Acclaimed Irish crime writer Ken Bruen has won numerous awards for his hard-charging, dark thrillers, which have been translated into ten languages. In Headstone, an elderly priest is nearly beaten to death and a special-needs boy is brutally attacked.
Evil has many guises and Jack Taylor has encountered most of them, and has the scars to prove it. But nothing before has ever truly terrified him until he confronts an evil coterie named Headstone, who have committed a series of random, insane, violent crimes in Galway, Ireland that leave even the national police shaken. And Jack is especially vulnerable now that he has finally found love and happiness.
Jack, slowly accepting the sheer power of Headstone, comes to realize that in order to fight back he must relinquish the remaining shreds of what has made him human. Headstone barrels along its deadly path right to the center of his life and the heart of Galway. In a moment of awful clarity, Jack realizes that not only might he be powerless to stop Headstone; he may not have the grit needed to even face it. A terrific read from a writer called "a Celtic Dashiell Hammett", Headstone is an excellent addition to the Jack Taylor series.
©2011 Original material © 2011 Ken Bruen. Recorded by arrangement with Mysterious Press, an imprint of Grove/Atlantic, Inc. (P)2011 (p) 2011 HighBridge Company
In The Guards, Ken Bruen comments about how painful it is to hear an Englishman attempt a brogue...does violence to the ear, and possibly more. Here we have an Englishman, John Lee, whose reading style is more suited to a story about England in the Middle Ages, doing precisely what the author thought is a crime against the ear, the Irish and possibly against all humanity and maybe against all of nature itself. I am not a fan of John Lee as his voice and style are rather inflexible and more often than not, overwhelm the material rather than yield to a sympathetic reading of the material. In this book, he simply gets neither the temper of Jack Taylor or of Bruen's series. His reading is so unfortunate, that the story itself is smothered. There was one particular character – and not an Irish one -- that provided some humor: instead of English with a Greek accent for a Greek doing business in Ireland, we are treated to the accent of The Count from Sesame Street. So I guess even John Lee can provide humor, unintended as it was. For all but die hard Ken Bruen fans, better to stay away...but then again, for all of us die hard Ken Bruen fans, how can we stay away?
Retired book buyer/book manager for wholesale distributor in the 5 largest northeast states. Prolific reader who was inundated with ARCs.
In the latest of the Jack Taylor series Bruen brings back one of his vilest villains for final resolution. Quick witted ascerbic dialogue, reliance on his literary background to preface his chapters, and not a wasted word throughout the reading this book is a wonderful thriller for those of you who like your crime stories dark and riveting. Irish storytelling in this medium at its best.
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