The Ghosts of Galway by Ken Bruen

The Ghosts of Galway

Jack 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 poss...

Title:The Ghosts of Galway
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Edition Language:English

The Ghosts of Galway Reviews

  • Mike Hughes

    Absolutely loved it. If your a Jack Taylor fan, you will not be disappointed in this one! Bruen brings back all the dark humor and angst of the great Jack Taylor. Wont spoil anything! But this one finds Jack having to fight through a number of painful experiences, and he does so with that quick dark wit. loved it, easy five stars....just love reading this guys books. Keep the coming please Ken Bruen.

    Thanks to the publishers for allowing me to read and review this book early.

  • Alan Taylor

    “It’s not that the Irish are cynical. It’s simply that they have a wonderful lack of respect for everything and everybody.” – Brendan Behan

    Jack Taylor returns in “The Ghosts of Galway” with the “lack of respect” to which author Ken Bruen alludes in his Behan quote, but also with a healthy dose of cynicism. The all-weather Garda coat and the hurley return too along with “newish 501s, and the scuffed Doc Martins. You never knew when you might need to kick someone in the face.” And, as always, kick

    “It’s not that the Irish are cynical. It’s simply that they have a wonderful lack of respect for everything and everybody.” – Brendan Behan

    Jack Taylor returns in “The Ghosts of Galway” with the “lack of respect” to which author Ken Bruen alludes in his Behan quote, but also with a healthy dose of cynicism. The all-weather Garda coat and the hurley return too along with “newish 501s, and the scuffed Doc Martins. You never knew when you might need to kick someone in the face.” And, as always, kicking is only the beginning of the violence meted out, and suffered, by Jack as the story proceeds and he deals with a strangely named Ukrainian; a Ron Hubbard wannabe and his enforcers; dead animals being dumped in Eyre Square; a girl with an imaginary brother; his former best friend, and now sworn enemy, Garda Ridge; and, most troubling, the return of “Emily and her diffuse weirdness” who made Taylor’s life such a “Green Hell” in his last outing. As Jack muses,

    “…a thriller writer would throw out all these strands and then, presto, wrap them all up with a rugged hero, battered but unbowed, heading into an award-winning future.”

    Of course, Jack Taylor, often battered, is not the traditional ‘rugged hero’ but then Ken Bruen is anything but a typical ‘thriller writer’…. There really is nothing like a Ken Bruen novel – the lyrical, poetic prose; the wry commentaries on current affairs (this time the 2016 deaths of musical heroes, the rise of Trump and Brexit; water charges…); the humour in the darkest of dark noir; the unique way he uses language, not only in the words he chooses to use but also

    The

    Way

    Bruen

    Puts

    Words

    On

    The

    Page

    No other novels read like Ken Bruen’s. Brutal realism collides with stream of consciousness surrealism, commentary on the Kardasians with extreme bloody violence. The dialogue is rhythmic and musical… And profane.

    For avenging angel Jack Taylor there is little redemption but, for the reader, there are few experiences to rival these books. I couldn’t put this down. Said,

    “I can’t put this down.”

    Unfortunately, it was over far too quickly.

    “The Ghosts of Galway” is not published until November and I thank Mysterious Press and NetGalley for the early review copy and look forward to doing it all again on publication date.

  • Tim

    THE GHOSTS OF GALWAY by Ken Bruen is the 13th book in the Jack Taylor series, and finds Jack working as a security guard, and bored to tears until he gets a call from the big boss to look into the disappearance of a valuable book belonging to the church and allegedly stolen by a priest named Frank Miller, who is also missing.

    Jack has an acquaintance named Emily, a Goth girl who’s associated with the color emerald green and

    THE GHOSTS OF GALWAY by Ken Bruen is the 13th book in the Jack Taylor series, and finds Jack working as a security guard, and bored to tears until he gets a call from the big boss to look into the disappearance of a valuable book belonging to the church and allegedly stolen by a priest named Frank Miller, who is also missing.

