Thursday, 17 August 2017

Review: The Ghosts of Galway by Ken Bruen

The Ghosts of GalwayJack 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 some off-the-books work. He wants Jack to find what some claim to be the first true book of heresy, The Red Book, currently in the possession of a rogue priest who is hiding out in Galway after fleeing a position at the Vatican. Despite Jack's distaste for priests of any stripe, the money is too good to turn down. 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, leading Jack down ever more mysterious and lethal pathways.
It seems all sides are angling for a piece of Jack Taylor, but as The Ghosts of Galway twists toward a violent end, he is increasingly plagued by ghosts--by the disposable and disposed of in a city filled with as much darkness as the deepest corners of Jack's own mind.

Stacey's review 3 of 5 stars

This is a review of a NetGalley ARC

Jack Taylor is in a dark place in his life, having recently dealt with an incorrect medical diagnosis and an attempted suicide. He has lost his position as a guarda and is now a nighttime security guard for a Ukrainian thug. Jack drinks too much. Way, way too much. Having little regard for life he is perfect for a dangerous side job his Ukrainian boss puts him on- find The Red Book . the first book of heresy, taken from the Vatican and possibly in the hands of a rogue priest. Jack also dislikes priests so his quest makes him extra irritable- if this is possible. His current situation also causes him to cross paths with Em, a woman he has a love/hate relationship with which includes no trust whatsoever. In fact, they threaten to kill each other frequently throughout the book The only positive thing going in his life right now is his dog.......
Jack is the perfect choice for this 'mission' since he doesn't exactly care if he lives or dies, which leaves him to make risky, haphazard decisions and confront homicidal criminals to get the answers he's looking for. He makes enemies along the way and faces consequences of his actions. He's a guy without anything to lose- the most dangerous kind.

This is my first Jack Taylor novel and, while I really liked it, I believe I would have liked it more if I knew more about Jack's past. The book hints at what he's gone through but I will have to go back and read to really feel where he is in his life right now. What makes him as dark as the city he lives in. He's cynical and depressed and dependent on alcohol. But there is also humor (dark, of course!) which carries through the book so it's not a completely dismal read.
I'm left with many questions I need to find the answers to: What is Jack and Em's relationship about? What is up with Jack's mom and priests? What was the grave medical diagnosis and is that what lead Jack to attempt to take his life?
Looking forward to going back to the start to follow Jack down the path that lead him to The Ghosts Of Galway.

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