the appearance of a character out of his past. The plot is one big chess game, and all of the pieces seem to be moving at the behest of one dangerously mysterious player, a vigilante called "Silence"...because he's the last thing his victims will ever hear.
This is Ken Bruen at his most darkly humorous and most lovably bleak as he shows us the meaning behind a proverb of his own design — the Irish can abide almost anything save silence.
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, which is currently in the possession of a rogue priest who is hiding out in Galway after fleeing the Vatican.
Despite Jack's distaste for priests of any stripe, the money is too good to turn down. When 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, Jack is led down ever more mysterious and lethal pathways...