    Jack has an acquaintance named Emily, a Goth girl who’s associated with the color emerald green and is quite disturbing, seemingly having multiple personalities.

    Emily is an interesting character, and seems to have an unusual fixation on Jack (in a way most unhealthy for Jack), and becomes involved in Jack’s attempts to recover the book and locate the priest.

    Apparently an old secret group known as “ The Ghosts of Galway” could be involved, and soon things become dangerous for all involved in the case, including Jack’s friend/nemesis Ridge from the guards.

    Several hilarious quotes and thoughts by Jack make this book very entertaining, and Ken Bruen has done a wonderful job of making an older Jack still relevant, part of the success of this is Jack’s ability to make fun of himself as well as others with no holds barred, even or especially when it involves the church.

    4 stars.

  • Kirsty

    This book was far too short! I'm just going to have to read the previous two and any other works to enjoy more of this author. So another new author to me and another back catalogue to be added to the TBR pile.

    It just flows so well. The writing is different to many books I've read so far with it's lyrical style and breaking sentences

    Down

    Like

    This

    Jack, is an ex-Garda turned PI. At least I think he is, it's never worded that way. More that Jack is known for getting things done, finding lost items

    This book was far too short! I'm just going to have to read the previous two and any other works to enjoy more of this author. So another new author to me and another back catalogue to be added to the TBR pile.

    It just flows so well. The writing is different to many books I've read so far with it's lyrical style and breaking sentences

    Down

    Like

    This

    Jack, is an ex-Garda turned PI. At least I think he is, it's never worded that way. More that Jack is known for getting things done, finding lost items and generally getting beaten up (and kicking the bad guys too). There's such a mix of characters in here: Ukrainian gangsters that ended up having a smaller part that at first thought, various priests and a femme fatale that plays every side but especially her own

    The whole thing is a wild ride, really enjoyable and I look forward to more.

    Free arc from netgalley

  • Sandy

    After the last book in this series, readers were left wondering if ex-Gardaí Jack Taylor had finally met his match. Jack’s always been his own worst enemy & it looked like years of hard living had finally caught up with him. But very little in Jack’s life ever turns out as planned which is good news for us. He’s back, with dog Storm supervising his recovery.

    In the wake of his reprieve, Jack decides to take a stab at “normal” & gets a job as a security guard. But it’s not long before he’s

    After the last book in this series, readers were left wondering if ex-Gardaí Jack Taylor had finally met his match. Jack’s always been his own worst enemy & it looked like years of hard living had finally caught up with him. But very little in Jack’s life ever turns out as planned which is good news for us. He’s back, with dog Storm supervising his recovery.

    In the wake of his reprieve, Jack decides to take a stab at “normal” & gets a job as a security guard. But it’s not long before he’s approached by a man offering a whack of cash for a simple job. He’s looking for “The Red Book”, a controversial 9th century text that blasts “The Book of Kells”. Until recently it was hidden at the Vatican. Then a young priest snatched it & ran & rumour has it he’s holed up in Galway. Jack has zero interest in dealing with any clergy but could really use a good payday. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go as planned…again.

    Then things get weird(er). Someone is leaving animal carcasses in Eyre Square along with cryptic messages. But this is Galway. If you’re aiming for public shock and/or outrage, you’ll have to get in line behind politicians & those responsible for the water tax.

    Jack’s life is further complicated by the return of Emerald, the young woman who first got his attention in

    . Em’s always been unstable to say the least. But her tenuous grip on sanity has finally snapped & all her personalities are coming out to play. And some of them seem remarkably well informed about the book Jack is looking for.

    As usual, the story is a combination of Jack’s activities & his thoughts on everything from the state of Irish politics to seeing Trump hug Sarah Palin on TV (“to see them embrace in Iowa was to see ignorance & prejudice entwined”.) Social commentary is delivered with his trademark black humour & profanity. But his recent brush with mortality has revealed a more reflective side & we catch glimpses of a lonely man taking a hard look at his life. Quotes from individuals & literature are randomly inserted throughout the book, adding to the author’s stream of consciousness style of prose.

