Cover image for In the Galway silence : a Jack Taylor novel / Ken Bruen.
Title:
In the Galway silence : a Jack Taylor novel / Ken Bruen.
Author:
ISBN:
9780802128829
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : The Mysterious Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic : distributed by Publishers Group West, [2018]
Physical Description:
310 pages ; 22 cm
Abstract:
"Ken Bruen has been called "hard to resist, with his aching Irish heart, silvery tongue, and bleak noir sensibility" (New York Times Book Review). His prose is as characteristically sharp as his outlook in the latest Jack Taylor novel, In the Galway Silence. 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"-- Provided by publisher.
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Summary

Summary

Ken Bruen has been called "hard to resist, with his aching Irish heart, silvery tongue, and bleak noir sensibility" ( New York Times Book Review ). His prose is as characteristically sharp as his outlook in the latest Jack Taylor novel, In the Galway Silence .

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."


Author Notes

Ken Bruen received a doctorate in metaphysics, taught English in South Africa, and then became a crime novelist. The critically acclaimed author of twelve previous Jack Taylor novels and The White Trilogy , he is the recipient of two Barry Awards and two Shamus Awards and has twice been a finalist for the Edgar Award. He lives in Galway, Ireland.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Powered by nonstop action and acerbic wit, Edgar-finalist Bruen's 14th novel featuring ex-cop Jack Taylor (after 2017's The Ghosts of Galway) is-like the pints of Guinness that the saga's existentially tortured, pill-popping antihero consumes on a daily basis-unfathomably dark. When the woman he cares for, a speech therapist named Marion, leaves Ireland to attend a conference in the States, so too does any semblance of stability or contentment in Taylor's life. He's asked to investigate the horrific murder of a man's adult twin sons, two morally bankrupt Menendez brothers wannabes; Marion's bratty nine-year old son is abducted by a pedophile; his ex-wife shows up with a daughter he didn't know he had; and a serial killer known as the Silence begins a deadly chess game in which he's an unwilling participant. Bloody chaos ensues. Readers who can get past the decidedly nonlinear and at times downright muddled narrative will find a deeply flawed but endear- ing character whose suffering is both tragic and transformative. Agent: Lukas Ortiz, Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


New York Review of Books Review

SOLVING ONE OF Keigo Higashino's fiendishly difficult mysteries must be very gratifying. (I wouldn't know, since this Japanese puzzlemeister consistently outwits me.) In Giles Murray's translation of NEWCOMER (Minotaur, $27.99), Higashino's fabled Tokyo Metropolitan Police detective, Kyoichiro Kaga, he of the "razor-sharp mind and bloodhound nature," has been dispatched to the Nihonbashi precinct to investigate the inexplicable murder of a middle-aged woman who lived alone and seemed to have no enemies. Kaga directs his inquiries to Amazake Alley, a narrow street of small stores with loads of charm. ("Few other districts in the capital had shops that specialized in wicker suitcases or shamisen lutes.") In each of these businesses, Kaga finds some minor mystery to solve: Why did the clock shop owner's dog get lost on his walk? Who bought the cakes found at the crime scene? "I notice details," Kaga explains. "That's the sort of person I am." The characters, it must be said, are thinner than the dough used to create those delicate pastries; but in a fair exchange, the author has succeeded in making problem-solving logistics sexy. Since Kaga plucks all his clues from minor background details, their trivial nature is itself important. As Higashino notes, "The precinct detective had looked into things that the rest of them had dismissed as insignificant." Things like where you choose to sit in a taxi or whether you like sweets or who gave the victim a new pair of kitchen scissors. In addition to illustrating the subtlety of the author's narrative style, these minutiae add up to a tidy and quite credible solution. Not that I saw it coming. STEPHEN KELLY'S NEW Inspector Lamb novel, hushed in death (Pegasus Crime, $25.95), would seem to push all my buttons - and possibly yours. It's a traditional mystery set in 1942 in a British country house that's been reconfigured as a sanitarium for military men suffering the "traumatic effects of combat." There's a murder on the very first page and plenty of suspects (or possible additional victims) among the patients and staff. There's even a ghost! Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Lamb of the Hampshire Constabulary, who served on the Somme in the previous war, cuts a dashing figure as the sleuth in charge of the investigation. And Dr. Frederick Hornby, director of Elton House, was at Ypres. Both men still have nightmares filled with the faces of the dead. The setup is so familiar and so calculated that it's impossible not to feel manipulated. But it's the writing that really grates. "I left the house and came up the path from the village, as I usually do," the housekeeper begins. And then, dear reader, I fell asleep. IF YOU'RE GOING to write a theater mystery, who better to bump off than a theater critic? In her comic novel, ASHOT IN THE DARK (Bloomsbury, paper, $17), Lynne Truss does the dastardly deed during a performance of "A Shilling in the Meter," a slice-of-life drama being given a tryout production at a seedy theater in Brighton in 1957. A properly loathsome person, the famed and feared A. S. Crystal has already started writing his review on the train down from London, and a nasty piece of work it is too. But before the review can be published - indeed, before the play has ended - Crystal is shot dead. The mystery takes an amusing turn once the clever young Constable Peregrine Twitten starts second-guessing his superiors. "You are an impetuous, arrogant pipsqueak," shouts the detective in charge, who tries to fire him before realizing he could use this pipsqueak's supersize brain to his own advantage. We should be hearing more from this clever young know-it-all. CHILDREN have A way of softening up even the most hardboiled antiheroes. They don't come much tougher than Ken Bruen's Irish roughneck, Jack Taylor, a man with bad habits who does good despite himself. Jack can't escape from other people's children in Bruen's latest novel, IN THE GALWAY SILENCE (Mysterious Press, $26), which finds Mr. Tough Guy ("I'm not great with kids") babysitting for his girlfriend's 9-year-old son. "The boy was small with blond hair," he observes, which makes young Joffrey sound nonthreatening even for the child-averse Jack. But the kid is a world-class whiner with a perpetually curled lip, "from attitude rather than design." As if regular outings with Joffrey, who is staying with relatives while his mother is away, weren't penance enough for his many sins, this dangerously hotheaded private detective agrees to find out who murdered a rich Frenchman's twin sons. It's not the kind of case Jack would normally take, but the way these men were killed - ducttaped to a wheelchair, their mouths sealed with superglue, then tossed into a river - probably appealed to his sense of the hideously absurd. But it's another case, involving kidnapping and pedophilia, that really riles Jack, who, despite his macho posturing, is one of those decent souls who are sickened by cruelty to children, even a little brat like Joffrey. MARILYN STASIO has covered crime fiction for the Book Review since 1988. Her column appears twice a month.


Excerpts

Excerpts

I didn't want to investigate the murder of the twins. To immerse in darkness again was a road I had no wish to travel. Battered and wounded by all the loss of previous cases, I had barely managed to survive. Beatings, attacks, had left me with Mutilated fingers Hearing problems A limp Lethal dreams And A shitload of anxiety that Xanax barely kept a lid on. With a new woman in my life and happy for the very first time, would I risk it all? Nope. But. It is that very but that has led me astray so many times. A sly curiosity niggled at me so I figured "Vague inquiries couldn't hurt." Excerpted from In the Galway Silence by Ken Bruen All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.