Is it the end if Jack Taylor? Hope not. He's one fucked up guy. And he's worth every penny. Author Bruen has a gold mine with this guy. He flouts all of society (and with reason), has very colourful (and dangerous) friends... and enemies. Losing Jack would be like losing a friend, someone who disregard what is politically correct and corrects it in very unorthodox ways. Who wouldn't like to have a friend like that? I sure would like to have him in my corner. Please Bruen, keep Jack alive. Have him find some kind of epiphany. Have him find a hobby. Have him renew with Ridge (why not? She looks cool enough). But don't end the saga with him eating his gun...
I can't comment on this book as I haven't finished it yet, but the MO of the serial killer reminded me of this temp assignment I once went on at a legal services company, and the proof reader there, a demented young woman named // Dalton \\ [oh, what a pretentious name!!!!] insisted that I spell grammar as grammer, and I repeatedly attempted to explain to her the proper spelling, but for some demented reason this demented person was obsessed on misspelling it with an // e \\ - - needless to say they never called back for me . . . .
This is a very different read. Yes, there are bad guys who run the gamut from smarmy to sociopathic but they figure briefly in Jack’s daily pursuit of the perfect pint. Unlike other instalments, the plot is not driven by his involvement in any one case. It doesn’t follow the pattern of Jack being hired, investigating a person/event & trying to surviving its conclusion.
Instead, this is more of a character study with Jack as leading man. He’s at a point in his life where all the events, choices & injuries of the past are catching up with him. He’s deeply reflective & spends much of his time lost in mental meanderings regarding his upbringing, past loves, Irish politics & favourite books. He has plenty of time to ruminate as he recovers from several good thumpings & dutifully walks Storm, his dog.
Along the way he interacts with bartenders, old acquaintances, homeless philosophers & an enigmatic neighbour. But it’s the reappearance of Emily that really shakes things up. She’s a force of nature he can’t resist, despite her tendency to drag him into dicey situations. Her character is darker & more manic in this outing as she looks for trouble & delivers her own style of justice. She can swing from compassion to cruelty in a heartbeat with no regret for the human carnage left in her wake. There’s a scary psycho killer in the story but I found myself thinking I’d rather take my chances with him than face her in a dark alley. Or anywhere.
There’s a boatload of musical & literary references interspersed with events. Some are extensions of Jack’s thoughts & it makes for a surreal read, at times. He’s facing a personal crisis & drifting away from the few friends he has. The only thing keeping him tethered to the now is Storm, a fluffy reminder that things such as happiness, love & hope can exist.
It’s an introspective & sometimes bleak look at Jack’s life that is periodically relieved by jabs of black humour. The end makes it clear we’ve arrived at a fork in the road, not just for Jack but possibly for Mr. Bruen as well.
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