    The first half almost lulls you as several plot lines unfold & more characters take the field. Maybe that’s why a sudden act of violence at that point comes as such a shock. The story takes a much darker & deadly serious turn. You realize there’s a showdown coming & some of these characters will not survive. It’s a tough read at times but thinking back over the last couple of books, it feels inevitable & I should have seen it coming.

    This is a book for true fans of the series & not one I would recommend as a starting point for a couple of reasons. First, Bruen has a distinctive style of prose that becomes looser & less linear as the series progresses. Second, there is a tremendous amount of back story that informs each book & makes for a richer reading experience if read in order.

    The ending is poignant yet oddly cathartic & once again I’m wondering where Jack will turn up next. Just as an aside, two thumbs up to those responsible for the striking cover art.

  • Diane S ☔

    Jack Taylor was once a garda, was great friends with a fellow Garda, Ridge, and once had a great deal of pride. No more! Now he is broken down in body and spirit, uses profanity prodigiously, and freely imbibes his beloved Jameson's and pints despite doctors warning his health was greatly as risk. Yet, he is one of the most interesting characters in fiction. He is an enigma, a man that violence seems to attract, a lover of books, all kinds. He has a very conflicted view of the church,even though

    Jack Taylor was once a garda, was great friends with a fellow Garda, Ridge, and once had a great deal of pride. No more! Now he is broken down in body and spirit, uses profanity prodigiously, and freely imbibes his beloved Jameson's and pints despite doctors warning his health was greatly as risk. Yet, he is one of the most interesting characters in fiction. He is an enigma, a man that violence seems to attract, a lover of books, all kinds. He has a very conflicted view of the church,even though one of his best friends, those he has left, is a nun.

    Never, never expect a straightforward plot. Instead expect quotes, from books, poetry and movies, expect fragments, snippets of Jack's thinking, Jack's actions. Expect current affairs, such as Trump, and Brexit thrown into the mix to give one a basis for time placement. I find these highly entertaining, puzzling and most inventive. I would really like a glimpse into Ken Bruen's mind and imagination.

    Not a good start to the series, one really needs to read this from the beginning. They can be challenging, but are always unique. Yes, there is violence, but there is also unexpected kindnesses. Jack does have a great sense of loyalty, cannot forget his mistakes of the past, is often dismissive, unkind, a conflicted contradiction of all the things that make us human. Some parts will make you smile, some cringe, but I love these books, love this character. Wonder what that says about me?

    ARC from Netgalley.

  • Dave

    Ghosts of Galway is the thirteenth book in Bruen's series. It is a gritty, misty tale that often slips into stream-of-consciousness and reminisces. I was not particularly taken with this novel, but that may be the problem with starting a series after the first dozen books and not knowing the background of the characters. I would also note that it is surprisingly different than the Max & Angela series written with Jason Starr and one should not read this expecting anything like that series.

  • Judy Lesley

    Many thanks to NetGalley, Grove Atlantic and Mysterious Press for the opportunity to read a digital galley of this novel.

    I did what most followers of a certain author will tell you not to do. I began reading Ken Bruen with book thirteen in this series featuring Jack Taylor. And I survived. Actually, not just survived but thrived. Yes, the writing is dark. Everything about this book is dark and at times difficult to read. Jack has gone through some very bad times with some of it his own fault but

    Many thanks to NetGalley, Grove Atlantic and Mysterious Press for the opportunity to read a digital galley of this novel.

    I did what most followers of a certain author will tell you not to do. I began reading Ken Bruen with book thirteen in this series featuring Jack Taylor. And I survived. Actually, not just survived but thrived. Yes, the writing is dark. Everything about this book is dark and at times difficult to read. Jack has gone through some very bad times with some of it his own fault but certainly not all of it. At the beginning of this story he has just learned that he is part of a huge scandal in the Irish medical system because of dire diagnosis errors. He's not in the best of health, but he's not about to die from any of his health issues. So it's back to the cigarettes and the booze but he has learned that moderation won't kill him so Jack Taylor tries to live like most people do. He gets a job as a security guard by fudging a little on his resume and spends time reading everything that catches his interest, taking care of his dog, going to his many favorite pubs and working his job. He's not on the job long before his employer asks to see him and takes him off the clock to do a private job for him. It all starts going pretty horribly wrong from there.

