Irish crime novelist Ken Bruen tells Bob Flynn how he exorcised his The Guards, then subverts the premise with his protagonist-narrator. A woman makes an unlikely choice by asking Jack Taylor to investigate the apparent suicide of her teenage daughter in Galway. Jack is ex. Ken Bruen (born ) is an Irish writer of hard-boiled and noir crime fiction. Bruen’s works include the well-received White Trilogy and The Guards. In

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Then my husband got interested in it and we both read it in the same month.

Bruen, born inspent 25 years as an English-language teacher in Africa, Japan and Asia, nurturing a creative impulse that had been smothered when he was a child. The love interest and not-to-be-believed grieving momAnn, is more a sketch of a character than a character.

Refreshing, incisive writing in a superb novel from an established author of crime fiction. His other book that I have read, The White Trilogy, was a little harder to get into but worthwhile once I was the It isn’t often that you get to read a book by someone who writes in a completely original manner, yet is still intelligible.

I am a big Ken Bruen fan. Open Preview See a Problem? I hit lucky and found resolutions.

The Guards (Jack Taylor, #1) by Ken Bruen

I can hear his voice when I read the passages. The city is exploding, emigration has reversed and we are fast becoming a cosmopolitan city. We’re featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book.

From the blurbs of the future books it seems like they focus much more on the crime part. Jefferson Parker, who all weigh in with thumbs up. Jefferson Parker, author of “Black Water and “Silent Joe “”The Guards is a wonderful book, wrenching and real, fast, funny and wise in every sense.


Somehow it kept me sympathetic and rooting for Jack despite him being a screwup. The Ghosts of Galway Ken Bruen. No one writes like him. It leads Taylor into danger, beatings, drunken benders, guilt and a trip into the darkest part of his soul.


The story deals with Jack taking on a case and trying to help Ann Henderson, whose daughter supposedly committed suicide but who Brufn thinks was murdered. It chronicles the social change in Ireland in Bruen’s own lifetime, paying particular attention to the decline of the Catholic Church as a social and political power. He is a man who is very uncomfortable in his own skin and in the new Ireland where he lives.

In The Spotlight: Ken Bruen’s The Guards | Confessions of a Mystery Novelist

Almost pure dialog and action, this is the tale of a shit-faced Galway drunk, drummed out of the Guards an Irish police force, I gather and reduced to a sort of half-assed detective. In fact this story is all about Taylor, his alcoholism and the difficult and often disastrous choices he makes. It is both dark and funny, will make you laugh and cry, and will show you without flinching both the good and bad side of human nature.

He has an ability to “find things” and is asked to investigate a teenage suicide. My name’s Margot Kinberg. The plot of the case is almost second to the life of Taylor. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Filed under Ken BruenThe Guards. The Guards Jack Taylor Author s: What really carries the book is the main-character. The Guards by Ken Bruen is my first exposure to Bruen’s writing, which was convenient as it is his first Jack Taylor mystery.

The chapters are short, almost giving the novel a magazine feel as it’s easy to pick up and put down and I read it in about two days. The Best Books of FictionFan — Thanks for the kind words.

There are no private eyes in Ireland. Archived from the original on 23 April I felt like the story was more of a character study than a mystery or thriller, but I liked it that way. This page was last edited on 23 Novemberat Now, this is old Galway. But the book was just too thin. Bruen’s strength is in his terse fiction.

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My first Ken Bruen novel but not my last. Now I won’t get into the details too much, rather I’ll mention the style of the story. He’s witty, brutal, and you can’t help but let him drag you into the gutter of Taylor’s life.

If the id My first Ken Bruen novel but not my last.

Three more “mad, tormented books” followed before he embarked on all-out crime fiction with the White Trilogy, three blackly comic books about two near-psychotic policemen in Brixton, a kind of anti-Morse world that Channel 4 has optioned as a two-part series. You have to cheer when Jack throws him gards the pier.

And I give Bruen credit for being able to write two different series with different tones to them. With few, if any, antecedents The Guards is one of the curiously rare Irish crime novels, and the first set in Bruen’s home town of Galway. Until he’s forced to clean himself fuards, he gaurds meanders through the days getting more and more wasted, trading quips with various other ne’er do wells, and making glacially slow progress on his case since he has no contacts left in the Guard who’ll talk to him and nobody else who can help.

May 27, Johnny rated it liked it. Jack’s internal struggles and interpersonal relationships were more compelling than many a thriller I have read of late. I read the bfuen three of Bruen’s books together: The narrative is fueled by black humour, stark violence and moments of radiance.

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