    Since this was my first book by this author it took me just a little while before I became comfortable with his writing style; after that the pages of the book seemed to fly by. If you've not read a Jack Taylor book before it is completely true to the environment Jack lives in so there is profanity all over the place. Irish politics play a huge part in the atmosphere, but the political references aren't confined to Ireland. The characters who return from previous novels have deep development, but even a newbie such as I could catch on to the feelings and atmosphere very quickly. Many of the things that take place in this story surprised me because the author has the courage to let them happen. Where the story goes from here, I don't know, and I'm still absorbing what I read so it will take a little time to decide if I want to check out the next book. I have to admit, though, I am intrigued.

  • Susan Johnson

    3.5 stars

    This is not my favorite book but it moves at a rapid rate and keeps your attention throughout. The staccato writing was difficult for me to adjust to but I did love all the literary allusions. “It’s not that the Irish are cynical. It’s simply that they have a wonderful lack of respect for everything and everybody.” – Brendan Behan. This certainly sums up Taylor.

    A disgraced former garda with an alcohol problem gets a security job. He is hired to find a book that could be the basis for

    3.5 stars

    This is not my favorite book but it moves at a rapid rate and keeps your attention throughout. The staccato writing was difficult for me to adjust to but I did love all the literary allusions. “It’s not that the Irish are cynical. It’s simply that they have a wonderful lack of respect for everything and everybody.” – Brendan Behan. This certainly sums up Taylor.

    A disgraced former garda with an alcohol problem gets a security job. He is hired to find a book that could be the basis for an Irish Church of Scientology. I don't know why the Irish need their own. I would happily give them the American version. On the search, he runs into some truly despicable people including an old lover, Emerald, who is a really a piece of work. I never once understood his attraction for her.

    Taylor is not a likable character and I have no expectation that he will change one iota or become someone to root for. I certainly did not. He has so few people who care about him and I can understand why. I really don't want to spend time with him and I probably won't again. If you like fast paced action, this could be the book for you.

    Thank you Net Galley for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.

  • Karl

    You can look it up.

    According to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture 41,700,000 cows and calves were killed for food in the year 2000, as well as 115,200,000 pigs and 4,300,000 sheep, for a total of 161,200,000. These statistics are also expected to continue to rise. We have no idea how many cows, pigs and sheep committed suicide. These numbers do not include the rest of the world’s slaughter rate.

    There are some animal casualties in Ken Bruen’s book “The Ghosts of Galway”. They do no

    You can look it up.

    According to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture 41,700,000 cows and calves were killed for food in the year 2000, as well as 115,200,000 pigs and 4,300,000 sheep, for a total of 161,200,000. These statistics are also expected to continue to rise. We have no idea how many cows, pigs and sheep committed suicide. These numbers do not include the rest of the world’s slaughter rate.

    There are some animal casualties in Ken Bruen’s book “The Ghosts of Galway”. They do not succumb to death due to their desire to become someone’s food or due to suicide. Be warned. A number of humans also forfeit their lives.

    Jack Taylor, in this the thirteenth installment slogs on. He has cut back on

    His drinking.

    Human involvement.

    Wearing his Guarda coat.

    Fighting.

    After recovering from events in the previous book, Jack becomes a security guard, mainly so he can have time to read books, and continue his recovery. His employer though has loftier plans for Jack.

    And Jack needs the money.

    There are some great moments in this book including

    Humor

    Pathos

    Love

    Death

    And the return of characters from previous books in the series. The book reads rather quickly due to Mr. Bruen’s unique writing style,

    It is best to read this series in sequence.


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